A Historic Wallace Neff-Designed Home Hits the Market in L.A. for $10.8 Million

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Back in the late 1920s, as he was easing into a lengthy architecture career that would endure for over six decades, Wallace Neff crafted this suburban Los Angeles retreat for early Montgomery Ward leader and Occidental College trustee Charles H. Thorne and his wife Belle. Now, after having been lovingly maintained by the same family for half a century, the alluring Spanish Colonial Revival-style home is on the market in Pasadena for $10.8 million.

Sited in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains—amid a private lane in the exclusive Los Altos neighborhood, near the members-only Annandale Golf Club, and just two doors away from Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi’s former marital mansion—the blush-hued stucco and terracotta-roof structure is fronted by a gated circular driveway. Ornate double glass doors open into a grassy central courtyard patterned after Southern California’s landmark 1700s-era Mission San Juan Capistrano, which comes complete with a tiered fountain and arched arcades laced with flowering hot pink bougainvillea.

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Charles Thorne House Pasadena
The Spanish-style home is fronted by a driveway that passes through a porte-cochère on its way to a four-car garage topped by a guest apartment.

Completed in 1929, and meticulously restored and updated by its longtime owners during their tenure, the main home boasts eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms filtered across a little more than 9,000 square feet of multi-level living space adorned throughout with refinished wood floors, intricate iron and stone details, vintage light fixtures and mosaic tile accents. There’s also a two-bedroom, one-bath guest apartment that spans roughly 920 square feet and rests atop the four-car garage.

Especially standing out is a living room sporting a high wood-beam ceiling, walk-in fireplace and arched windows. Other highlights include a formal dining room and bookshelf-lined library, plus a gourmet kitchen replete with black-and-white checkered floors, pale yellow cabinetry, an eat-in island, top-tier appliances, a wine cooler-equipped butler’s pantry and an accompanying breakfast nook.

Charles Thorne House Pasadena
The living room’s arched windows provide views of the entire San Gabriel Valley.

Two primary bedrooms can be found upstairs, both with en-suite bathrooms and one warmed by a fireplace tucked into the corner, and elsewhere is a large storage basement. Outdoors, the grounds are dotted with Italian stone pines, and host a summer kitchen, several spots ideal for al fresco lounging and entertaining, and picturesque vistas overlooking the park-like Arroyo Seco and Colorado State Bridge.

“Lovingly restored and treasured by its owners, the lavish and stunning architectural design elements are on full display as Neff set out to create a comfortable, custom family home, perfect for entertaining and California indoor/outdoor enjoyment,” says listing agent Carol Chua of Coldwell Banker Realty. “Potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, this home is one of Neff’s most treasured gems and awaits the next lucky owner.”

Click here for more photos of the Charles H. Thorne House.

Charles Thorne House Pasadena
Charles Thorne House Pasadena

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