Wallace Neff was the preferred architect among the rich and famous in the early half of the 20th century—he built the legendary Pickfair in Beverly Hills, CA, for silent-screen icons Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.
So when his former home in San Marino lands on the market, it’s a special thrill. Naturally, this Neff-designed gem has a price to match its outsize pedigree: $11.8 million.
This two-story landmark estate sits directly across from the Huntington Library, and is close by to Lacy Park and the California Institute of Technology.
The house, which features a distinctive facade, might seem vaguely familiar to even those who have never traveled to San Marino. In the 2006 film “The Holiday,” starring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Jack Black, this property stood in for the gorgeous SoCal mansion belonging to Diaz’s character.
It’s easy to love this mansion, which was built in 1928. The seven-bedroom, 6.5-bath, Spanish eclectic–style estate has been well-maintained by the current homeowners, who bought the property for $3,225,000 in 1998.
Like other Neff-designed homes, there’s a grand entry with a wood-paneled ceiling, a terra-cotta floor, and a colorfully tiled staircase—this one also features a walk-in bar, so the butler/bartender can ensure guests feel welcome the moment they cross the threshold.
Carved wood doors open from the entry hall to the living room with a coved ceiling, original chandelier, matching wall sconces, and a grand fireplace made of tile and plaster.
The other rooms also feature stunning original details, including the library with a corner fireplace and carved wood shelving, a bright kitchen with hand-painted ceramic tiles, a family room with a giant fireplace and French doors to the back, and a light-filled gallery with book nooks. Downstairs, there’s a modern game/media room.
Outside there are several gardens, courtyards, and terraces; a pool and spa; a paddle tennis court; and a gated motor court with a center fountain.
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