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Estate Sale

A grand Woodside estate owned by generations of the same family is on the market for old-money figures.

SLIDESHOW

Green Gables has been the scene of summer parties for decades, and hundreds of friends of the Fleishhacker family eagerly anticipated invitations to Fourth of July fetes on the lawn, with music by a Dixieland band.

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Other notable components of the property include a stone building along the driveway.

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A Roman reflecting pond at the foot of stairs leads down from the lawn.

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Nestled in the quiet and forested hills of Woodside is a gem that many Silicon Valley residents have never heard of, much less seen: Green Gables, a property that is as exclusive as its price is elusive. “The highest price paid for a Woodside property was $117 million for a home on 9 acres in 2012,” says Michael Dreyfus, founding agent and broker of The Dreyfus Group, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty. “With 74 acres and seven homes, the value of Green Gables is clearly substantially higher than that.” Some would consider it priceless.

A Tudor-style summer compound for the pioneering Fleishhacker family—whose roots in California date to the Gold Rush—Green Gables was bankrolled by patriarch Mortimer Fleishhacker, who, in 1909, purchased nine parcels of land in what was then called The Valley of Heart’s Delight. Sanctuary from the San Francisco fog with architecture by Arts and Crafts masters Greene and Greene, and interiors by decorator Elsie De Wolfe (whose clients also included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor), the gracious American country estate re-created similar steads in England while remaining beautifully attuned to its natural California surround.

Today, beyond its residences, Green Gables has three swimming pools, a tennis court, apple and pear orchards, a teahouse, an artist studio, a barn and more scattered across grounds with a cinematic quality that made it the ideal setting for many a grand party. Consider: the rolling lawn, the exquisite Roman reflecting pool. While the estate features 10 existing lots, there is no speculation about subdivision at this time. “The family will sell the estate as one unit and wishes it to stay intact,” says Dreyfus. Green Gables is subject to historical requirements. It is also under a conservation easement.

With the pool of buyers “extremely limited,” even by Silicon Valley standards, notes Dreyfus, “it is not uncommon for a property of this magnitude to take several years to sell.” The Fleishhackers are in no particular rush to do so; they still use the property and will sell contingent upon the totality of offer terms, including timing and price. Most importantly, Dreyfus says, “the family would like to see someone purchase the property that will extend the legacy and stewardship they have brought to Green Gables for another 100 years.”

 

Originally published in the March issue of Silicon Valley

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