Piru Mansion Has Ties to Hollywood


The Piru Mansion was originally built in the late 1800s by a religious book publisher from Illinois. After a fire destroyed the house in 1981, it was rebuilt at a cost of $2 million.

The owners who rebuilt it were Scott Newhall--a flamboyant former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Newhall Signal (now called the Signal), and scion of the pioneer Newhalls, whose holdings included the Newhall Land & Farming Co.--and his wife, Ruth.

Scott Newhall died in 1992 at 78. The house was first listed for sale in 1993. Since then, it has been on and off the market. The seller is the Newhall family partnership, of which Ruth Newhall is an active member.

About this house: If the house looks familiar, it's because it was used as a set in such films as "Chaplin" (1992) and on such TV series as "Murder, She Wrote" and "Melrose Place." The mansion's credits include use of its image on the Mansion brand orange crate label, the principal local brand of oranges. The house is near the industrial center of Valencia.

Asking price: $2.95 million, reduced from $3.25 million. Furnishings may be purchased separately.

Size: Five bedrooms and 51/2 baths in 11,500 square feet on four levels and nine acres.

Features: The Queen Anne-style Victorian is distinguished by two turrets rising from a natural stone foundation. It was originally designed by late-Victorian architects Samuel and Joseph Cather Newsom.

After the fire, the mansion was faithfully rebuilt but with state-of-the-art heating, plumbing and electrical wiring. The house also has multicolored stained and leaded glass windows; wood trim, wainscoting and paneling; built-in silver and china cabinets; and a 100-year-old wine cellar.

Where: Piru, a turn-of-the-century community of about 1,200 people in Ventura County, four miles from Lake Piru, near the Santa Paula Airport, which is known for its antique aircrafts.

Listing agent: Pat Morgen, (805) 521-0877


To be considered for Home of the Week, please send color interior and exterior photos (copies only, please; we cannot return the pictures) and a brief description of the house, including what makes the property unusual, to Ruth Ryon, Real Estate Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; or e-mail homeoftheweek@latimes.com.

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