There is an old saying,

"God created the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona."

One trip to Sedona and you know it has to be true.

Sedona Blog Home

Sedona's HUGE House By The Chapel~Who really owns it?

I've posted information about this before but I recently found more pictures of the house as it was being built so I thought I would post them.

Anyone who has gone to Sedona, Chapel of the Holy Cross has seen "the house". You can't take a picture of the view at the chapel without seeing "the house" in the way of the view.

The house is located at 503 Chapel Dr. and is a whopping 8,148 square feet. It also appears the land was first sold on 3/23/2001 for $286,000. I tried to get additional information by calling the City of Sedona Community Development Department and left a message that I was trying to locate the public records for that house and no one returned my call. If you want to try, call them at 928.282.1154 and ask for planning and zoning and permits. Let me know if you find out anything!

The first time we went to Sedona was Dec. 2003 and the house was already being built. I have no idea when they actually started to build it but they were putting the shell up when we were first there. With as slow as they are moving, they probably started when the land sale closed in 3/01. I am sure not only were the neighbors crying but probably so was the earth.

We asked many people who owned the home and at first we were told it was Johnny Depp. That I thought was odd since he is really the reclusive type. Why would he pick a spot right in front of a Chapel that millions visit each year. It's not exactly a good spot for privacy, you know?

Next we were told that it was Nick Cage. One lady at Robert Shields Studio (since has close up) said that he was in there picking out things to be delivered and insisted it was his home. He too is reclusive so it also didn' t make sense.

We later found out that he actually does love Sedona and often came to Sedona to vacation when he was married to Lisa Marie Presley. He wanted to have a home in Sedona and was even in escrow for a home in an exclusive area near the airport but we were told that at the last minute he dropped out of escrow. He wanted to own the airspace above his home and that can't be sold. But it was not this home.

Finally we were at an art gallery and spoke to an older gentleman for quite some time. He told us that the other stories were all fabricated and it was actually being built by the Dr. who invented the laser for Lasik eye surgery and he is from Romania.

Now as of just a few months ago, it was still being built (4 yrs later) but it has been for sale for over a year. Evidently he isn't even going to move in. He has it listed for a cool 29 million in case you are interested in having millions of visitors stare at your home all day.

Also it was reported that since they built " the house", the houses below it are now having water problems.So not only did he destroy a mesa, ruined the view from the chapel, and leaves this eye sore breathing down the necks of his neighbors, but he also is causing flooding problems.

This house proves that money talks. Why else would the city have approved this eye sore to be built? I'm not saying it isn't a beautiful house. I am saying it is not in a appropriate location.

Here is the Google map of the big house by the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  Below are the pictures of the build process over the years it took to build it.

December 2003

May 2004

February 2005

February 2006

September 2007

Google's Satellite view of Sedona's big house and the Chapel of Holy Cross 


Evilarkie said...

I recently visited Sedona and the Chapel of the Holy Cross and I saw "the house" and wondered who owns such a place?
I also read your dissertation about this subject and noted you passed on hear say that some Doctor from Romania who invented Lasik is having it built. Well, as of about 19 Sep. 2008 it still appeared to be being built.
However, my attempts at researching the inventer of Lasik indicates the doctor who holds the patent is from India. In fact, none of the doctors involved with that procedure hailed from Romnia. So, I guess the mystery of who owns "that house" is still in question.

Anonymous said...

A quick trip to the Coconino County Assessor website will give you the answer. A Ioan & Elena Cosmescu own the house. They live in Phoenix. Google his name and you will find that he is an inventor that owns patents in the medical field (something called an ESU Pencil is the latest patent)The assessor REALLY needs to revalue the property...the house is appraised at under $2 million !

n7jack said...

There should a pic of the house in dictionary as an example of Ostentatious.

Your Wedding Coach said...

Thanks for answering the question of who owns the house. We watched it being built over the years and thought it was a hotel, but figured it was in a residential area so it had to be a private home.
We were at the Chapel in May and saw the owners. The woman got out of a white Escalade and out jumped three cute bichon dogs. Since I have a bichon, I was captivated by the dogs and didn't pay attention to the couple. Duh!
I would LOVE to see the inside. I can't fathom all that space or having to clean it.

jep1micro said...

Aug 4, 2009
We saw the house last Friday and it still appears to be in the finishing stages of being built!
Thanks for answering our question about who lives there.

Tercules said...

Awww, it would have been much more exciting to hear Johnny Depp owned this house.
I saw this house this last weekend and found it to be stunning. Much more interesting than the Chapel was. The information guy in town made it sound much more than it turned out to be. The view from there was beautiful.
Also I dont think it is an eye sore. It made for interesting web reading.

