Above are pictures of each property. Below are details.
“Red Skelton's Horse Ranch”
In the old days, many entertainers could do it all — singing, dancing, acting and comedy — such as Red Skelton. With a career spanning more than 70 years, Red began working at the age of seven in order to help support his family. His father, a clown with the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, had died before he was born leaving the family destitute.
From selling newspapers and other odd jobs to eventual minstrel shows to a showboat, to stock theater to burlesque and the circus where his father had performed as a clown, Skelton never slowed down. When working for a traveling medicine show, his accidental falling off the stage made people laugh so hard it was incorporated into the show, and it was then that he knew what he wanted to do more than anything else - make people laugh. He moved on to Vaudeville and from there parlayed his talent into radio, television and film. Today, some are still familiar with 'The Red Skelton Show,' which ran for 672 episodes and won the 1959 Golden Globe for Best TV Show. He also found his footing as an actor appearing in such classics as the 'Dr. Kildare' medical dramas, 'Ziegfeld Follies,' 'Ship Ahoy' and a multitude of others.
A man of many talents and achievements, Skelton was a creative genius who excelled in writing stories, publishing six books. As an artist painting clowns, he made more money from the sale of his paintings, prints and lithographs than he did in television.
Red Skelton also loved horses. So much so that he owned a 600-acre horse ranch in the Anza Valley of Riverside, California. The ranch was laid out as a breeding operation and equipped for ease and function.
Surrounded by equestrian fencing, improvements include living arrangements of four houses of wood and stone and a three-studio bunk house. In addition to parking for at least 16 cars and various covered carports, there is a 10-car garage to peak the interest of collectors. The main house, surrounded by trees and green lawn, features a great room, vaulted ceilings, brick fireplaces, a sunny kitchen and rustic wood finishes. Overall there are eight bedrooms, eight baths and almost 10,000 square feet of living space for owners, family, guests and farm hands. Horse facilities include a warehouse, hay barns, equipment barns, stallion stable, indoor and outdoor riding arenas and facilities for visiting horses, ten wells, three sided walk-in shelters and multiple paddocks. The ranch is an ideal location to get away for privacy, quiet time, recreation, beautiful mountain views and still be close to Palm Springs and San Diego.
Master comedian and man of many talents, Red Skelton died in 1997 at age 84. His former horse ranch is now for sale, priced at $5.995 million. The listing agent is Star Evans of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Irvine, California.
LBJ's Texas Getaway Ranch
American presidents seem to have more than one thing in common: they need to get away and escape from the pressure. The ones from Texas have a penchant for ranches, the more cosmopolitan ones like to travel and the ones who come into the presidency with wealth of their own tend to seek out more elegant retreats - and it helps if you happen to own the best of them.
One week after the assassination of JFK, President Lyndon Johnson purchased an 800-acre Texas ranch outside of Johnson City. Even though his main home was a 330-acre ranch on the Pedernales River in central Texas, which he purchased from his aunt in 1951 while still a senator, his new ranch was intended as a getaway that would insulate him from the press and the pressures of Washington, D.C. His first ranch was where he met with political leaders and world dignitaries, but he laid down the law that there would be no work and no visitors invited to his newly acquired ranch.
Now for sale at $2.8 million by the artist and his family who currently own the farm, now downsized to 142 acres, the main three-bedroom home is on a hilltop with 360-degree views from its 1,800-foot elevation. The 2,840-square-foot house is finished in stone and cedar, multiple fireplaces and numerous terraces and porches for outdoor living and taking in the views. Other structures on the ranch include the former presidential airplane hangar which has been turned into a gallery and event venue and the original 1,140-square-foot ranch house from the LBJ years. The listing agent is Dave Murray of DMTX Realty in association with Coldwell Banker United, Austin, Texas.
Chicago Electric Substation Transformed To Beautiful Mansion
In the early days of architecture when labor and materials were relatively inexpensive, even city utility buildings were dressed in the latest architectural style. Today, new utility installations are bid out and the lowest bid accepted with little regard for the aesthetics of the installation but instead based on price and function alone. As the population increased so did the need for larger, more functional utilities, which needs rapidly outgrew the buildings in which they were formerly housed. The electrical substations today, made up of huge open coils, transformers, pipes and wiring on fenced-in concrete pads create a public eyesore in comparison to the lovely Art Deco era when they were encased inside building walls that were carefully decorated in the architectural style of the day, making them a welcome addition to their respective neighborhoods.
With the changing needs incurred by population growth, the original architect-designed utility buildings were left empty. Realizing the architectural value by developers, the cities began selling these now unwanted buildings to contractors, business owners and potential homeowners for repurposing. Such is the case with a former electric substation in downtown Chicago whose residential buyer turned the former 100-year-old Commonwealth Edison electrical substation into a contemporary mega mansion.
Now one of the city’s most expensive and glamorous homes for sale at $9.99 million, the 15,000-square-foot building is cutting-edge contemporary with its original Art Deco facade incorporated into the design. With wide open interior spaces, beautiful views and lots of sunlight, the six-bedroom, seven-bath home has light wells, terraces, atria, a large front lawn, swimming pool and patio. At over four stories, it has an elevator, a rooftop greenhouse, two kitchens, a fitness space, large wine cellar tasting room and a four-car garage. Located across the street from both Washington Square Park and the Newberry Library, it is only about six blocks from the Oak Street beach.
Visit TopTenRealEstateDeals.com for more historic, spectacular and celebrity homes and real estate news.