A home with a rich history has sold to a man who plans to keep it that way.
The John S. Cravens estate, a 1930s mansion set on Millionaire’s Row in Pasadena, has been purchased by musician Michael Feinstein for $7 million.
The dignified estate boasts nearly 20,000 square feet of elegant flourishes and European finishes. Its architect, Lewis P. Hobart, designed such structures as San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, and its builder, P.J. Walker Co., is responsible for the Los Angeles Times building and the Doheny Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.
The home was constructed with steel-reinforced concrete, brick veneer and a Vermont slate roof. A skylight atrium sets the tone in the stately interior, and further in, living spaces are filled with chandeliers, ornate woodwork and elaborate wrought-ironwork.
In addition, multiple murals by artist Ernest Pexiotto decorate the Grand Gallery.
The grand estate passed through a few different hands in the 1940s and ‘50s before being donated in 1962 to the American Red Cross.
In selling the home, the organization vowed to find a buyer who’d appreciate its historical significance. After nearly a year of showcasing the property, they found that Feinstein fit the bill.
“He’s restored, to my knowledge, three other properties, and I was lucky enough to see the one he did in Los Angeles,” said Gretchen Seager, one of the listing agents. “The work he did there was period-perfect. The minute I saw it, I knew he was the right choice.”
Seager noted that the original owners, John and Mildred Cravens, never had children but kept 32 servants. Consequently, the home is laid out as a master suite with an abundance of servants’ rooms.
“Feinstein will do a nice job bringing the interior up to speed for the way modern families live,” Seager said.
The mansion was originally listed for $10.5 million.
Seager and Josie Tong of Sotheby’s International Realty were co-listing agents. Due to Tong’s longtime support of the Red Cross, the pair decided to donate all their commissions and marketing expenses to the organization.
Feinstein, 61, has made a successful career as the ambassador of the Great American Songbook, a collection of pop and jazz songs from the early 20th century. He’s been nominated for five Grammy awards, and he was named the principal conductor for the Pasadena Symphony and Pops in 2012.
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