Greg said...

VDW - Vulgar Display of Wealth. Did anyone take any photos of the army that "Dr. No" is training to defeat Bond? Yes, thanks Doc for killing a beautiful view!

rosemary said...

The Huge house is probably just as beautiful on the inside as the house is huge. For those of us that can not afford a million dollar mansion, let a lone a multi million dollar mansion, remember money can not buy laughter and love. Although money can buy a very, very, huge and yes, beautiful home. Why is the tax assessor not evaluating this home as a fair tax? someone should call for the tax assessors resignation!!

Linda said...

We just visited Sedona and was told by our driver that an icon from Microsoft owned the massive, under taxed eyesore below the Chapel in Sedona. Who on God's earth would build a home so everyone can look down upon your privacy? UGH!

I will continue my search!


Baileywyck said...

Joining the chat late, but I just saw that house recently for the first time and got curious, too.
Yes the guy made millions as a medical inventor, however his crowning achievement seems to be a gadget that removes smoke during electrical surgery.
Here's a link to his Phoenix-based company.

And for those yearning for a peek inside the manse, someone posted this for you:


adriluc said...

Yes,i know these people,they are my husband relatives,they are born in Romania,but they live in the U.S.A. for many years,they are honest people,they started from scratch and through hard work and many sacrifices have achieved the"AMERICAN DREAM".What they do with their money,hardly and honestly earned,is not your business.So,please,find other more interesting topics to discuss,for example,how the medical devices invented by this man,are used to save lives every day in dozens of countries and thousands of hospitals.Thank you!

CNordic said...

I am all for the American dream being fulfilled...just not at expenses of others. Oh, and part of being in America is the right express your views. That home is an out of place eyesore in a town which has otherwise done quite well with unobtrusive architecture. A shame.

Unknown said...

The home is pretty breathtaking and the standard poodles looked like happy pups. If you build such a home in a high traffic area, it's definitely going to generate some interest. Public records: Owned by Ioan & Elena Cosmescu. Home is 11,223 square feet. The lot is .89 acres. Tax assessed value (which is not always the market value) is $2,495,770. Property taxes are $16,881.

ohanadonna1315 said...

We really didn't care who owned this gorgeous home all we did was stare at it and notice all the ornate detail. Wow, do not miss this beautiful addition to the backdrop of Sedona. It's worth the trip!

Sky503 said...

i have visited the chapel several times since the late 70's. Sedona has always been a place to see God's greatest creations, views that are breath taking, and people that welcome strangers with love and warmth. this home only enhances Sedona's beautiful attractions. i only wish i could live so close to one of the greatest buildings built to celebrate Gods many blessings to us.

christina said...

I have recently visited Sedona on the 18th
it was quite a remarkable site... the house along with the scenic views
the house included a large pond, a lovely fountain in the center of the driveway(which is also quite large)and 4 garage doors

Unknown said...

It's an ugly, totally out pf place monstrosity!

grace ruiz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Glenn Henson said...

Saw this house for the first time yesterday. It had obviously been years since I'd been to the chapel. However I have 2 thoughts.
1) This house is ugly and ostentatious. This house is the definition of the 1%.
2) Whoever put this house where they did has an outrageous Ego. Why else would you put it in a place where 1000s must drive by it weekly? I'm sure there was other land available to build this house.

Edith Micu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OrganicMama said...

Actually, it IS a ridiculous looking house. There is no architectural direction and is a hodgepodge of weird styles that end up looking crazy together. In essence - like someone had a lot of money but no real sense of style.
Ugh. Just saw it a few weeks ago in person and it's a monstrosity.
p.s. my husband is laughing at how passionate i am about its ugliness. ;)

OrganicMama said...

p.s. you need to get a spam filter for your blog - or switch to approving comments. Most of the comments above are spam.

Michael M said...

You guys who are complaining about it sound like the biggest losers, and whiniest girls. "Tax him!" "It's ugly!" "The ONE PERCENTTTTTTTTT"

Shut up. The house is beautiful, and the man who owns it deserves his wealth for his service to humanity.

Terri Raulie said...

Have to wonder if the good doctor and his wife need some eye surgery themselves. Among all the wonderful architecture in Sedona and they choose that gaudiness?

alex o'malia said...

Looks like absolutely gorgeous home and property!What does it cost to buy a house and live in Sedona? Love the chapel and chapel wishes and I wish they would invite me to dinner! Sincerely, Alexxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Lawrence Fawcett said...

no doubt they are never there.

Greenlee Ryan said...

Scarface lives there

3:51 mountain time said...

