Tour the CA Mansion of Famed Map Maker Andrew McNally of Rand McNally
Map Your Way Through Andrew McNally’s Luxurious California Mansion
If you’ve ever leafed through your grandparents’ or parents’ mid-century maps or travel atlases, it’s likely that if you looked a little closer, you’d find the words “Rand McNally.” A mega company chaired by its one-time president Andrew McNally, Rand McNally flourished under McNally’s presidential leadership. In fact, the company’s “sales soared in the post-World War II years to $18.5 million in 1954 from $8.3 million in 1948.”
With such a profitable empire under his command, it only makes sense that he should live like a king. And when it comes to the Andrew McNally Estate, this certainly rings true. Built in 1888 for famed mapmaker Andrew McNally, this three-story Altadena mansion spares no expense. If you’ve ever doubted whether or not mapmaking has the potential to become a lucrative empire, this house answers that question.
So-Cal Luxury Living at Its Finest
Located in lush Altadena, California, this historic estate embodies the bounty of the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains. The estate is a snapshot of what early twentieth century Midwest hopefuls might have dreamed of when they pondered their prospects of discovering California wealth: sprawling land covered with palm trees and deodar cedars, orchards brimming with citrus and olive trees, and parties hosted atop broad green lawns.
When McNally first moved into the home, the estate boasted twelve acres of land colored with bright flowers, unparalleled views out to Catalina Island, and even a large aviary that housed exotic birds. Today, there may be less land, and the aviary is now well-stocked with plants, but the estate remains strikingly beautiful.
Step Inside McNally’s Stunning Queen Anne Home
Built in 1888, this home is a prime example of Queen Anne-style architecture. The ornate exterior, adorned by blue shingles, wrap-around porches, and castle-like turrets, is equally matched by the sense of opulence inside the home.
Upon entering the home’s foyer, you will admire the intricate, original wooden staircase and floral stenciling overhead on coved ceilings. Bright green fabric adds to the home’s exotic, vintage feel, giving you a taste of what’s to come as you continue touring the home.
More Rooms Than You Most Likely Need…
With twenty-two rooms, nine bedrooms, five bathrooms and seven fireplaces, the Andrew McNally estate is truly one of a kind. And with nearly all of its nineteenth-century features remaining intact, this home is a gateway to the past.
In the dining room, you can feast with plate- and glassware housed in ornate glass cabinets; in the parlor, you might host a soiree where guests can admire the sconces and ceramic details on the fireplace — every detail bears a hint of a bygone era.
But the best place where you can step back in time has to be the estate’s smoking room. Also known as the “Turkish Room,” this 1897 addition to the home is revered as “one of the most extraordinary rooms in California, if not the country,” according to architectural historian Barbara Lamprecht.
Lamprecht describes the details of the space: “Middle Eastern wood paneling and fabrics of persimmon-colored silks, low sofas and carpets, mix and swirl with wood fluting and carvings that are motifs typical of classical Western and Victoriana architectural detail.” This room alone is enough to make this home stand apart from other historic California homes!
Purchase a Piece of History at the Andrew McNally Estate
On the market for the first time in 65 years, this is a rare opportunity to purchase a piece of architecture from California’s famous designer, Frederick Roehrig, who is also the architect of Pasadena’s Castle Green.
Listed at just $3.79 million, this is a steal of a deal for a home that comes with a National Register of Historic Places title — and an aviary — in Southern California. Will you be the next owner of the Andrew McNally Estate?