Though it was never officially on the market, Tatiana von Fürstenberg’s extravagant Palos Verdes Estates residence known as “Casa Felicia” has sold to the next-door neighbors for exactly $14 million, a notably large number for the area.
Records reveal the buyers are Edward and Marcia Dawson — founders of Social Vocational Services, a Torrance-based nonprofit that offers support programs for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities — who have long owned an adjacent property.
When combined with their estate on the same street, this purchase gives the Dawsons nearly 3 acres of prime South Bay land atop Malaga Cove, plus two homes — one a historic 1920s villa, and the other that they paid $1 million for in 1993 — with a total of seven bedrooms, 10 baths and almost 9,300 square feet of living space between them.
The $14 million estate was originally owned by landscape architect Frederick Olmsted Jr. — designer and planner of the Palos Verdes Peninsula — who received the land as a gift and then custom-built the Spanish-inspired mansion in collaboration with noted architect Myron Hunt. Von Fürstenberg — the daughter of famed fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg and stepdaughter of billionaire media mogul Barry Diller— paid $12 million for the place some seven years ago, back in summer 2016.
Tucked away behind a gated driveway and spacious brick courtyard bolstered by a tiered fountain, the two-story stucco and terracotta-roof structure is perched amid a 1.5-acre blufftop parcel overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Bay. Inside, four bedrooms and five baths are spread across a little more than 4,200 square feet boasting hand-carved doors, tile floors, plaster walls, vaulted ceilings and ornamental wood pillars throughout.
No recent photos are available, but older listing images from when the house was last for sale show ornate interiors highlighted by a fireside living room that opens to an expansive ocean-view terrace, along with a formal dining room topped by a skylight and decidedly dated kitchen sporting an accompanying window-lined breakfast nook. There’s also at least one bedroom with its own balcony.
Outdoors, the eucalyptus-laced grounds are spotlighted by 270 feet of ocean frontage, a lounging area with a built-in seating area and fire-pit, and grassy stone-walled event space called the “Coliseum” that’s served as the site of many weddings and family celebrations through the years.
In addition to her just-sold Palos Verdes Estates property, von Fürstenberg maintains a main residence in the Los Feliz neighborhood. As for the Dawsons, they also own a Doug Ewing-designed Pueblo Revival-style home in the San Gabriel Valley town of Sierra Madre.