Iconic Front Entrance to Gone with the Wind’s Tara Sold at Auction
Local listing agent Martin Feinberg has learned that Joseph Maddalena’s Profiles in History has sold the famous grand entrance from Tara, the O’Hara Plantation in Gone with The Wind. It, and other pieces from the set, were sold at auction on June 27 in Calabasas. Joseph Maddalena is the largest dealer of Hollywood memorabilia in the country.
The grand entrance sold for $120,000. A collection of façade pieces from Tara was also sold at the same time with a winning bid of $42,000.
Tara was constructed at Selznick International Studios’ “Forty Acres” back lot in Culver City in the 1930s. It stood there for over 20 years until Desilu Productions, then owner of the Selznick lot, had it dismantled and moved to Northern Georgia with plans for reconstruction. Copyright protections by the family of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind, prevented the fulfillment of those plans however.
Tara remained in a storage barn in Northern Georgia until the late 1970s. Eventually Betty Talmadge, wife of U.S. Senator and Governor of Georgia, Herman Talmadge, had the original grand entrance of Tara restored as the centerpiece of a major exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the film’s release.
The second Gone with the Wind lot sold at the Profiles in History auction in June was a huge collection of “Tara” facade elements. It included shutters and window frame elements from the front of the house as well as the left wing that included the famous tall windows and shutters mounted to the right of the front door where Scarlett is first seen at Tara talking with the Tarleton Twins. A pair of large interior solid shutters seen in the famous sequence when Scarlett removes the drapery to make her iconic dress was also included in the lot, along with many more pieces from the structure.
The “Back 40” now houses an industrial center in the heart of the Culver City Real Estate area. According to the Culver City Historical Society, the lot has been owned at different times by Cecil B. DeMille, David O. Selznick, Howard Hughes, Desi Arnaz, and Lucille Ball.
Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that the Culver City Historical Society has been heavily involved in recent years in trying to preserve and protect the lot’s part in Culver City’s impressive movie history.