A grand chateau at the lake’s edge

Times Staff Writer

Lake Arrowhead’s water level was down more than 20 feet before the January rains. In some bays, water had receded the length of two football fields. But now the lake is full, and Chateau des Quatre Saisons stands ready for new owners.

Since it was built in 1981, the French country-style, waterfront estate has welcomed heads of state and other dignitaries. Early on, they were guests of Toshiaki Ogasawara, publisher and chairman of the Japan Times. After Ogasawara, a trustee of USC, sold the property in 1993, visitors came to see its new owner, auto magnate Paul Rusnak.

Rusnak, founder in 1959 of a Los Angeles-area car dealership that today has more than a dozen locations, bought the chateau, then remodeled and redecorated it to complement its four-seasons name. Four bedroom suites were called Le Printemps (spring), L’Automne (autumn), L’Ete (summer) and L’Hiver (winter).


After his children grew up and moved elsewhere, Rusnak began to travel extensively. Now that he is more apt to be seen on his yacht SunArk in the Atlantic or in the Mediterranean, he is ready to sell his lakefront home.

About this house: It’s a mountain retreat, and the neighbors are Hollywood luminaries. Lake Arrowhead started out in the 1920s as a Hollywood getaway, and it still is. Among celebrities who own homes there are Dick Clark, Herb Alpert, Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber, Michelle Kwan, Eriq La Salle, Brian Wilson and Priscilla Presley.

Asking price: $5.95 million

Size: The house has four bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms in more than 6,000 square feet. The two-story home is on about an acre of lakefront property.

Features: There are 4-inch-thick doors, carved wood and marble fireplaces, hand-painted ceilings, parquet and limestone floors, a crystal chandelier, planters from Hearst Castle, maid’s quarters, rolling lawns with a sculpture garden, a greenhouse, a mudroom and a patio. The home also has a media room, a game room and a library. The chateau has double dock facilities.

Where: Lake Arrowhead

Listing agent: Jim Price, Re/Max, Lake Arrowhead, (909) 336-5478.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, please send color interior and exterior photographs with caption information on a CD 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. Questions can be sent by e-mail to