A true heritage estate is hard to come by in Southern California, where homes of a certain age are commonly knocked down rather than celebrated (and by “a certain age” we mean anything pre-millennium).

Thankfully, the desire to bulldoze escaped 1240 Benedict Canyon Drive, one of L.A.’s most pedigreed estates and also one of its most magnificent. Named for the philanthropist for whom The Harvey Mudd College in Claremont was named, this private and serene English country estate in Benedict Canyon has been home to a number of other famous names. It was its current owner who purchased the property in 2010 and set the home on its path of evolution. What exists today is a meticulous blending of the home’s original grandeur and legendary architect Elmer Grey’s extraordinary architectural detail with modern updates and state-of-the-art features.

The work of Grey, the renowned designer of “many noted landmarks in Southern California, including the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Huntington Art Gallery, the Pasadena Playhouse and Wattles Mansion,” said Wikipedia, remains throughout the home, with nods to his “new American architecture” with a focus on “harmony with nature” seen in features such as abundant windows that invite in greenery, patio areas each with its own special quality, an aviary and gardens, and private oases hidden away among an acre of beautiful grounds. The property also features a swimming pool.

Inside, the home’s distinctive qualities are evident right from the two-story entry, with its hand-carved wood staircase and artisan stained glass window. Beyond are a conservatory, a formal dining room, a library, a sunroom, a breakfast room, and a newly expanded and enhanced marble gourmet kitchen with an impressive center island.

Seven bedrooms and seven baths plus a guest studio are offered in nearly 11,000 square feet. The home also boasts newly renovated luxury bathrooms, a unique stone game room, a media room, and a wine cellar with tasting room, each showcasing a rare level of detail and unmatched quality.

1240 Benedict Canyon Drive is offered for $19,995,000 by Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

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