Author: Noel Hemphill
The Eagle Rock home where Matt Damon and Occidental College alumnus Ben Affleck penned their critically acclaimed movie “Good Will Hunting” is under consideration by the Cultural Heritage Commission for historical preservation. The classical architecture of the home however, not its cinematic history, is what caught the Commission’s eye.
Recognition as a historic-cultural monument affords the structure special privileges and protections, according to the Cultural Heritage Commission website. Ken Bernstein, Manager of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, offered several reasons for the Eagle Rock home’s preservation.
“Its being considered because of its architecture,” Bernstein said. “It’s a very beautiful home in Eagle Rock that is classic Storybrook style and was built in the 1920s.”
Jean L. Egasse originally built the house for design partner and local businessman Albert Braasch and his wife. The home’s Storybrook design includes a stucco and dark wood trimmed exterior and the interior features an 11-foot stained glass window. At the time the home was built, California Southland magazine described the home as the kind of estate where Hansel and Gretel would live. The home was sold in 2012 for $760,000.
Affleck and Damon lived in the house in the late 1990s while Affleck, most recently awarded “Best Picture” for directing and producing “Argo,” attended Occidental to study Middle Eastern Affairs. The home is less than two miles from campus and was affordable for the struggling duo. Their fates changed when Affleck and Damon sold the script for “Goodwill Hunting” for $600,000 in 1997 to Miramax Studios. The hit movie turned the two then-unknown actors into award winning writers, though according to Bernstein the pair’s fame has no bearing on the home’s consideration for monument status.
“It’s cultural preservation status has nothing to do with Affleck and Damon living in the house,” Bernstein said.
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