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Canfield-Wright house escapes razing

Del Mar’s historic Canfield-Wright house survived a developer bent on razing it.
Del Mar’s historic Canfield-Wright house survived a developer bent on razing it.

420 Avenida Primavera | Del Mar, 92014

Current Owner: Douglas O. Allred

Listing Price: $22,900,000

Beds: 6

Baths: 10

The Canfield-Wright House, a 101-year-old mansion named after its first owner, oil tycoon Charles Canfield, sits on a Del Mar hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Also known as the Pink Lady, the historically designated property at 420 Avenida Primavera has six bedrooms and ten bathrooms spread across its 10,200 square feet of living space.

The home was originally designed and built in 1911 and 1912 by famed Los Angeles architect John C. Austin, responsible for such projects as the Los Angeles City Hall and Griffith Observatory. Per the listing office, the home “offers the grandeur of the Mission-style architecture of yesteryear with its high ceilings, wood floors,” as well as “welcoming fireplaces throughout, quarter sawn oak flooring, Cuban mahogany paneling,” and a “billiards room with copper inlaid box beam detail.”

Billiards room.

In 2002 a developer brought forth a plan to raze the estate and build a new home in a more modern style. Local preservationist group Save Our Heritage Organisation stepped in to protest and, several months later, local developer Bill Davidson agreed to purchase the property and have it restored, with the property ending up on the National Register of Historic Places.

Another noted local architect, Douglas Marshfield, oversaw the renovation of the property, which now includes such modern amenities as a full media room, four-zone radiant heating system, a gym with steam shower and sauna, an integrated whole-house music system, commercial elevator, and temperature-controlled wine cellar.

Folding doors open up the back wall downstairs to the patio and outdoor entertainment area, with a pool and spa, lounging and dining areas, and an outdoor kitchen with granite slab counters. The rest of the landscaped lot, nearly an acre in size, includes grassy lawns, a fruit orchard, and raised-bed organic gardens.

Canfield, who had intended the Del Mar estate to be a second home, sold it after just a few years to the Wright family (Wikipedia refers to Wrightland as a third alternative name for the property). Canfield would go on to develop the communities that would eventually become Beverly Hills and the city of Del Mar itself through his South Coast Land Company.

Map

420 Avenida Primavera

420 Avenida Primavera

After passing through several owners (one of whom was operating the property as a rental in the late 1990s), the house was acquired by Davidson in 2002. He spent the next several years completing renovations before selling it to another real estate developer, Douglas O. Allred, for $12,500,000 in 2007. Allred appears to have paid cash for the property.

The property was quickly relisted at an asking price of $19,950,000, though attempts to market the property from July 2008 to August 2010 were ultimately fruitless. It was listed again earlier this month with an asking price of $22,900,000.

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Del Mar’s historic Canfield-Wright house survived a developer bent on razing it.
Del Mar’s historic Canfield-Wright house survived a developer bent on razing it.

420 Avenida Primavera | Del Mar, 92014

Current Owner: Douglas O. Allred

Listing Price: $22,900,000

Beds: 6

Baths: 10

The Canfield-Wright House, a 101-year-old mansion named after its first owner, oil tycoon Charles Canfield, sits on a Del Mar hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Also known as the Pink Lady, the historically designated property at 420 Avenida Primavera has six bedrooms and ten bathrooms spread across its 10,200 square feet of living space.

The home was originally designed and built in 1911 and 1912 by famed Los Angeles architect John C. Austin, responsible for such projects as the Los Angeles City Hall and Griffith Observatory. Per the listing office, the home “offers the grandeur of the Mission-style architecture of yesteryear with its high ceilings, wood floors,” as well as “welcoming fireplaces throughout, quarter sawn oak flooring, Cuban mahogany paneling,” and a “billiards room with copper inlaid box beam detail.”

Billiards room.

In 2002 a developer brought forth a plan to raze the estate and build a new home in a more modern style. Local preservationist group Save Our Heritage Organisation stepped in to protest and, several months later, local developer Bill Davidson agreed to purchase the property and have it restored, with the property ending up on the National Register of Historic Places.

Another noted local architect, Douglas Marshfield, oversaw the renovation of the property, which now includes such modern amenities as a full media room, four-zone radiant heating system, a gym with steam shower and sauna, an integrated whole-house music system, commercial elevator, and temperature-controlled wine cellar.

Folding doors open up the back wall downstairs to the patio and outdoor entertainment area, with a pool and spa, lounging and dining areas, and an outdoor kitchen with granite slab counters. The rest of the landscaped lot, nearly an acre in size, includes grassy lawns, a fruit orchard, and raised-bed organic gardens.

Canfield, who had intended the Del Mar estate to be a second home, sold it after just a few years to the Wright family (Wikipedia refers to Wrightland as a third alternative name for the property). Canfield would go on to develop the communities that would eventually become Beverly Hills and the city of Del Mar itself through his South Coast Land Company.

Map

420 Avenida Primavera

420 Avenida Primavera

After passing through several owners (one of whom was operating the property as a rental in the late 1990s), the house was acquired by Davidson in 2002. He spent the next several years completing renovations before selling it to another real estate developer, Douglas O. Allred, for $12,500,000 in 2007. Allred appears to have paid cash for the property.

The property was quickly relisted at an asking price of $19,950,000, though attempts to market the property from July 2008 to August 2010 were ultimately fruitless. It was listed again earlier this month with an asking price of $22,900,000.

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Comments
2

OK, so this now mega-mansion is now priced at over $20 million. And it escaped being torn down and replaced. But is it at all the house it once was? Mention of "such modern amenities as a full media room, four-zone radiant heating system, a gym with steam shower and sauna, an integrated whole-house music system, commercial elevator, and temperature-controlled wine cellar" all suggest that it not the house that was built, but perhaps some kind of caricature of the original as it looked a century ago. The outside may, in part, be that of the original house, but that's as far as it goes, I'd guess. But that's better than having it gone forever.

Nov. 27, 2013

I can't imagine anyone (besides the The Adams Family or The Munsters) wanting to live in a century-old house without modern amenities!

Nov. 27, 2013

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