Joel Goodrich & Dona Crowder Present
The Tobin Clark Estate - Magnificent Hillsborough Mansion - $23,888,000
Owner financing available.
Perhaps once in a lifetime…
There occurs an extremely rare opportunity…
To acquire a most extraordinary Architectural Masterpiece…
Of incomparable scale and grandeur…
At one of the World’s most prestigious addresses…
Such an opportunity has arrived…
A mansion of uncompromising elegance and superb attention to every detail… nestled in the lush green hills of the San Francisco Bay Peninsula, in the exclusive community of Hillsborough. Designed by renowned architect David Adler, and completed circa 1931 for Mrs. Celia Tobin Clark, a founding member of the Peninsula’s gentry, this gated and very private Mansion offers quality of lifestyle that is unsurpassed. It is a stately and magnificent example of Cotswold Tudor architecture.
Secluded from view behind classic wrought iron gates, one enters the six acre grounds of this estate via a dramatic cobblestone drive to the large motor court with a spectacular stone fountain centerpiece… creating a grand entrance. Night lighting adds drama and enhances the ambiance of the most elegant galas.
Experience the grace of the harlequin patterned marble floored entry with its exquisite 17th Century paneling. The refinement of this classic mansion is reflected throughout all three levels which include nine-plus bedrooms, a separate and private VIP suite, staff and office accommodations and a fully modernized catering kitchen.
The scale and charm of the public rooms is breathtaking. The detail of the ornamental medallion work, particularly notable in the fifty five-foot Grand Music Room with its fifteen-foot high ceiling, soaring leaded glass windows that flood the rooms with sparkling lights, and imported antique parquet-de-Versailles flooring, all emphasize the importance of each detail and nuance… matching fireplaces… triple gold-gilt moldings, and French doors leading to the Grand Terrace.
An architectural masterpiece…
The banquet-sized formal dining room, with adjacent butler’s pantry, leads to the adjoining Loggia and Grand Terrace. The transition from indoors to gardens flows seamlessly throughout the main level.
From the warmth of the antique oak-paneled library to the cozy bar and game areas, each room adds its own importance to the mansion. A more recent addition is the third level high-tech media center and billiard hall –the Grand Gable Room- with stunning brass overhead illumination, carries on the heritage of excellence and truly blends the finest elements of traditional and contemporary lifestyles.
A few of the additional amenities include exquisitely appointed adjoining master suites, eleven baths, a separate guest apartment, wine vault, exercise room, state of the art systems including sound, lighting, security and intercom throughout.
With vistas of the city lights surrounding San Francisco Bay, the six acre compound offers an idyllic oasis featuring a Grand Terrace, expansive lawns, pool with guest house, formal rose gardens, a statuary garden, waterfall and walkways… all fully lighted and wired for sound.
This extraordinary residence is located within the town of Hillsborough, founded in the late 19th century by San Francisco’s most prominent families. Drawn by its scenic beauty, they created some of the world’s greatest estates, an irreplaceable testament to an era of architectural greatness, of which precious few remain today. Since then, Hillsborough has become one of the world’s most exclusive enclaves, treasured for its natural setting and relaxed California lifestyle. Yet, it is close to three international airports and in the midst of the world-class financial, technological and cultural centers of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
The town of Hillsborough was founded in the late 19th Century, when San Francisco’s most prominent families flocked to the area to build summer estates, drawn by its scenic beauty. Some of the world’s greatest estates were built in the early days of Hillsborough, of which a few rare precious ones remain today- an irreplaceable testament to an era of architectural greatness. Since that time, Hillsborough has become one of the world’s most exclusive enclaves treasured for its scenic beauty and relaxed California lifestyle - truly an idyllic oasis in the midst of one of the world’s most important financial, technological and cultural centers.
