A landmark Queen Anne-style home built for mapmaking tycoon Andrew McNally has returned to Altadena’s market with updates and a lower asking price.
The new price tag is $3.495 million, $295,000 less than the $3.79 million sought in March 2018.
Known as the Andrew McNally Estate, the 7,437-square-foot residence on the National Register of Historic Places has nine bedrooms, six bathrooms, and an ornate Turkish room with the original silk-covered canopy ceiling intact.
And it still shimmers gold in the light.
“Sunset is the time to sit in that Turkish room,” said Teresa Fuller of Compass, the listing agent. “To sit in those chairs that Andrew McNally sat in, and just the feeling of being in the glow of the room is magic.”
Frederick Roehrig, the same architect of Pasadena’s landmark Castle Green, designed the mansion for McNally’s family as a West Coast retreat from Chicago’s harsh winters.
The house originally sat on 12 acres.
According to the Pasadena Star-News, the millionaire publisher who immigrated from Ireland in the late-1850s owned 400 acres in what became Altadena. Much of that land was subdivided and sold off to wealthy easterners to create a “gentleman’s colony.”
On his own land, McNally grew citrus and built a large aviary to raise exotic birds imported from around the world.
The aviary stands on what’s left of the original ranch — just over three-quarters of an acre — alongside a detached four-car carriage house/garage and the main residence, which is topped by a turret.
Doors from that circular room open to a balcony and offer another prime spot to catch the sunset.
The McNally house has belonged to the Dupuy family since the 1950s. They salvaged it from the wrecking ball and restored it to its original glory.
More recently, the family put in a new kitchen and butler’s pantry, remodeled all of the bathrooms, and restored the original hardwood floors hidden behind carpeting for decades.
Also new is a reinforced foundation.
But these changes do nothing to alter the 19th-century character seen in the carved woodwork and paneling, jeweled stained glass, and 24 still-operational gas lamps.
Ornate bronze steam radiators function off a boiler in the basement.
There are also massive pocket doors of wood and leaded glass, a grand staircase and seven fireplaces.
A two-sided, double fireplace separates the living room from an area used as a family room/library. Fuller highlights the room’s coffin window, an architectural feature designed for maneuvering caskets outside a home.
Did McNally ever use it?
“I don’t know,” Fuller said. “He did die in the home, so, who knows?”
McNally, who died in 1904 at 66, was one-half of Rand McNally and Company and the grandfather of Wallace Neff, the noted early-20th-century architect.
Neff “grew up playing in the yard” of the Altadena home, Fuller said.
The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
In addition to his estate in Altadena, McNally purchased 2,300 acres in La Mirada, where he created Windemere Ranch. It featured a home, citrus and olive groves, and buildings for citrus packing and olive oil production with direct access to the Santa Fe rail line for nationwide distribution.
Around the turn of the century, McNally turned the ranch over to his son-in-law Edwin Neff and his wife, Nannie McNally.
McNally also owned a ranch in San Juan Capistrano.
Source: Orange County Register