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Location: Pasadena, California
When Alfred E. Freeman, a retired customs broker, and his wife Ethel commissioned designer and builder L. C. Bauer to craft this 5-bed, 6-bath villa in 1926, they were just doing what all northeasterners wish they could: forever escaping brutal winters. The first of two California houses the New England-born Alfred E. Freeman built before the Great Depression, this grand Mediterranean Revival number occupies a plot in the city's South Oak Knoll neighborhood, just north of the swanky Langham Huntington hotel.
The 5,915-square-foot house was built for a pretty penny—$30,000 in 1926 (or nearly $400,000 today)—and it shows: the $4,999,000 million asking price will get potential buyers lots of original details, like herringbone-wood and hexagonal-tile floors, a wood-paneled library, and a grand fireplace or two, according to the listing photos. And for anyone hoping to act out a nostalgia-fueled 1920s fantasy, a Prohibition-era hidden staircase in the house should be just the thing (though it is sadly too hidden, it seems, for photos). Out back, a landscaped terrace and pool bring the Jazz Age glitz outdoors so that you, too, can enjoy the idyllic weather the Freemans sought out for their golden years.