Ravishing 1920s home modeled after Tuscan villa can be yours for $11.8M

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Now on the market for the first time in two decades is the former personal residence of one of the top architects of Southern California’s Golden Age of architecture, Wallace Neff.

Located across the road from the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, the two-story home was modeled after a Tuscan villa, and completed in 1928 for a then-astronomical cost of $40,000. According to building records, the Los Angeles County assessor rated the house’s overall construction quality as “extra special.”

In 1929, it was singled out for recognition as “the best medium-sized residence in Southern California” by the American Institute of Architects, which granted awards on only four occasions during the 1920s.

Sadly, the architect and his family did not get to enjoy the highly praised home for very long—with Neff’s practice devastated by the Great Depression, he was forced to put the property up for auction in 1933.

Though the seven-bedroom, six-bath home has undergone some alterations, additions, and updates since being built, it retains a high degree of architectural integrity and preservation. Notable original features include hardwood and terra-cotta tile floors, elaborately carved wood doors and ceilings, coved plaster arches, iron sconces and chandeliers, hand-painted tile, a walk-in bar, built-in shelving, and several impressive fireplaces.

Outside, there’s a covered loggia, a courtyard with tiled fountain, swimming pool and spa, a paddle tennis court, multiple gardens, and a circular motor court.

On a .77-acre lot, the pedigreed property—which was featured in the 2006 rom-com The Holiday—is listed with an asking price of $11.8 million.















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