Holiday Home Tour showcases reborn 1918 ‘castle’
By Cecily Hastings
After a two-year hiatus, the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour returns to East Sacramento’s Fab 40s the first weekend of December.
One of the most historic and visible homes in the neighborhood will open its doors with new owners and beautiful upgrades.
After a long courtship, Cindy Ward Escott and Rich Escott married in February and purchased the 3,550-square-foot home in May. Cindy moved from 43rd Street, while Rich sold his home in Rocklin.
“We’d looked for a while and this unique property had everything we were looking for,” Cindy says. “It had a generous double lot, and a first-floor bedroom and bath.”
Rich had his own requirements: “It also had a huge garage that I was looking for. I never dreamed of finding a six-car garage.”
With domes, turrets and twisted columns, the cream stucco house looks more like a Moroccan castle then the former home to one of Sacramento’s most influential pioneers. Merchant-turned-agricultural reformer David Lubin constructed the mansion on 39th Street in 1918. Lubin passed the property to his son, who established the once-mighty Weinstock’s department stores.
For decades, the historic home was painted pink. The current neutral color theme is more classical than fantasy.
Once nicknamed the “pink castle” by neighbors, the four-bedroom, five-bath home makes an immediate impression. A copper dome sits above the main entrance. Stained-glass windows glow in soft shades of pink. With a massive marble fireplace, the living room has a ballroom feel with its own built-in elevated bandstand and a wooden slide. “We’re not sure what the slide was for,” Cindy says. “But the children sure like it.”
The couple just completed a refresh with new paint, wall coverings, lighting fixtures and furnishings by designer Taige Clark.
Previous owners made major renovations to the kitchen featuring a charcoal gray and white color scheme. Copper accents include the hood trim and hammered kitchen sink that overlooks the garden. The room opens to the central round dining room, and is grounded by a graphic quartzite center island and slate floor tiles.
“The renovation of such a historic house with so many unique details is a real challenge to get right,” Cindy says. “There are so many details using natural mahogany and totally custom trims with intricate details.”
While modern updates to the kitchen and bathrooms by previous owners were appreciated by the couple, they opted to install more authentic Moroccan-style lighting. “It just gives the home more character,” Cindy says as she points out huge pierced silver globes in the living room. “And the shadows they cast at night are just magical. It is my favorite room.”
To the left of the entry is a massive Honduran mahogany curved bar room. Downstairs features a large bedroom and full bath, plus an open office space for Cindy. Upstairs they have a bright and generous master suite with huge closets installed by the previous owner. “In 1918 they hardly built any closets at all,” Cindy says.
The master bath is spacious with a garden view and access to a wraparound rear balcony.
Two upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms are used as a guest room and office for Rich.
“We both downsized from four-bedroom homes, so we had a lot of furnishings to give away to relatives,” Cindy says.
The double-wide lot is an ongoing project. “It was beyond overgrown when we moved in,” Rich says. “Our focus has been removing all the overgrowth so we can formulate a plan for the future with a clean slate.”
The couple tells me the designers decorating the home for the holiday tour are using vibrant pink and teal and (of course) a jeweled Moroccan theme. “We can’t wait to see it all come together for the tour,” Cindy says.
Holiday home tour guests eager to visit after two years of lockdowns will agree.
The Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour returns Dec. 2, 3 and 4, rain or shine. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of tour. Visit sacredhearthometour.com.