TAC Table of Contents
Text and graphic by Lou Koza
In the spring of 1995, I had the rare opportunity to tour the home once owned by George Reeves. I thought it would be informative to describe the configuration of the home for those individuals who have a valued interest. Since I'm illustrating this subject, I want to point out that I've often heard stories of fans taking it upon themselves to knock on the door in an effort to request a tour of the home... only to have the door slammed in there face by the current occupant, and rightly so. If you are one of those individuals, and I hope you are not, save yourself the trouble and just drive by slow in your car. And so at the very least I hope this illustration of the home will serve as a model for someone to better understand the home setting of Mr. George Reeves.
It should be noted the illustration is not to scale, its layout is derived mostly from my memory and some photo references. This home defined by real estate agents as a "splanch", meaning split level - ranch. Developing this model on paper is not an easy task, mainly because of the many levels, and without a builders plan for reference I wanted to pull my hair out at times trying to make this all fit together. Even with a computer, although easier than pen and paper, it proved a challenge. At times I would be 95 percent, only to realize the back wall did not extend to the bottom edge of the roof. The roof extends about two feet beyond the exterior wall. Adjusting one line meant moving others, almost like a domino effect. That meant either erasing lines or changing the color of a line to match what is behind it such as a floor.
About the home: From the exterior, its appearance is similar to a New England cape cod, although the dormer windows in the front are positioned to one side of the home instead of one at each end. Once inside, the home takes on a different meaning. Driving through the Beverly Hills neighborhood you can find a wide assortment of homes all varying in shapes and sizes, 1579 Benedict Canyon Drive is modest in comparison to most. For obvious reasons many of the homes are valued four to five times as much. Aside from some renovations over the years, I understand not much has changed. I'd like to point out that the flooring designating the den is the room where George shot his "Candid Reporter" film. Notice in the film clip the shelves behind George, today they are still there. For the sake of letting you see where the stairs are leading to the bedroom above the garage and to the master bedroom above the living room, I have the image of the green stairs dominating the red master bedroom floor. Had the red continued over, it would have been difficult to see were the stairs are located.
One of the many features I love about this home is that almost the entire back wall, with the exception of the kitchen exterior wall, is made up of glass panels. From the living room and den you have a lovely view of the backyard. When complete privacy was required, the visibility would be blocked by ceiling to floor curtains. Another feature the home has is a fireplace. The home is situated within a mountainous region and from what I've read, the home is mostly in the shade. The canyon consists of cool air much of the year, and the fireplace is used to keep the home warm at night. The main fireplace is on the wall between the living room and den, and from the appearance they are served by the same chimney. I don't recall, but I understand a pot belly like fireplace is in the master bedroom.
So basically, that's it. I hope this gives George Reeves fans an idea how the house is configured. If your interest in the home is to better understand the "crime scene" or to simply understand how modest George lived in comparison to the big Hollywood mega stars, I hope I've satisfied your curiosity. I've often been asked after discussing my experience if I saw any bullet holes or felt the presence of any ghostly spirits ? As I stated earlier the home has had some renovating. It was stated by Robert Shayne that the father of his dentist, a home repair man worked on the home repairing it after George's death. So the answer is no, to both questions of course. Regarding the spirits issue, if I were to believe a spirit does occupy the home, which I don't, I personally do not believe the spirit is the late George Reeves. If by some strange circumstances the claims are true, that there was an image of George Reeves in some sort of poltergeist form, Superman suit and all, this would have to be something other than George Reeves. I don't think George would try to frighten anyone. Besides, "Superman suit and all" ? Is the tailor "0n the other side" someone who worked and died at Western Costume ?
Finally, I've worked with other computer programs and unfortunately I haven't been able to manufacture a design that would allow the user to walk freely within the house including the furniture. Yes, I've configured the home but unfortunately the affordable programs that I have are limited. For example, the program does not allow access up or down the stairs. I do have many photo's of the inside of George's home which give reference to a lot of his furniture, but the programs again are limited to trends styled more towards today. But most important, since I'm working off memory it is very difficult to tie in the structure without dimensions. A set of blue prints would certainly make it easier, and having dimensions would help define boundaries between the levels. For now the illustration you see above works very well.
Backyard view of side window leading to bathroom. Roof is above den.
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