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Category Archive: ‘Historic Homes’

Western White House

For Gavin Herbert, the retired founder and CEO of Allergan—the nearly $70 billion pharmaceuticals company—it was a lifelong love of gardening that led to his ownership of one of Southern California’s most storied and valuable coastal properties: President Richard Nixon’s so-called Western White House.

Now, it will hit the market for $75 million. Mr. Herbert, 83, is selling the estate after 35 years of ownership and is looking for a buyer who will continue to care for the property. The 5.5-acre estate in San Clemente, Calif., has more than 15,000 square feet of living space over a main house, guesthouses and staff quarters, and 450 feet of ocean frontage.

In 1969, six months into his presidency, Mr. Nixon and some business partners bought the property, then 26 acres, for $1.4 million from the widow of original owner, Hamilton Cotton, according to reports from the time. He dubbed it La Casa Pacifica.

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Historic Homes | 2 comments

Del Mar Terrace


You could make a case that Del Mar Terrace is under-valued, compared to the rest of Del Mar.  The views are bigger due to fewer trees, and you can get to the freeway or beach in five minutes – how many places can say that?

Ken Rochetti was the architect of the featured home above, and quite a few others in the north coastal region – here’s one on Whale Watch in La Jolla with some trick drone work:

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Bubbleinfo TV, Del Mar, Historic Homes, Interesting Houses, Jim's Take on the Market | 0 comments

La Jolla Case Study

Those familar with the mid-century modern homes have probably heard of the Case Study houses, which wiki calls ‘experiments in American residential architecture’.  Unfortunately this video is of the corner house which is two doors down, and then only drives by the Case Study House #23A:

Case Study “Triad” House A
– standing
2342 Rue de Anne, 1960
One of three related houses where the earlier Arts & Architecture puritanical vocabulary of post, beam and glass are now played off against water (reflecting pond). One of only three (hence “Triad”) San Diego examples of the 36 building Case Study program sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine editor John Entenza and USC’s School of Architecture (1945 -’66) to promote modernism as a stylish, livable architectural form. Situated three feet below street level, House A’s 10-foot front door is reached via a pre-cast concrete path floated over a shallow reflecting pool. This 6-room modified U-plan is the most complex of the three resawn tongue and groove redwood boarding houses decoratively enhanced by the (wood and steel) post and beam (laminated wood) motif.

Story with photos here: Case Study houses – La Jolla

Posted by on Sep 28, 2013 in Bubbleinfo TV, Historic Homes, Interesting Houses, La Jolla | 0 comments

FLW in Santa Fe

The only adobe structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the late 1920s was supposed to be built in El Paso, TX. But due to circumstances — rumored to be differences of opinion between Wright and the homeowner — the project never came to be, and by the end of the 1940s, the plans were shelved.

Nearly 30 years later, Minneapolis developer Charles Klotsche inquired with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation about using the adobe plans. Working with architects who once trained alongside Wright, Klotsche produced construction plans for the design, increasing the square footage from 2,400 to 4,900.

“The floor plan was maintained essentially,” explained David Fries of Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s one of 16 houses that have been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built after his death and approved by the foundation. The architects that worked with Frank Lloyd Wright were the same ones who did the construction documents with this property.”

Construction began in 1984, and the home was completed in 1985. And even though Wright himself didn’t see the finished structure, the foundation recognizes the home as a Wright piece.

The 5-bed, 4-bath home sits on a 9-acre promontory that “really feels like you’re perched on a mountain,” Fries said. Views of Santa Fe below are visible from the half-moon pool and several of the home’s rooms.

The pool in itself is unusual; a small canal leads the swimming pool into one of the bathrooms.

Throughout the rest of the home, Wright’s trademark of combining nature with architecture is visible — from the rounded walls, large windows and central courtyard.

“It’s a piece of artwork,” Fries said. “People have said living in a Frank Lloyd Wright home will change you. The best feature of this home is just the design itself.”

List price is $4,750,000.

Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 in Historic Homes, Interesting Houses | 0 comments

FLW in New York

Entrepreneur Joseph Massaro bought a private island on a lake in New York state in 1996 and spent ten years constructing a home that had been custom designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the island but never built, using the original blueprints — the result is extraordinary.

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Historic Homes | 4 comments

Villa Rockledge

A premiere auction Saturday of the historic Villa Rockledge in Laguna Beach, an ocean front property built by Frank Miller, the man who had a hand in shaping the famed Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside from 1918 to 1922, has been cancelled.

That’s because the iconic property is under contract for a sale, Villa Rockledge owner Roger Jones confirmed. “We reached a deal,’’ Jones said. “There will be no auction.”

The purchase price for the oldest ocean estate in Laguna Beach, one carrying a list price in 2009 of just under $35 million and fell to $24.9 million in 2011, exceeded the minimum auction bid price of $10.5 million, Jones said.

But the final purchase price has not yet been revealed.

Todd Wohl, of Premiere Estates Auction Co., on Friday said those details – and the buyers’ name — are being withheld until property closes escrow later this month.

Jones, likewise, declined to name the buyers, but did say the couple hailed from Denmark and has made prior real estate investments in Laguna Beach.

He described the sale as an “all-cash” deal that involved multiple bids. Contract terms reportedly include a provision allowing Jones and his wife, Sherill Bottjer, to stay at Villa Rockledge for three-months after the 8,064-square-foot estate closes escrow.

“They’re very nice people,’’ Jones said. “We’re very happy to report there will be a sale.”

The largely hand-hewn estate, which Miller fashioned out of rock, thick timber, iron and tile as a summer home for his second wife, Marion, cost $100,000 to build and is best known for architectural features that replicate Spanish mission design elements in the Riverside lodge.

The Mission Inn draws thousands of guests every year, especially at Christmas.

Villa Rockledge had quieter appeal, but its significance in the realm of California architecture is unflappable. The lofty, cliff-side estate was put in the National Registry of Historic Places in March 1984.

The estate features a main home with six villas, a saltwater tide pool on the private beach, coiffed garden with meandering stone walkways and a commanding seaside view. Brick and mosaic tile elements in the home replicate design elements in The Mission Inn, down to mosaic tiles that depict a macaw.

Jones, who wrote the book, “The History of Villa Rockledge,’’ paid $420,000 for the estate in February 1973 to become the fifth owner, after renting a studio-sized villa on the grounds for $85-a-month for five years.

“It’s a good way to end the year,’’ said broker Jeff Knowles of Sage Lang Investment Real Estate.

Wohl said Premiere Estates Auction received three pre-auction offers the Joneses considered before deciding to ink a contract that put the home into escrow.

“We have a 100 percent closing rate once it goes under contract,’’ Wohl said. “The sellers are ecstatic they found a buyer with the same type of passion for this historic property.’’

Buyers who pre-qualified for the Saturday, Dec. 15, auction hailed from Russia, China and California. A pre-auction gala drew more than 250 brokers and real estate agents from Pacific Palisades through the Orange County area, he said.

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in Historic Homes, Interesting Houses | 0 comments