An Over-the-Top Estate in Los Angeles—With Six Fireplaces, a Tiki Bar, and Its Own Art Museum—Just Came on the Market for a Modest $38.5 Million

The asking price includes the art museum, but alas, not the art.

Front view of the Knoll House in Pasadena, Calif. Courtesy of Ernie Carswell & Associates.

The Knoll House is hitting the market. This historic—and, frankly, epic—compound sits in a private cul-de-sac in Pasadena and dates to 1917, when it was built for heiress, art collector, and philanthropist Virginia Steele Scott. According to the three-party listing, the asking price is $38.5 million.

At the time of its construction, Virginia Steele Scott commissioned prominent architect Myron Hunt to design the residence. Later, she tapped Gordon Kaufmann to complete a significant expansion. Between them, Hunt and Kaufmann are celebrated for envisioning some of the most significant architectural landmarks in Southern California, including the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Palladium, Rose Bowl, the original Los Angeles Times building, and nearby Huntington Library. Kaufmann is also famed for his work on the Hoover Dam in the 1930s.

The separate art museum of the Knoll House. Courtesy of Ernie Caswell & Associates.

The separate art museum of the Knoll House. Courtesy of Ernie Carswell & Associates.

The estate, which takes its name from its address, 2 Oak Knoll Terrace, comprises two recently renovated structures: a two-story residence and a three-story entertainment space. The 21,000-square-foot entertainment space—designed by modernist architects Ladd & Kelsey in the 1970s—holds a gym, catering kitchen, guest apartment, arcade, 50-person cinema, and even its own tiki bar.

Most importantly, though, it incorporates its own art museum. It is here that Virginia Steele Scott’s extensive collection of American art from the colonial period through the mid-20th century was housed. Don’t get too excited, though: Many of those works were donated to the Huntington Library in 1979. 

The Knoll House's library. Courtesy of Ernie Caswell & Associates.

The Knoll House’s library. Courtesy of Ernie Carswell & Associates.

Still, the 12,300-square-foot main house has plenty to keep you occupied, with its six bedrooms, twelve bathrooms, six fireplaces, a library with a speakeasy pub, and a 2,700-square-foot basement with a refrigerated wine room and vault. The grounds, all two and a half acres, boast a swimming pool and spa, an outdoor kitchen, and a putting green.

This is the only known estate in the country consisting of a fully restored historic home combined with a commercial-grade art museum. Current zoning laws in the area would not permit the construction of a new trophy estate of this size.


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