A Masterpiece of History and Vintage Technology: Villa Carlotta Stands in Timeless Elegance

In charming Altadena, a stunning estate blends old-world charm with the cutting-edge innovations of its era
Published on May 31, 2024

In the early 1900s, renowned architect Myron Hunt embarked on a journey to bring the formal home into the countryside. As a result of his vision, the magnificent Villa Carlotta now stands listed on the National Register of Historic Places, recognized for its local significance in Altadena. This stunning estate, commissioned by prominent businessman and telephone pioneer F.R. Welles, exudes a timeless beauty and serene elegance.

What sets Villa Carlotta apart is not just its architectural splendor, but also the then cutting-edge technology that was incorporated into its design at the turn of the last century. Hunt and Welles installed all the smart home features of yesteryear, creating a residence that was truly ahead of its time. From the seven original Bell phones with an intercom system in each bedroom to the central vacuuming system and gravity furnaces, Villa Carlotta stands as a testament to the ingenuity of its creators.

The estate, located at 234 E Mendocino St. and is currently listed for $5.688 million, boasts an array of technological marvels. F.R. Welles, who worked alongside Alexander Graham Bell to bring telephones to Europe, ensured that his home was equipped with the latest advancements. The “accentuator system,” an intercom network connecting the seven original Bell phones throughout the house, allowed household staff to notify the family when meals were served.

One of the most intriguing features of Villa Carlotta is the “sleeping porch,” where the family could enjoy breakfast in privacy, away from the household staff. The attention to detail and the incorporation of such innovative amenities showcase the forward-thinking approach of Hunt and Welles in creating a home that catered to the needs and comforts of its occupants.

The Mission Revival-style architecture, characterized by its warm gray stucco exterior, river rock boulders, and green Mediterranean roof tiles, seamlessly blends the indoors with the surrounding lush gardens. Large, single-paned windows trimmed in green connect the house and garden, creating an almost intertwined relationship between the interior and exterior spaces.

Villa Carlotta’s preservation of its original charm and allure is a testament to the meticulous care it has received over the years. The 7,000-square-foot home retains its aged patina and authenticity, which would undoubtedly make Myron Hunt proud. The estate lends itself to various functions, from social gatherings and musical performances to serving as a popular film location.

As one of the first homes in Altadena to have electricity included in its original plans, Villa Carlotta stands as a pioneer in the integration of technology and design. The main panel at the entryway controls 12 large gravity furnaces in the basement, while push-button light switches, still operational, add to the home’s charm.

The property, represented by agents Scott James and Christian Stillmark of Douglas Elliman, offers a rare opportunity to own a piece of history that seamlessly blends architectural magnificence with the comforts and innovations of its time. Villa Carlotta promises to leave a lasting impression on all who have the pleasure of experiencing its timeless beauty.

Main Properties:

Bedroom(s): 7
Bathroom(s): 5
Square Feet: 7,000 sq.ft.
Lot Size: 0.59 acres

Offered at $5,688,888

For a Virtual Tour of the property, visit www.elliman.com/newyorkcity/sales/detail/512-l-646-83_pf24099864/234-e-mendocino-street-altadena-ca-91001.

For more information contact:

Scott James
Douglas Elliman
DRE #: 01911554
O: 626.204.5252
M: 626.327.1836

Christian Stillmark
Douglas Elliman
DRE #: 01920024
O: 626.204.5252
M: 626.319.6927



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