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Courtesy of: Matthew Berkley, Deasy/Penner & Partners
Frederick Roehrig, Architect, The Andrew McNally Estate, 1888. No expense was spared for Andrew McNally's three-story Altadena mansion. The great map maker used his expansive estate as his own personal calling card for those shivering in the Midwest or along the eastern seaboard, beckoning them to the luxe life available only in Southern California. His home embodied the bounty of the San Gabriel Mountains, palm trees and deodar cedars, citrus and olive trees, broad green lawns and sunshine. Even a large aviary for exotic birds to match the colorful arrays of flowers McNally planted throughout the then twelve-acre estate. While there is less land today, the distinctive blue-shingled estate still presides over the valley below, with views out to Catalina Island. Adjectives to describe McNally's nearly seven thousand square-foot house are not those we might use for contemporary architecture. Modesty doesn't work here either. Rather, words such as grand, exotic, eccentric, fit like a glove. Every element of this twenty-two room, nine-bedroom, seven-fireplace, and five-bathroom estate is yet another example of rich original detail. Nearly all of its nineteenth-century features remain intact.