Financier Robert Day’s Lavish Los Angeles Mansion Lists for $150 Million

Financier Robert Day’s Lavish Los Angeles Mansion Lists for $150 Million

  • Wall Street Journal
  • 05/2/24

A Los Angeles estate long owned by the late oil heir and businessman Robert Day is coming on the market for $150 million. If it fetches that price, it would be among the country’s most expensive homes ever sold.

Known as Villa dei Fiori, or Villa of Flowers, the gated, roughly 3.3-acre Bel Air estate has views of Downtown Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean and the San Gabriel mountains, according to listing agents Linda May and Drew Fenton of Carolwood Estates. Built in the 1970s, the main house spans nearly 15,000 square feet with five bedrooms, the agents said, and there are two guesthouses.

Day purchased the house in 1995 for $7.4 million and renovated and expanded it, the agents said. 

Day was the grandson of William Myron Keck, the founder of Superior Oil Company. Day started his own empire, Trust Company of the West, in the early 1970s. Societe Generale acquired a controlling stake in the company, then named TCW Group, in 2001 for about $880 million. Day died in September 2023.

The interiors of Villa dei Fiori look like a throwback to the Gilded Age. A dramatic two-story entry rotunda has a skylight and chandelier. In the formal living room there are wood-carved doorways, an ornamental plaster ceiling and an antique gold-leaf mantelpiece. A library has an 18th-century chandelier and an intricate ceiling. The formal dining room has a coffered ceiling with a porcelain chandelier and walls clad in 18th-century French wallpaper. There is a large covered terrace with an adjacent outdoor dining room, as well as a home office, a wine cellar, a screening room with a fireplace and a lounge with a built-in bar.

Outside, the grounds contain a croquet lawn, an orchid hot house, an indoor plant nursery and an Argentine padel court, a variation on a regular padel court. There are extensive gardens, including a formal rose garden, a small lake and a waterfall, according to the listing agents. 

After buying the property, Day added the padel court and viewing platform, as well as the guesthouses. Renovations were so extensive that he lived in a rental property for several years while they were going on, the agents said. 

Countless dinners, fundraisers and events were held at the home, with notable guests including former President George W. Bush and former presidential adviser Henry Kissinger, according to a statement from his wife, Marlyn Day. Her husband loved padel and hosted mixed-doubles matches several times a week, she said.

“Robert and I had a significant lifestyle in this remarkable home together. We entertained constantly and we were the hub for many things going on in our city,” she said. “With his absence, I feel compelled to embark on a new chapter, desiring to shift my lifestyle and pass on this magnificent estate for its next illustrious owner’s chapter.”

Nine-figure deals have surged in recent years in New York, Los Angeles and Palm Beach. The Day property is located close to the iconic Hotel Bel-Air and across the street from the Chartwell estate, which sold for $150 million in 2019 to Lachlan Murdoch. Murdoch is chairman of News Corp, which owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal.


Linda May & Drew Fenton Represent the Listing

Story Courtesy of Wall Street Journal

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