There aren’t many places left today that feel truly magical. Imagine, for a moment, that Jay Gatsby is throwing a party at the Hearst Castle, and you can just begin to get a sense of what it’s like to walk into the grand ballroom at 19319 Calle Juanito.
The sheer opulence of this single story, 5 bedroom Roman Palazzo spanning nearly 11,000 sqft. is difficult to describe without sounding like a naive romantic. Thousands of pounds of imported, hand carved stone, extravagantly detailed in the art deco style, define the home’s core framework, while the interior is characterized by intricately carved wood inlay, paneling, cabinetry and wainscoting, along with a priceless collection of immaculate early 19th Century antiques and artifacts..
For an estate that only began construction in 2006, the story of 19319 Calle Juanito has been a long time in the making, as owner Jon Torrence explains:
“I quietly had my eye on this special place since shortly after the original construction began. It was just so far beyond anything you would expect to see in Southern California. The detail and scale along with the beautiful backdrop that only La Cresta offers makes this place just breathtaking.”
Through the great recession of the late 2000’s and two owners later, the estate remained unfinished, an immaculate, grandiose shell without a heart, and Torrence saw the challenge of a lifetime.
“I had always been so inspired by the architecture and vision for this estate. It spoke to me on a deeply personal level, and watching that vision sit unrealized for 10 years was heartbreaking. After the estate was placed in financial default for the second time in early 2016, I knew completing it was my destiny. When it was all said and done… with respect to the home’s original vision, yet adding my own artistry and vision in the process… I knew that this would be my life’s masterpiece.”
Torrence is a hardcore entrepreneur, historian and industry-recognized expert in the antique world. Among a literal book’s worth of feats, he’s known for his famed Torrence Collection, which features the rarest vintage automobiles, automobilia, antique coin-op & gambling machines, Americana and more. It is this type of artistry that Torrence brought to 19319 Calle Juanito.
“Functional art is my third love, right behind my children and my late Grandmother Dorothy. I’ve restored or owned nearly every rare vintage ‘dream car’ that’s ever been on my bucket list and am fortunate to have placed my DNA on some of the world’s rarest antiques, coin operated amusements and gambling machines. So when the stars aligned for me to purchase 19319 Calle Juanito, it was really the ultimate restoration project of functional art. Walking inside felt like the greatest of 18th Century architecture had somehow arrived in Southern California and just needed a bit more love, artistry, passion and determination to bring to life.”
While you don’t need to be a collector to appreciate the unparalleled brilliance of this Roman Palazzo, a collector’s eye will instantly identify the hand of a master collector and renovator at work throughout every inch of this sprawling 10,784 sqft. estate. The single story home features 5 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms with hand carved antique stone and wood fireplaces, statues, pillars and moldings imported from all over the world. This type and quality of interior does not exist anywhere else in California. The great room is a true sight to behold, with a massive, ornate mantelpiece made of hand carved, imported stone and an antique grand piano formerly owned by an iconic celebrity musician. An expansive kitchen features a huge granite island, La Cornue gas oven & range, and hand crafted wood cabinetry with a built-in refrigerator and flat screen TV. The master suite is an impressive 1,500 sqft. and offers private access to your 15 person jacuzzi, gym, walk in closet, laundry room and master bath, featuring an antique claw foot soaking tub made of hand carved stone. Next is a large, full service Gentleman’s Bar and lounge with stunning wood and stone accents, adjoining a roomy home theatre with 4K projection and premier sound. An exquisite library and magnificent office fit for Jay Gatsby himself round out the interior, featuring custom wood paneled ceilings, an antique fireplace and beautiful views of the pond.
The estate sits on 5 acres of flat, usable land and offers four unique, expansive porches with panoramic views across an Italian-esque landscape of vineyards, rolling hills, and lush gardens meandering around one of a kind fountains and pathways. There truly isn’t another estate like this in the entirety of Southern California. If it were located just an hour north, near the beaches of LA, this home would easily sell for $30 – $40 million, but nestled in the hidden gem region of La Cresta, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a modern day Roman palace at just $7.5 million. La Cresta is ideally suited as a Southern California retreat, located about an hour from both LA and San Diego, and is expected to continue to expand in value over the next 5 years. Removed from the noise and bustle of the nearby metropolitan areas, it’s a lush oasis of countryside carved in the valley of the Santa Ana Mountain range. While it has already attracted significant investment over the last decade, with numerous multi-million dollar estates peppered throughout the rolling hills, 19319 Calle Juanito is the definitive crown jewel of the region and now awaits its royal family.
“When I purchased this estate in 2016, I wasn’t sure if this would be my forever home or if destiny had brought me here to do my part in the fulfillment of a masterpiece for generations to enjoy. Now that it’s complete, I feel it’s time to deliver it on to a new owner who can fully appreciate and enjoy the incredible lifestyle the estate provides. It’s a bittersweet feeling, because I know I will never live in an estate like this for the rest of my life. But for me, the honor has always been in my personal journey of breathing new life into something of tremendous merit and rarity. That process is now complete. I’m not quite sure what’s ahead for me but these wonderful projects seem to find and weave their way into my life.”
Another 10,000 words wouldn’t even begin to do 19319 Calle Juanito the justice it deserves. It has to be experienced in person to truly understand its magnificence. To step through this foyer is to rekindle a sense of wonder. Come discover that fairy tales do, in fact, still exist.
Listed by: Tony & Krystle Giordano
Written by Jacob McMillen
Tony & Krystle Giordano