Hot Home News: Liberace, Bob Newhart & San Francisco's Hippie Era Mayor

Every week, delivers the latest scoop on today's hot real estate news. Celebrity, historic, famous homes and much more. Their web features have been covered by Time, CNBC, USA Today, Parade and many other major media.

This week's Top 10 homes spotlight at includes a look at Liberace's flamboyant Las Vegas estate that sold for $3.7 million in 1989, but now available at $523,000; Bob Newhart's long time home in Bel Air, California now reduced from $18.9 million to $15.5 million; and the stately home of former San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto who was in charge of the city during the the Haight-Ashbury hippie years of free love, drug problems, war demonstrations, Black Panther marches and the Zebra and Zodiac serial killers.

Liberace's Las Vegas Estate

Flamboyant almost beyond description, Liberace always got our attention. Mr. Showmanship reeled us in with the sweeping floor-length fur capes he swirled with a flourish and went on to enchant us with his music and song. Liberace lived just as large and grandiose as he appeared during his performances. His home in Las Vegas was a study in all that glitters. It was a grand venue for lavish entertaining with gilded old world styled furniture, rooms full of crystal chandeliers, plush red velvet, mirrors everywhere and very personal touches such as piano keys in the floor tile snaking through the entrance and his etched portrait in the mirror behind the bar. For anyone who ventured into his private quarters, the marble bath with its gold porpoise fixtures and cherubs lounging alongside was breathtaking and the bed on its red carpeted rise under the mirrored ceiling was yet another opulent sight.

Since it has passed through two owners since his death, Liberace's Las Vegas house has lost much of its opulence but fortunately many signs of the great entertainer remain such as the piano keys in the floor, chandeliers, etched bar mirror and the mirror above the red carpeted bed rise. With Chase bank foreclosing on the last owner, the estate is up for an all cash sale. Consisting of 14,939 square feet with two bedrooms and ten baths, the house was built in 1962. Having sold for $3.7 million in 1989, the house is now available at $523,000.

Bob Newhart's Bel Air Estate

Like many of us, when Bob Newhart was starting out into the adventure of adulthood, he too had to take many different roads until he found his niche. From accountant to advertising copywriter to finally goofing off with a coworker by talking nonsense on the phone, on a lark they recorded their conversations and sent the tape to radio stations. His coworker left but Bob carried on alone recording and sending tapes where the listener only heard one side of the conversation, which became a trademark of his routine. Finally, a radio station played a tape and the rest is history.

Though Newhart excelled at standup comedy, he also ventured into film and television where he was best known as psychologist Dr. Robert "Bob" Hartley on his own sitcom, "The Bob Newhart Show" in the 1970s, and in the 1980s in yet another sitcom as an innkeeper in "Newhart." Still going strong at the age of 83, this energetic comedian most recently was seen again this May on the CBS' sitcom, "The Big Bang Theory."

Newhart's Bel Air estate, which he purchased in 1990 at $4.2 million, is now on the market. Built in 1941 and designed by the era's most famous architect, Wallace Neff, the 9,169 square foot Mediterranean-styled home sits on 1.37 beautifully landscaped acres with lagoon pool, swathed in total privacy. The layout of the 9,169 square foot main house is true to the Neff style of rooms that open out to the California sunshine. Inside there are five bedrooms, eight bathrooms including a grand master suite and two servants' quarters, with all rooms large and airy with many spaces for entertaining, both inside and out. A separate building houses offices, garage, guest apartment and a pool house. The asking price was recently reduced from $18.9 million to $15.5 million.

San Francisco's Hippie Years: Mayor's Mansion

From 1968 to 1976, San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto had to deal with the Haight-Ashbury hippie years, free love, drug problems, war demonstrations over Vietnam, Black Panther marches and serial killers running rampant known as Zebra and Zodiac. Despite these challenges, Mayor Alioto's personal residence in the city's Presidio Terrace neighborhood was a picture of serenity and light with wonderful views over Presidio Park and across the San Francisco Bay.

The mayor's residence is a stately Beaux Arts mansion of 8,040 square feet designed by the firm MacDonald and Applegarth and built in 1911. Constructed on three levels, the main level consists of large formal rooms, the upper level has four en-suite bedrooms, some with sitting rooms and fireplaces, and the lower level is devoted to family enjoyment with family room, theatre and children's playroom. The home has been totally updated with today's materials and conveniences and also has a guest-au pair suite with kitchenette along with numerous other high end amenities.

The longtime home of San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto was originally on the market at $16.5 million. It recently sold for $8.98 million.

Real estate is never boring at TopTenRealEstateDeals. Check out today's most entertaining and unusual real estate news stories of the week. News such as America's top ten bargain mansions, government lighthouses for sale and JFK's home collection.

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Categories: Home Improvement and Renovations

Tags: Bob Newhart, condos, homes, Liberace, Real Estate, san francisco


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