Landmark 1924 villa in Ambassador Gardens is one of three remaining historic manors
A lavish two-story Italian Revival villa, among the last of the mansions that once overlooked Terrace Drive on Millionaire’s Row in Pasadena, has been listed for $4,800,000. Sequestered atop a knoll 600 feet from the street at 160 South Orange Grove Avenue, the 8,000 square foot residence is sited across the avenue near the Tournament of Roses headquarters. It commands sweeping views across what was once the Ambassador College campus, overlooking the vast, nearly two-acre Great Lawn all the way to the San Gabriel Mountains. The mansion is listed by Sarah Rogers and Luis Segura of John Aaroe Group.
Designated a historic landmark in 2012 with Mills Act property tax status, the villa is now part of Ambassador Gardens, a residential community that has preserved much of the area’s rich history. Centrally located near Old Pasadena and the Rose Parade route, it’s well-positioned to enter its next century in gracious style.
Flanked by the equally grand Mayfair and Merritt mansions, the villa was built by retired Chicago judge Stillman B. Jamieson and designed by noted California architect Walter C. Folland. During its years as part of Ambassador College, it and other mansions on the property were restored to preserve their lavish period features. Now the residence is undergoing an extensive transformation that will superbly prepare it for both modern living and formal entertaining. New amenities will include a 900+ bottle wine cellar, game room, media room, maid’s quarters and secure entry four-car underground garage. It will also have access to the Ambassador Gardens community pool.
The villa has two grand entrances, with the main entrance facing the two-acre Great Lawn that replaced Terrace Drive during the Ambassador period. The upper walls are edged in delicately painted vine-like friezes and garlands. Period elements include scrolled wood roof brackets, prominent entry bays with classical detailing, arched openings, balconies, and terraces.
The grounds are filled with mature specimen trees, including two massive fig trees as old as the home itself. They also retain key features of the noted campus landscape design by landscape architect Garret Eckbo. The elaborate interior is highlighted by arched view windows; beautiful moldings and ceiling trims; multiple chandeliers; a spectacular curved staircase; original hardwood, marble and tile floors; and lavish use of decorative wrought iron. See more at 160 South Orange Grove Avenue web page.