Historical Home On-The-Market
January 29, 2012
Storied “House-On-Hill” In Hillsborough Listed for $29 Million
I once had an open house (Verbalee Lane) on the street from this estate and “no” mine was a mere $2 Million. It is on a short street with very different houses along the way. When you got to the end of the street you could see this big estate with the front gates. A lot of history in this home. I just wanted to share this with you. I think those of you that love Historical Homes will find this fascinating.
At a list price of $29 million, it might be a stretch to call this fabled San Francisco-area property a bargain.
But considering the history and quality of this 30-room, 35,000-sq-ft Hillsborough real estate market gem — called one of the most spectacular private residences ever created — “House-On-Hill” should turn a few heads, especially since the price has dropped dramatically since the estate was first offered for sale at $45 million in 2002.
“The owners are very realistic now and there is no other property on the market like this one,” said listing agent Daniel J. DerVartanian.
“You could not recreate this property now, not for the quality of the $20 million renovation that the current owners undertook or for the fact that they wouldn’t let you build this size home on six acres,” he said.
While the house has been marketed by the owners for the past two years, listing it with a real estate brokerage has appeared to been a boon. In the week since House-On-Hill has been listed, DerVartanian said the property has been shown to several interested and qualified buyers — not a tough demographic in a region where Silicon Valley millionaires may be looking to make their own impressive mark on the real estate map.
Designed by architect David Adler as a Cotswold-style Tudor, the mansion is nestled in the hills overlooking San Francisco and was completed in 1931 for Hibernia bank heiress Celia Tobin Clark.
In 1992, the property was purchased from the Tobin-Clark family by Sam J. Bamieh, a prominent businessman at American Intertrade Group and major Republican Party donor. While the property had already boasted an illustrious history of world-famous visitors, that tradition continued under Bamieh, whose connections to the Saudi royal family and others is its own intriguing story.
A special VIP suite of rooms has been the guest residence of a prestigious list of U.S. Presidents and other world leaders including, Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Ford, and Bush, as well as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and His Majesty King Hussein. The list of other notable guests who visited Bamieh for parties or fundraisers is much longer.
DerVartanian said Bamieh and his wife meticulously renovated the entire property with an attention to detail and an eye for the preserving the original design features. All the systems have been updated, from the opulent music room to the lovely Otis lift to the hand-mill work, and no detail was overlooked.
The list of features includes:
- Carved front entry opening to an elegant black and white marble reception foyer
- Carved balustrade staircase leading to opulent public rooms including a banquet-sized formal dining room with carved marble fireplace
- Over-sized French doors leading to the loggia and grand terrace
- Cozy library with 17th-century English paneling featured in Helen Comstock’s “One Hundred Most Beautiful Rooms in America.”
- Grand music room
- The mansion includes 12 bedrooms, including 4 master suites
- 12 full baths and 3 half baths
- Four kitchens
- 12 fireplaces
- In-ground pool
- A six-car garage
It’s tough to argue with a sales pitch that calls House-On-Hill a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but given the location, the restoration and the history of the place, that pitch sounds right on key.