Ronald Reagan's Other Former White House For Sale

The mid-century abode where then-governor of California Ronald Reagan got the phone call that changed his life has been remodelled. It is now on the market for nearly US$30 million.
Text by MEI ANNE FOO • Ju;y 01, 2016

A shower door was among the mementos kept from the original 1956 residence built for Ronald Reagan.

Found in the bathroom of the new main house’s library, the seemingly insignificant item was carefully installed near a glossy plaque that reads: “On this spot, election night, November 4th, 1980, former California Governor Ronald Reagan was in the shower, his wife Nancy was taking a bath. The phone rang and Nancy answered. She handed the phone to her husband and, as water cascaded over him, he heard Jimmy Carter’s voice, ‘Mr Reagan? Congratulations. You’re president of the United States’.”

Over two decades before that historic moment, Reagan was a Hollywood star and the host of popular TV show General Electric Theater. When GE discovered that Reagan was building his family home, they offered to make it. The mid-century home located in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, was outfitted with luxuries unheard of at that time, such as an all-electric kitchen and built-in movie projector.

The Reagans stayed in the state-of-the-art abode, dubbed the GE General Showcase House, until the day they moved into the White House. It was put up for sale and sold in 1982.

Close to four years ago, the four-bedroom house came on the market. Ultimately, it was bought by boutique real-estate development company Jaman Properties, reportedly for above its asking price. The developers completely transformed the compound to house a six-bedroom Spanish Revival white-stucco mansion and separate one-bedroom guesthouse. Now called the Riviera White House, the property is currently on the market again, with a price tag of nearly US$30 million.

David Offer, from Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, says: “The new development tells a luxury lifestyle story through design by Jaman Properties, while paying homage to the Reagan history. The Riviera White House is a unique opportunity to own a piece of property in the secret celebrity neighbourhood of the upper Pacific Palisades.”

Set high on a hill along the Santa Monica Mountains, the Riviera White House has views of the mountains, city and ocean. Inside, the house features many updated amenities, including a cashmere-lined screening room; a new kitchen range custom-made in Florence by Italian manufacturer Officine Gullo; a powder room decorated with approximately 25,000 hand-applied peacock feathers; and a 2,000-bottle wine room.

The bar area in the living room was preserved and maintains its original design. There is a backyard that features a new heated salt-water pool with invisible glass-walled spa; and exterior kitchen with wrap-around bar, barbecue and pizza oven for outdoor amusement.

Sold to Jaman for more than US$5 million in 2013, the property at 1669 San Onofre Drive entered the market for US$33 million about a month ago. It has a current asking price at US$29.7 million.