A Story of Labor and Love – The Tobin Clark EstateBy Gina Kramer
Passing through each individual room, one can almost hear the sounds of classical melodies being performed by a string quartet at one of Celia Tobin Clark’s many extravagant galas. The superior monument of 20th-century estates adorning the San Francisco Peninsula, House-on-Hill renders the image of a bygone era — a time when wealthy stature was far out of reach for many, yet those who were fortunate enough to have the means ultimately produced what are some of the most unique and profound residences still seen today.
House-on-Hill stands as one of the eight original homes in Hillsborough, Calif. After it was founded in the late 19th century, the town’s quaint, charming atmosphere began attracting San Francisco’s most prominent families, who were drawn by its distinct beauty and views of the city lights surrounding San Francisco Bay.
Clark, an heiress to the Hibernia Bank fortune widely known throughout the peninsula, commissioned renowned architect David Adler to create, on a secluded hilltop, a Cotswold-style Tudor mansion, incorporating a series of design ideas she collected over time. Each room tells its own story with the highest level of craftsmanship and inspiration drawn from every direction.
Although miraculous in every aspect of its development, House-on-Hill began to emerge at a time when miracles were the extent of working income for many. Its construction occurred during the Great Depression, and a number of struggling laborers were hired for the project.
“Its construction in the 1930s employed hundreds of people through the depression, which was a godsend for the local economy at the time,” says Jim Walberg, one of the luxury real estate specialists representing the property for Keller Williams Realty, along with Pat Abshire and Ann Marie Nugent.
In just two years, the project, entirely completed by hand, poured over $1 million into the local economy, sparing at least three nearby firms from bankruptcy.
Today, the final product is nestled behind vintage wrought-iron gates on a six-acre oasis of rolling lawns, illuminated gardens among multiple terraces, a pool with a pool house and captivating views of the bay, at a price of $29 million. While the exterior may seem like a world in its own, a few steps taken up the lighted cobblestone driveway and through the doors of this timeless 12-plus-bedroom, 15-bath masterpiece will captivate your senses in every way possible.
Fifty-five feet in length and crowned by 15-foot ceilings, the music room boasts breathtaking décor, antique parquet-de-Versailles flooring and gold-gilt molding; the card room, with its all-wood ceiling, walls and flooring, replicates that of the Queen Mary’s; and featured in Helen Comstock’s book, “100 Most Beautiful Rooms in America,” the library affords accents of beautiful pine carving accredited to Grinling Gibbons, best-known for his work on St. Paul’s Cathedral, Blenheim Palace and Hampton Court Palace.
“It is a pleasure to represent a true masterpiece of a historic estate,” Abshire says. “Just walking the grounds, knowing the history and global decision-making that took place at House-on-Hill since 1931, including U.S. Presidents and Heads of State, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Property Size 6 acres
Architectural Style English Tudor
When Built 1931
Number of Rooms 30
Number of Bedrooms 12
Number of Bathrooms 15
Distinctive Features Constructed entirely by hand, House-on-Hill incorporates the use of all-mellowed brick, carmel stone and half timbers on the exterior and 35,000 square feet of honey-colored wood, silver, crystal, leaded glass and 400-year-old parquetry throughout the interior.
This Home is Offered for $29 Million by
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Jim Walberg, Pat Abshire and Ann Marie Nugent from The Bay Area Team at Keller Williams Realty have been serving the luxury real estate needs of the San Francisco Bay area since 1979. Their “Local Knowledge and Global Reach” are the distinguishing factors that attract clients to engage their services. They continually rank in the top one percent of Realtors nationwide. Listing representation for this property has also been awarded to Today Sotheby’s International Realty, Engel & Völkers and Alain Pinel Realty.
Showings to qualified buyers only.
The Bay Area Team
Keller Williams Realty International