For Sale: John Travolta's Temporary Columbus Home
Columbus was abuzz with fan frenzy this spring when John Travolta was in town filming the upcoming thriller "I Am Wrath." Enamored fans posted photos of the gracious star at places like an O'Charley's on Cleveland Avenue and a house in Bexley where he was shooting. But did you wonder where he lived while he was here?
It turns out the famed actor and his clan, which included a chef and a handyman, stayed in a 12,000-square-foot mansion in Westerville, at 7000 Duncans Glen Drive. For a cool $3.2 million, you could own it.
Current owner Venus Roby is selling the house she and her late husband, Richard, designed and built together in 1996. It's back on the market now after a six-week hiatus that ended mid-April, when Travolta wrapped shooting and moved out. Roby doesn't know exactly how many people were living in her sprawling 5-bedroom, but says the lease limited it to 12. Roby and her pets enjoyed an extended Caribbean vacation during her houseguests' stay.
Privacy was surely a factor in Travolta's choice; Roby's secluded property won out over two other prospects. Set on 33 wooded acres abutting the Hoover Reservoir, the stone manor boasts a winding private drive guarded by a wrought-iron gate and, despite its enormity, remains entirely hidden from the street. Deer frequent the property (we saw four only minutes after arriving), a characteristic captured in two commanding sculptures of bucks planted in the center of the circular driveway.
The house is also well-equipped for entertaining. The kitchen is open and modern, with designated areas for both dining and lounging, and a walk-in pantry that also serves as a wine cellar. Roby's favorite space, the kitchen sits just across the hall from a stylish dining room, the site of many a holiday dinner. The Robys' penchant for hosting is evinced in several rooms, like the wood-adorned bar room, which offer not only a place to socialize but also direct access to a spacious outdoor patio.
The Robys enjoyed vacationing in France and imparted the region's extravagant style to the design of their house. Marble floors and an elaborate bridal staircase greet visitors in the impressive entry, while bold pillars flank the wide hallway. Five intricately carved limestone fireplaces and crystal chandeliers and hallway sconces add even more elegance. Windows in the living room stretch from the floor to the soaring ceiling and offer unmatched views of the tree-lined reservoir, which must be like a live art installation when the seasons change.
The master suite is basically an apartment in and of itself, boasting a massive bedroom, an adjoining sitting room with a fireplace, a marble-floored bath suite, a walk-through closet and dressing room, and a minibar. A staircase, one of the house's four, leads from the master bedroom to the first floor. It's here you'll find the pet room-yes, even the pets have their own quarters-a roomy, tiled utility space with a sink, a floor drain and direct access to the backyard. There's even an elevator shaft, which could accommodate an elevator should a future owner be so inclined to install one.
But perhaps the most striking component of the house is the extraordinary underground garage, which holds up to 18 cars. It's nothing short of a swanky warehouse, with a sloping ramp that grants access to the ground-level, three-car garage attached to the house. Richard owned several car dealerships in Central Ohio, including the Toy Barn, a used high-performance car dealership in Dublin, and had a passion for luxury vehicles. A house design that incorporated a proper place to keep his personal collection was a no-brainer. But, no, the cars don't come with the place.
7000 Duncans Glen Drive, Westerville
Listing price: $3.2 million
Listing agent: Penny Smith, Keller Williams