Spanish Colonial Revival masterpiece with spectacular views
A John W. Byers-designed landmark architectural estate in La Cañada Flintridge known as Casa de las Puertas, or House of Doors, has come on the market at $8,595,000. The romantic Spanish Colonial Revival home was named for its array of custom-designed wood-carved, leather tufted and metal-clad doors. Set at 717 Hillcrest Avenue in the heart of La Cañada Flintridge, the fully fenced and gated property occupies a private two-acre compound with breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains, valley, and city lights. It includes a 9,032 square foot main house and a detached 1,633 square foot guest casita and an expansive “writer’s retreat” superbly suited for private meetings. 

The villa was built in 1927 by renowned architect John Winford Byers as the winter home of Michigan lumber magnates the Hunter Savidge Robbins family. Byers was a leading expert on adobe construction and its influence on California architecture, and the home reflects that passion in every aspect. His meticulous attention to detail even extended to the founding of the John Byers Mexican Handmade Tile Company, which employed Mexican artisans to create roofing and floor tiles and adobe bricks adapted to contemporary construction standards. Byers’ many celebrity clients included Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg, Shirley Temple, Joel McCrea, King Vidor and J. Paul Getty. 

Featured as the 2012 Pasadena Showcase House of Design, the seven-bedroom, seven-bath home features grand yet inviting rooms with beamed ceilings, terra cotta and hardwood floors, large chimney-style fireplaces, lavishly carved and hand-painted doors, arched doorways, and an astonishing collection of handmade decorative tiles. Everywhere, French doors open to beautiful patios and grounds, while upper level balconies offer glorious mountain vistas. Every detail of this treasure, including all windows and original hardware, has been meticulously restored. The home has also been fully equipped with today’s amenities, including an open gourmet kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, a house-wide sound system, Lutron lighting and state-of-the-art security system.  

The manicured 2.1-acre grounds are reminiscent of a private park, filled with winding pathways, waterfalls, charming sitting areas and expansive rose gardens. Highlights include an inviting saltwater pool/spa with outdoor cabaña and grill, a lighted sport court, and a working greenhouse where all succulents and plants for the property are cultivated.

This is an unprecedented opportunity to own an enchanting and architecturally significant California masterpiece.

717 Hillcrest Avenue is offered at $8,595,000 by Laura Brandt.

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