The director Anthony Russo has relisted what many consider to be a superhero on the Pasadena, CA, architectural scene. On the market for $6 million, the Culbertson House is the last Greene and Greene residential commission that the legendary brothers Charles and Henry Greene worked on together.
The home was built in 1911 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Russo purchased it at the end of 2018 for $5.9 million.
He put it back on the market for $6.25 million in September 2020, not long after he’d paid $15.58 million for yet another famous Pasadena property: Arden Villa, the Palladian mansion with the lilypond where the famous catfight between Crystal and Alexis was filmed for the TV show “Dynasty.”
Not even a director of Russo’s stature needs two architecturally significant homes, and so the smaller—but not small—mansion is now on the market.
The manse was a bit of a diversion for the Greene Brothers, most famous for their gracious Craftsman mansions. The famous Gamble House, also in Pasadena, is the most iconic example of their work.
The Culbertson House is an interesting blend of Asian and Italian architectural inspiration. The dark green, tiled roof with red accents is a nod to Asian style, and the ballroom loggia and garden are reminiscent of an Italian villa.
The 8,559-square-foot home appears to be a rare one-story structure in the prestigious Oak Knoll district of Pasadena. However, the home is actually two stories, an effect the Greene Brothers achieved by gracefully fitting the lower level into the side of a small canyon.
Luxe design features include numerous casement windows and French doors, herringbone-patterned wood floors, terra-cotta tile floors, and two grand fireplaces, as well as thick plaster walls with unique, ornate moldings.
There are six bedrooms and seven bathrooms all told, including full guest accommodations, once used as servants’ quarters.
Interior highlights include a grand ballroom, plus a respectfully modernized kitchen with a large central island and butler’s pantry. The primary suite offers a sunporch sitting room area, as well as a spacious marble bathroom and wood-paneled walk-in closet.
However, the exterior highlights are hard to top. They’re anchored by a verdant U-shaped courtyard and a garden featuring one of the oldest and rarest white wisteria vines in the state of California. A colorful tiled octagonal fountain flows in the center.
The home has been featured in numerous books, magazines, and newspaper articles, and is a fixture on the annual Pasadena Heritage tour.
Russo, 51, and his brother Joseph Russo, 49, directed one of the highest-grossing films of all time, “Avengers: Endgame.” They’re also responsible for other Marvel hits, including “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and “Captain America: Civil War.”
The brothers got their start in television, working on hit series like “Arrested Development” and “Community.” They are currently filming “Gray Man,” teaming Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.