Photography by David Glomb. Foreword by Bob Gale.
Rizzoli New York, $85.00
I love the gorgeous new Rizzoli book, “California Splendor,” which features 17 of the most important houses in California, all of which were built prior to 1947, starting with the Leland Stanford Mansion in Sacramento (1857), and ending with Hearst Castle in San Simeon (1919 to 1947.)
Delightfully, two of the houses are located in San Francisco. The Harry M. and Lillie Spreckels Holbrook Mansion on Pacific Avenue, built in 1905, and the Leon L. and Elizabeth Roos House on Jackson and Locust, built in 1909.
I’m especially fond of the Spreckels Holbrook Mansion, located at 2520 Pacific Avenue. The house was built by Walter D. Bliss of Bliss & Farville in the style of a Beaux-Arts French chateau, and was later remodeled in 1930 by Albert L. Farr, who added a library and large solariums to provide Bay views from the dining room and master bedroom.
There were additional remodels in 1972, and again in 1997 when it served as that year’s location of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Jorge de Quesada, Dan Phipps, and Barbara Scavullo Design were responsible for the 1997 renovations.
The hunter green and gold-gilt-trimmed dining room, large enough for a dining table to seat 24, is surely one of the most impressive rooms in San Francisco. Other highlights are 12-foot ceilings in the grand salon, a gorgeous sweeping staircase, gilt trimmed wood paneling, beautiful Baccarat crystal chandelier, coffered and barrel-vaulted ceilings, and a Thomas Church garden. Just extraordinary.
“California Splendor” includes 14 gorgeous pages of photos of the house. With its lush coloring and impeccable period design, you’ll find something on every page to inspire you.
Peninsula estates featured in the book are Carolands in Hillsborough, Filoli House and Garden in Woodside, and the Lou Henry Hoover House in Stanford. The East Bay is represented by the Frank C. Havens Estate and the Guy Hyde Chick House, both in Oakland.