This lavish Rancho Palos Verdes estate, now on the market for the first time since its construction, is as pedigreed as Los Angeles residences get.
Known as Villa Narcissa, it was built in the 1920s by Frank and Narcissa Cox Vanderlip, who at that time owned 16,000 acres of land around the house, encompassing much of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Frank Vanderlip, a bank president and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, eventually planned and spearheaded development of that land—now divided between Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates. He was nicknamed the “Father of Palos Verdes.”
The 7,700-square-foot mansion is still owned by the Vanderlip family. It sits on more than 11 acres of land, with clear views stretching out to Catalina Island. Directly below it are the Portuguese Bend Riding Club and Lloyd Wright’s Wayfarer’s Chapel (established in the 1940s with the help of a donation from Narcissa Cox Vanderlip).
The home’s interior design is a testament to the Vanderlip family preference for classical art and architecture. An impressive living room features coffered ceilings, casement windows with heavy wood shutters, and a grand stone fireplace. The formal dining room has a fireplace of its own, along with dark wood floors and gilded sconces.
The Mediterranean-style residence has seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms, along with a library and a sauna. It’s surrounded by orderly hedges, sculptures, gazebos, and a huge brick patio overlooking the sea.
Located at 100 Vanderlip Drive, the house is part of a compound that’s long been rumored to be haunted. It’s not entirely clear, though, who the ghosts are. One “theory” holds that Narcissa Cox Vanderlip murdered her family with an axe before killing herself on the property. Unfortunately for ghost hunters, no murders have been reported in the house and Narcissa Cox Vanderlip died in New York in 1966.
The home at 100 Vanderlip Drive is asking $12.995 million.