History of the Tobin Clark Estate: In the gallery, the floor is marble, laid without mortar, point to point, to create a deep pattern of optical illusion. The walls are dowel-joined Jacobean paneling, purchased through Stair and Andrew in London. Eighteenth-Century English oak surrounds the gentleman’s cloak room, where special shallow cupboards were fashioned to hold shaving mugs. For the master sitting room, the owner and architect chose oak paneling, circa 1724, from Royal House Cononley; and the chandelier, constructed a few years later, is Waterford, purchased from a descendant of the actor Edmund Kean. Pine carving attributed to Grinling Gibbons, woodcarver to St. Paul’s Cathedral under Sir Christopher Wren, and matching eighteenth-century pine bookcases grace to library, featured in Helen Comstock’s one hundred Most Beautiful Rooms in America.
For more than sixty years, the Hillsborough Mansion with the unassuming name “House-on-Hill” has been cited as one of the most spectacular private residences ever created, and one that is certainly without peer in its fine antique English style. In the 1920s, Mrs. Tobin Clark, an heiress to the Hibernia Bank fortune, commissioned architect David Adler to create a Cotswold Tudor Mansion on a secluded hilltop of some four hundred acres just south of San Francisco. Full-grown trees were transplanted from as far away as the Monterey Peninsula, rose terraces and formal courtyards were laid out amid the oak groves and lawns, and multiple-trunk olive trees were pruned to dip low over matching reflecting pools set in a stone terrace. Completely by hand,,, an architectural treasure was built- all mellowed brick, Carmel stone and half timbers on the outside, with thirty-five thousand square feet of honey-colored woods, silver, crystal, leaded glass and four hundred year old parquetry on the inside.
It has been written that for several years prior to building the Mansion, Mrs. Clark had been collecting ideas, clippings, photographs and other inspirations for her home. And it is known that during its somewhat lengthy construction, the estate pulled many local laborers and one failing planning mill right through the Depression. In two years alone, more than on million dollars was poured into the local economy, and at least three area firms were spared from bankruptcy.
Upon completion in 1931, the home was filled with interior decor by Syrie Maugham (wife of Somerset), paintings by Van Dyke and Sir Joshua Reynolds, Queen Anne paneling, eighteenth century Chinese wall coverings, a rare Dubois writing table and over two hundred other items sent from England and the Continent. In the first gala she hosted at House-on-Hill, Mrs. Clark hired the Pro Arte Quartet of Brussels to play in the fifty-five foot grand salon. One subsequent autumn evening, two baffled journalists, who mistakenly had been sent by LIFE Magazine to do a feature on the “typical” American Home, arrived to find a busy staff preparing for a private concert that was to be given that night by the Budapest String Quartet.
Nothing ordinary happened here, even in the kitchen which, it has been written, “was inviolate except to the cook, who presented meals with the help of a two-story pantry and walk-in silver vault, with daily menus hand-lettered in French by the butler”. Many today still remember the night when Karine Albert, Mrs. Clark’s granddaughter, made her debut into society. Hundreds of guests were surrounded in a scene of Elizabethan finery, complete with verdant swags of ivy, sculpted topiary, pillars trailing satin ribbons and heraldic devices, wines from the estate cellar and food which this night, like another, was nothing less than superb. It was considered the party of the decade.
Though it has been more than twenty-five years since Mrs. Tobin Clark’s death, the estate still exudes a spectacular energy and elegance. Walking through the thirty room interior with its eleven fireplaces, sitting beneath the archways of the loggia, strolling about the gardens or basking by the pool, one is awed by the decades of labor and love devoted to the estate. It has been called a “priceless monument to the better things in life”.
With a prized view overlooking San Francisco’s Lower Bay and the rolling landscape for to the west, House-on-Hill now rests on a more manageable six acres, without the original Adler-designed sixteen-stall stables, ten-car garage and “laundry group”. Little else, though, has been sacrificed, and the house remains quietly tucked away behind the espaliered magnolias and majestic pines of a cherished Hillsborough setting.