The infamous entrepreneurial Fleishhacker family’s summer residence in Silicon Valley is now for sale. As stated by toptenrealestatedeals.comThe Green Gables is one of the most interesting and largest historic properties in California.
After the 1906 earthquake and a family trip to England, the family began buying land to build a plot of land modeled after the thatched roof houses they saw on their vacation.
On 74 hectares and still owned by the Fleishhacker family, the property with its several houses and outbuildings came onto the market for the first time – 110 years after its construction. The price is $ 135 million.
Money was no problem for one of the busiest and richest families in California when it came to creating a large and comfortable summer home. Mortimer Fleishhacker Sr. owned a paper company, an electricity company, and was one of the country’s leading bankers.
Documents show that the property has grown through close collaboration between Mortimer and architect / landscape designer Charles Sumner Greene of famous architecture firm Greene and Greene, with Ms. Fleishhacker acting as the correspondent between the two on the details of the construction.
The goal of the design was that it would appear natural to its landscape. It was owned by the first California city: first with Gunite exterior walls, first with a freeform pool, and then with a shingle roof that recreated the thatched roofs of England.
The property grew to include seven houses over the years, extensive gardens, forests, and a Roman-style pool the size of a soccer field. The last house built on the property was completed in 1970 and shows how the structures have expanded across the landscape since the main house was built.
In addition to the view of the Santa Cruz Mountains, a park-like view of oaks and native grasses and the interior design by designer Elsie de Wolfe, the hand-carved furniture in the main house is one of the most outstanding features of the main house, the Green Brothers.
Much like Frank Lloyd Wright, the Greene brothers were known for their design and artistic talent, from architecture to landscape to furniture design and intricate wood carving, as seen in the house’s playroom chairs.
The brothers were very detail-oriented and focused on every detail of the construction and the materials used. They felt that even more useful elements like switchboards and walkways should achieve elegance.
According to the listing, Green Gables has welcomed dignitaries from European kings, US senators, congressional officials, governors and business executives. In 1965, the United Nations chose Green Gables as the location for its 20th anniversary commemorative gala.
Today, especially due to its proximity to Silicon Valley, the property would be an excellent retreat and conference center for companies or would be continued as a large family business. Historians and architecture students will appreciate the property’s extensive documentation in the document collection of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley.
Listed by Christie’s in San Francisco for the first time since its construction in 1911, the historic Green Gables estate is still inhabited by descendants of the original owners.
Photo credit: Christie’s