Renovations to notorious Coronado mansion proposed - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Renovations to notorious Coronado mansion proposed

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CORONADO (CBS 8) - The historic Coronado mansion that was made infamous after last summer's hanging death is back in the news.

The owners are trying to sell the mansion and move on, but part of that process includes restoring the mansion back to its original Italian Renaissance revival design from the early 1900s.

"It's just a significant piece of architecture. It's in an incredible location, it's one of the prime beachfront properties… it's a block from the Hotel Del [Coronado]," property agent Scott Aurich said.

The residence has become well known since last summer, when millionaire Jonah Shacknai's girlfriend Rebecca Zahau committed suicide after his six-year-old son Max died from a fall down a staircase.

"Right now we're more concerned with trying to restore the house in a manner that the market will appreciate," Aurich said.

It's now up to the city's Historic Resource Commission to amend an existing alteration permit to allow changes to the 27-room estate, which is now on the market for $14.5 million. They include a front elevation change by restoring the original flat roof with decks, and an observation room with a wood trellis.

The commission has already approved new French doors off the dining and living rooms and awnings placed over windows.

"If we came back to them with a formal plan and a full application for a historical alteration permit, then this body would review it and recommend for or against," Aurich said.

The finished design would look like the Glorietta Bay Inn, created by architect Harrison Albright, who also designed the Ocean Boulevard home for John Spreckels. The site is protected under the Mills Act, which means the commission has to approve any changes to the outside.

"I think it really becomes an issue of what's a more appropriate change, if there is to be any change. And I spoke to Jim Mills, and he didn't seem to have any problem with going forward with this plan," Aurich said.

Wednesday's meeting was simply to hear from the project applicant about the renovation plans. No action was taken.

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