To the buyer who wants plentiful sleeping accommodations, we must recommend this 10-bedroom Tudor known as the Raphael House.
But before you drift off to slumber, let’s tell a little story.
Back in 1903, Robert H. Raphael was able to buy the 12,000-square-foot lot for $10—with the caveat that he build at least a 4,000-square-foot luxury home on it.
Almost 120 years later, the lovely 4,310-square-foot home on historic Alvarado Terrace is on the market for $1,995,000. It’s located in a stately enclave of early 19th-century homes in the heart of Los Angeles.
Raphael, who made his fortune in the glass business, would be pleased that the home he built for about $16,000 has appreciated in an enormous way over the decades.
He’d also be pleased to know that much of the original work in the residence is still intact, including beveled glasswork both inside and out.
Raphael hired architects Sumner Hunt and Wesley Eager, whose projects included the Raymond Hotel in Pasadena and the Automobile Club building at Figueroa and West Adams in Los Angeles. They were tasked with building a mansion that featured everything wealthy patrons of the day needed, including a ballroom and a large number of bedrooms.
“People built their houses differently back then,” says listing agent William Baker of The Agency. Baker specializes in historic and architecturally significant homes.
“Now homes have wide-open spaces,” adds Baker. “But back then, they built homes with many smaller rooms and a few grand ones.”
Some of the home’s smaller rooms even featured fireplaces, he says. “The house has five fireplaces, all of them original.”
Much of the original tiger oak and Philippine mahogany paneling still remains in the staircase, walls, and built-in benches.
The kitchen and butler’s pantry also have many original features, some of which a buyer might prefer to update.
The outdoor spaces are simply divine thanks to gardens and mature trees. Baker notes that the fig tree—likely in place since the home’s inception—still bears an extraordinary amount of fruit.
At one point in its history, the home served as a bed-and-breakfast. Baker says it could take on that function again. The location is close to the University of Southern California, making a potential B&B ideal for parents and others when they visit.
But with a number of large production studios nearby the home, buyers might have other ideas, he adds. “The people who gravitate toward it are architects and people considering it for workspace.”
This home and the six others on the street were designated as Cultural Historical Monuments in 1971, which gives homeowners significant tax advantages without the restrictions some other designations require.