big surOne of California’s best scenic drives is Highway 1 through Big Sur — and this week’s historical shelter is not only boasting a Highway 1 address, but it was built by one of the foundational members of the Big Sur community.

Back in the day, Big Sur was quite the hotbed of artistic talent, from sculptor Harry Dick Ross, to novelist Henry Miller, collage artist Jean Varda, painter Emil White, poet Robinson Jeffers, writer George Sterling, poet Eric Barker, painter Ephraim Doner, Jack Kerouac, and photographer Ansel Adams.

Big Sur’s pioneer era began sometime between 1821 and 1846 and ended in 1937, with the opening of Highway 1. In the years in between, families that still call Big Sur home today took root —  Pfeiffer, Bixby, Post, Trotter, Dani, Notley, Partington, and Harlan.

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Grapevine

A lot has changed since mobster Herbert “The Cat” Noble owned the land now home to a luxurious estate – including the fact that there is now a Lake Grapevine.

All that’s really left to remind anyone of the time Herbert “The Cat” Noble lived in North Texas is the stretch of land he bought up around 1941, before there was a Lake Grapevine, in southern Denton County. 

Suffice to say, Noble wouldn’t recognize the extravagant estate that sits there now, either. When he lived there, there were two cabins and a 280-acre farm, and no lake.  (more…)

Camp Woods Estate is surrounded by rich American history. Located in Ambler, Pennsylvania, the estate took its name from the adjacent 36-acre Camp Woods Land Preserve where General George Washington and his troops spent the fall of 1777 during the Revolutionary War. And the birthplace of America in Philadelphia’s Center City is only 16 miles north. (more…)

 

This magnificent historic estate has an abundance of star power all its own. Not only did famed actor, director, and producer Mel Gibson call it his Connecticut home for 15 years, its more than 75 landscaped acres is deemed to be the largest and most opulent landholding in Greenwich.

From a nature perspective, the grounds are a breathtaking fusion of orchards, flower gardens, lush lawns, a boxwood maze, and miles of trails as well as a spring-fed lake and dock. The English Park setting is further enhanced by sprawling flagstone terraces leading to a sparkling 60-feet swimming pool, lighted tennis court, stone pavilion, and outdoor chess set.

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One can only imagine how much musical history legendary composer Marvin Hamlisch made at this circa 1839 compound. But one thing is certain: the awe-inspiring 40-acre estate – bordered by lush meadows and wooded greenery – is ideally arranged for creativity.

From a visual standpoint, the reimagination of noted architect Paul Gleicher takes center stage. While his design scheme preserved the historic architecture of the 12,000-square-feet compound, interiors are a blend of 19th-century design elements and 21st-century luxury.

Converting Four Barns Farm to Hudson Valley Chic

Since four old barns were the only reminders of the property’s farming heritage, Gleicher converted the structures into functional buildings to complement today’s lifestyle, and he made them the centerpiece of the estate. In keeping with the barn motif, each building contains a stunning mix of oak paneling, exposed beams, and wide board floors. (more…)

virginia

If this 19th century Antebellum farmhouse doesn’t capture your senses, wait until you see the log cabin inside that predates the Revolutionary War.

Located at 21276 Alvarado Drive in Abingdon, Virginia, this 4,410-square-feet home on 3.68 acres is a striking blend of two eras in American history. Despite modern restorations and amenities that recent owners meticulously added over the years, the sprawling interior with three bedrooms, four baths, and multiple living areas maintains its rustic appeal and circa 1830 Colonial style. (more…)

Washington socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean obviously knew a treasure when she saw one. In addition to once owning this historic 7,715-square-feet gem, she was the last private owner of the Hope Diamond.

Located in Georgetown, Washington D.C., the totally reimagined mansion is a stunning mix of a 19th-century façade and a contemporary 21st-century interior designed by award-winning Shinberg Levinas Architects in 2006. Between an open and airy feel, marble flooring, and soaring ceilings in the gallery and living area, the home is ideal for entertaining dignitaries in the nation’s capitol city or a group of friends, family, or business associates.

Two-story double glass doors leading to the outdoor kitchen, sparkling pool area, lush courtyard, and sculpture garden also adds an alfresco component to any gathering or event.

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Harry Warner, a founder and the first president of Warner Bros., was a bigger-than-life figure in the Golden Years of Hollywood. One can only surmise that his bigger-than-lifestyle mansion in the heart of Beverly Hills was a prime fit with the film mogul’s persona.

Built in 1923, the glamorous Warner Estate features three gated entries and cobblestone drive surrounded by old growth trees, manicured gardens, a guesthouse, and tennis court as well as a pool and spa grotto. The sprawling 12,220-square-feet Tudor, which blends timeless architecture with modern opulence, contains six-bedroom suites, formal living and dining areas, a screening room, gym, and billiard room as well as a chef’s country kitchen, butler’s pantry, and porte-cochere.

In addition to vaulted and cathedral ceilings, marble and hardwood flooring, and four fireplaces, other main house features are an artist studio, library, and wet bar along with a three-car garage and golf cart garage.

The 1.14-acre estate likewise includes a fully equipped guesthouse with a kitchen, living room, bedroom, two bathrooms, a detached office, and garage.

Since the late 1920s – movie stars, U.S. Presidents, and Heads of State from around the world visited the historic Warner estate. (more…)