I lived next door to the Cosmescus when they were building this house. They were nice, caring and generous to a fault. I'd rather see a listing of all the 'contributions' they've made to schools, the medical field and helping others, instead of them being criticized for building their dream home.
Miss you guys. suzanne

Lisa Brooks said...

I was just there a few days ago and a local man who has lived there since 2001 told me it belonged to George Clooney. Wonder now if he was lying.

Anonymous said...

Being familiar w Romania, as well as with gaudy Italian architecture, I find:
- the outside (pool with tropical plants in a desert area valuing every drop of water), and
- the interior design with ceilings painted in faux-Renaissance
wastefully out-of-place. Like excesses of the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA; or maybe more appropriately for Romania, like the faux-middle-age Peleş Castle of the first Hohenzollern king, or the gold-plated digs of the last communist dictator Ceauşescu.

grannyjody said...

My husband and I were just in the Sedona area for the past two weeks, visiting from Minnesota. We went to the Chapel twice, and also saw the lovely home twice. We asked a priest at the Chapel about the home owner and he also said it was a doctor who had several medical patents of equipment he had designed. He sounds like a very gifted individual whom the LORD has used to save and better many lives. Some of you complainers and Debbie downers may even have had some of these devices used during your own surgeries or of your loved ones. You might be more gracious if you'd met the man. Perhaps you're letting your own greed or jealousy get the best of you. His home is beautiful and he has allowed beautiful natural foliage to grow up, around and even over his home, so it is NOT an eyesore in any stretch of the word. It is truly a magnificent piece of art, that many of us visitors can appreciate.

Donna McQueary said...

I first visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross shortly after it was built and a few times in subsequent years. Earlier in the month, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit again, after an absence of about 50 years.

Of course, I expected that Sedona would have grown out to the Chapel, but when we approached the Chapel, the sight of that house was like being slapped in the face with the Italian Riviera! Not caring for someone's choice of architecture is hardly indicative of "greed" or "jealousy"; it may simply be a preference for architecture that respects the surrounding natural beauty. You the Chapel itself.

One wonders if a local tour guide's commentary might go something like this, "And on the left, rising out of the rocks as if it grew there, is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. On the right, there's a huge house that was apparently airlifted in from Beverly Hills. We're still waiting for them to come to pick it up."

I found it a touch ironic that the controversial Christus was removed from the Chapel. But that house was built right there in that unfortunate style. Sign of the times?

Ken Aven said...

Agree with the majority - Build it where you have peace and quiet and
not to get attention It really takes away from the spiritual feeling of the
Chapel and God's handiwork.
Truly pompous!

RimRock_Red said...

My husband and I are professional Architects and Structural Engineers. We have been visiting Sedona AZ since the late 1980's. I must confess, at the risk of insulting somebody, in our opinion this project was an ill-advised if not irresponsible project with respect to its location, design, engineering and environmental impact. We watched the construction of this home over several years and wondered why any Architect worth his salt would design such a blight! I can only conclude the designer was NOT an experienced professional or may have been under extreme duress by the owner. Perhaps the design and construction of this home was simply the product of an obedient Contractor and self-ascribed owner/designer? The short evaluation of this unfortunate home design……it simply DOES NOT WORK!!

While nobody is suggesting the owner should NOT be able to do what he or she pleases with their property, owners and developers have a responsibility to evaluate and consider the compatibility of design and potential environmental effects to existing features (and neighbors) in the area they plan to build. This is just part of the process of “being a good neighbor”. I actually feel bad for the owners of this property on some level. They most likely purchased the property because of the astounding views and proximity to the chapel, but in our opinion the completed project produced what builders generally call “semi-custom deluxe finished sq. footage”. As professionals, we are not impressed with high end finish materials and massive sq. footage. A design in keeping with the natural and beautiful historical architecture of the area would have impressed us! There’s a reason why many of the high end estates in this same area are designed as adobe and timber structures.

A decent designer could have created something with more sq. footage on the same property that you might have had to leave your car to find the front gate!

As always…..I qualify this as an opinion. Without the fine details, we may never know how this happened. What on earth is the Sedona City Council doing to maintain the architectural and historical character of the community!

Dr. Taco said...

Sad commentary on the fact that money and good taste don't always go together. What a ghastly, ghastly house.

Dr. Taco said...

Sad commentary that money and good taste are not related.

Scott said...

My wife and I live in a neighbouring town to Sedona. We moved here partly because of the awe inspiring beauty of the area. I always look forward to driving by this magnificent home. It reminds me of how immensely abundant this "Carmel of the desert" really is, with both natural and financial blessings to be seen. It's unique to say the least but inspiring as well. By the way, there are several other homes in the Sedona area that compare to the amenities of this home...great to see this family blessing others and being blessed themselves.