Real Estate

Looking for a magnate's mansion? Check these out

Looking for a magnate's mansion? Check these out

John Woodsworth | E+ | Getty Images

Business tycoons and giants of industry don't just affect the economy, commerce, transportation and technology of their eras. By virtue of building a mansion or two in which to reside, perhaps a country "cottage," and commissioning homes to bestow upon the kids, they also impact architecture and development.

Recently, an estate from the clan of oil baron Edward Doheny went on the market for the first time. A number of others with ties to magnates are on the market as well (or in one case, recently sold). The collection that follows features homes with histories—tales of rags to riches and Rockefellers and fortunes and heirs.

—By Colleen Kane, Special to
Posted 14 March 2014


Image source:

Location: Del Mar, Calif.

Price: $22.9 million

Bedrooms: Six

Bathrooms: Seven full, three half

Square footage: 10,209

The Canfield-Wright House, also known as Wrightland and The Pink Lady, was built for oil tycoon Charles A. Canfield, who drilled LA's first gusher oil well in 1892 with partner Edward Doheny. Through his real estate venture South Coast Land Co., Canfield helped to develop Beverly Hills and Del Mar.

The Mission Revival-style building was built in 1910 and designed by architect John C. Austin, whose other credits include the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles City Hall and the Griffith Observatory. It has ocean views, Cuban mahogany paneling, and copper inlaid box-beam detailing, among many special features. But in 2002 it had fallen on hard times as a rental and was painted bright pink, earning its nickname The Pink Lady, and faced demolition. A new owner stepped in to save and restore the home, and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.


Location: North Salem, N.Y.

Price: $18.5 million

Bedrooms: Seven

Bathrooms: Seven full, two half

Square footage: 9,000

Northshire was built in 1934 for Richard W. Woolworth, son of Charles Sumner Woolworth, the five-and-dime store chain founder and chairman of F. W. Woolworth Co.

The elegant estate on 26 acres was designed in the style of an English country manor by Mott Schmidt, who also created country homes for the Rockefellers. The home underwent a five-year restoration, retaining its traditional look, excepting the former greenhouse, which has been transformed to a heated enclosed pool.


The Doheny Estate
Image source: Mark Singer & Simon Berlyn

Location: Bel Air, Calif.

Price: $43 million

Bedrooms: Eight

Bathrooms: 14

Square footage: 10,000

This estate in the East Gate of old Bel-Air, built in 1963 for William H. Doheny, grandson of Union Oil baron Edward Doheny, is on the market for the first time. Its $43 million asking price places it in the top 10 most expensive homes currently listed with the Multiple Listing Service Los Angeles County.

The Hollywood Regency mansion with city and ocean views has a long gated driveway ensuring privacy as well as parking for 20 cars. Edward Doheny's own Beverly Hills compound was also on the market several years ago for $28.5 million.


Image source: Barbara Cleary's Realty Guild

Location: Newport, Ky.

Price: N/A

Bedrooms: N/A

Bathrooms: Seven full, two half

Square footage: N/A

Beer barons commissioned a great many grand residences throughout the country, including Wiedemann Hill House, once belonging to the founder of George Wiedemann Brewing Co.

The mansion overlooks Cincinnati, where its architect designed the City Hall, Workhouse, Findlay Market and Wiedemann's own brewery. It was a private residence for more than 100 years and is now rented out for weddings and other events.


Image source:

Location: Glen Cove, N.Y.

Price: $4.8 million (with six acres of land) $2.9 million (2.15 acres)

Bedrooms: Seven

Bathrooms: Six full, one half

Square Footage: 6,895

This Georgian style clapboard house is one of multiple country homes on Long Island's Gold Coast property with ties to Standard Oil co-founder, and founder of the Pratt Institute, Charles Pratt.

The house was built for Charles' daughter Lydia for her 1890 marriage to philanthropist Frank Lusk Babbott. Charles Pratt's six sons and two daughters each built estates in Glen Cove on the more than 1,000 acres purchased by their father. Two other Pratt legacy homes have been on the market recently as well.


Location: Bedford Corners, N.Y.

Price: $3.35 million

Bedrooms: Five

Bathrooms: Six full, one half

Square Footage: 5,004

This estate is built on land once owned by Diamond Jim Brady, the Gilded Age rags-to-riches story who rose to success in the railroad industry and later became a noted philanthropist.

Built in 1930, the brick country estate features hand-painted wall covering, diverse flora and gardens, and a mahogany and cypress Japanese teahouse at the pool with a Viking kitchen.

As an additional claim to fame, scenes were filmed at this house for the 1954 film "Sabrina," starring Audrey Hepburn.


Image source:

Location: Borrego Springs, Calif.

Price: $1.895 million

Bedrooms: Four

Bathrooms: Three

Square Footage: 4,526

R. Stanton Avery founder of Avery Dennison Corp., makers of Avery labels, was a self-made multimillionaire, rising from such poverty that he lived in a chicken coop while attending college, before turning a borrowed $100 into his multibillion-dollar business. This house belonged to his son Dennis Avery, who was a philanthropist, and he commissioned more than 120 sculptures of dinosaurs and other creatures to place around Borrego Springs, which became a tourist attraction.

This adobe ranch house sits on 20 desert acres and features a guest house, exposed beam ceilings and brick floors throughout.


Location: Ludington, Mich.

Price: $625,000

Bedrooms: Five

Bathrooms: Four full, one half

Square Footage: 5,870

This home was built by the Hobarts, whose company The Hobart Corp. introduced KitchenAid stand mixers in 1918. It's not the Gold Coast, but it's got almost 200 feet of frontage on Lake Michigan.

This contemporary (as of its 1975 origin) has a kidney-shaped pool for the warm weather and steep rooflines to accommodate the snowy Michigan winters. The whole top floor is a master suite with a balcony overlooking the lake.

UPDATED: This story was updated to show the prices for the Pratt mansion.