Frederick Roehrig, Architect. Built in 1888 for the great mapmaker Andrew McNally, its most important feature is intangible: the promise of a high-spirited life's adventure, like a chance to step into C.S. Lewis's Narnia. The elegance of this 22-room mansion is in the grand 12-foot-tall spaces; the clear heart vertical Douglas Fir wood paneling; a sunny, meandering butler's pantry; large, gracious bedrooms; the 24 working gas lamps, chandeliers, and wall sconces; and the massive windows allowingsunlight and cooling breezes from the mountains to flow through the house. A deep, old-fashioned wood porch wrapping the house provides play space in the rain and shade from the sun; a Victorian aviary and the world-famous "Turkish Room" complete the property's unique character. Several rooms would be perfect as offices, including the round turret's top floor that presides over Altadena and Pasadena below. At least three sequences of rooms, including the former servants' wing, might lend themselves to private suites or even a separate apartment, including the potential conversion of the huge attic of the six-vehicle, 999-square-foot carriage house as guest quarters or the perfect musician's studio. Imagination, creativity, and livability are alive and awake here.
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