March 8, 2011
George Reifel was a liquor magnate (and, during Prohibition, a rum runner) with a taste for Spanish Revival architecture.
In 1932, he built what is now Vancouver’s most famous heritage house, an eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion overlooking the Fraser River. He named it ‘Casa Mia’ but now, according to the Vancouver Sun, it could be ‘Su Casa’ for $10.5 million.
Two of the home’s many remarkable features particularly caught our attention: First, there’s the ballroom complete with a sprung dance floor and a stage (where else would the band play?). The walls in the men’s ballroom bathroom are painted black and are decorated with a golden aboriginal chief shooting a golden arrow at a golden stag.
Second, there’s the former storage space in the third floor tower that, in 1938, George Reifel had turned into ‘Dopey’s Room’ by artists brought north from Walt Disney’s then fledgling California studio (earlier that year Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had premiered to acclaim). The playroom was a gift to his newborn daughter, Jane.
After George Reifel died in 1958, the house cycled through a number of owners. It was recently listed for $12 million in 2007, $10.5 million in 2008 and now again for the same price.
But the real story here is the house itself: