USC presidential palace hits market for $25M

Cost-cutting led to decision on Seeley Mudd estate, on land donated by Gen. Patton, Henry Huntington

Los Angeles /
Feb.February 16, 2021 08:56 AM
The Seeley Mudd estate with Henry Huntington, General George Patton and USC president Carol Folt (Photos via Douglas Elliman, Wikipedia Commons, Getty, USC)
The Seeley Mudd estate with Henry Huntington, General George Patton and USC president Carol Folt (Photos via Douglas Elliman, Wikipedia Commons, Getty, USC)

The University of Southern California is cutting costs amid the pandemic, and one luxury it can do without appears to be its grand presidential mansion.

The school has listed for sale its 7-acre Seeley Mudd estate in San Marino for $24.5 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

For more than 40 years, the 13,000-square-foot mansion at 1550 Oak Grove Avenue that anchors the property served as the home of the school’s president. In August, USC paid $8.6 million for a home in Santa Monica, now the residence of its current president, Carol Folt.

Last year, the university lost revenue because of coronavirus restrictions and closures, according to the report. USC also froze hiring and cut Folt’s salary by 20 percent.

Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso, who is on the school’s board of trustees, said the estate was very expensive to maintain, and would cost around $20 million to update, the Times reported.

Built in 1934, the mansion was designed by architect Reginald Davis Johnson. The mansion, which was used to host formal gatherings, has eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. The living room is lined with imported 17th century wood paneling, the floors are walnut, and a sweeping staircase connects the two floors. There is a formal parlor — home to a grand piano — and a dining room. The property includes a pool, sunken tennis court, guesthouse, log cabin, and a carriage house with a gas station and car wash bay.

The grounds for the estate were donated to the school by General George Patton and businessman Henry Huntington, the namesake of Huntington Beach.

Despite the dip in USC’s revenue, multifamily development around the campus has continued. Cityview recently secured funding for a 296-unit mixed-use project that will rise near the school. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch


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