Germany Buys $13.25 Million Thomas Mann Home in California for Artist Residency

Thomas Mann, his wife Katia, and their two grandchildren on the lawn of their Pacific Palisades, Calif., home.
Thomas Mann, his wife Katia, and their two grandchildren on the lawn of their Pacific Palisades, Calif., home.

To save a landmark from possible demolition, Germany has purchased the former Southern California home of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Thomas Mann who fled the Nazi regime in the 1940s.

The coastal Pacific Palisades residence was built in 1941 by modernist architect J.R. Davidson. It was listed in the summer for just under $15 million and sold for about $13.25 million.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the residence symbolized “a home for many Germans who worked toward a better future for their country, paved the way for an open society and laid the foundations for common transatlantic values,” according to a statement posted by the German consulate in Los Angeles.

Mann and his wife lived there for a decade, writing and enjoying the "perfect climate," before returning to Europe with the rise of McCarthyism in the U.S.

German officials say the Mann residence will be renovated for use in an artist residency program. It will be administered by the nearby Villa Aurora, a government-subsidized cultural program and residency for artists and writers, which had been the home of German novelist and playwright Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife.

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