The Canfield-Wright House, known alternatively as The Pink Lady, is a historic structure in Del Mar, California. The private home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 14, 2004 and reflects the rich history of Del Mar over the past 100 years
The house was built in 1910 for Charles A. Canfield. Canfield, himself, was a seminal figure in the evolution of the area became an oil tycoon after drilling the first successful oil well in Los Angeles in 1892. Canfield convinced the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to switch from coal to oil-burning locomotives. He ultimately invested his wealth in real estate. Forming the South Coast Lan Company with other partners, he helped establish both Beverly Hills, California and Del Mar.
Intending the house as a second home, Canfield hired the well-known Los Angeles architect, John C. Austin, who would also design the Southern Land Company's Hotel Del Mar and go on to design major Southern California landmarks such as Los Angeles City Hall and the Griffith Observatory. The house was designed in the Mission and Spanish Revival styles with influences of an Italian villa and sited with a view of the Pacific Ocean.
Canfield sold the house after only a few years, and it was purchased by the Wright family. The structure was only minimally altered: small additions were made to the main residence and outbuildings, and a large retaining wall was added to the property. By the end of the twentieth century, the structure was being rented to multiple tenants and painted a bright pink – thus becoming “The Pink Lady” of latter days. In 2002, a developer requested permission to treat the property as a teardown to replace it with a contemporary structure. The proposal galvanized local residents to try and preserve the structure; their actions included filing a nomination for the building to be placed on the NRHP. Helped by groups such as the Save Our Heritage Organisation, citizens pressured the City of Del Mar, which previously had no preservation ordinances or incentives for preservation, in city council and design review board meetings, delaying the permit. Within six months of the house's being threatened with demolition, At a critical moment, home developer Bill Davidson, who lived across the street, saved it from the wrecking ball by buying the property from the new owner. He subsequently presented his own development plans, which were judged to be in compliance with historic-preservation guidelines.
Davidson became deeply involved in guiding the historically sensitive design of the house. The 1910 structure has now been lovingly restored, preserving both its character and detail, while the new building additions have been placed and integrated to preserve the majestic presence of the original house in the neighborhood.
The home was restored over a four year period from 2004-08. It remains a private residence.