A neoclassical Georgian colonial – known as the ‘Western White House’ in the Hillsborough Bay Area – has sold for $15 million.
The home, originally advertised for $25 million, was designed by California’s first female architect. The Sacramento Bee wrote about the lavish 25,000-square-foot, 24-bedroom residence when it hit the market in October 2021.
“With a historic grandeur rarely seen, Hillsborough’s ‘White House of the West’ ranks among the region’s finest legacy estates,” according to the official property listing.
Julia Morgan, the first female architect licensed by the state, was also the first woman admitted to the famous architecture program at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She gained notoriety after designing Hearst Castle. Morgan designed the Western White House at the request of the Hearst family. Built in 1915, it was once owned by George Hearst, the eldest son of media magnate William Randolph Hearst. In 1930, George Hearst brought in Morgan after the residence was badly damaged by fire.
The property in the exclusive town of Hillsborough, San Mateo County spans nearly 3 acres of manicured grounds and features 11 bedrooms, 11 full bathrooms, four half baths, a wine cellar, a a movie theater, a gym and a library modeled after the Oval Office of the nation’s Capitol building in Washington, DC, according to the listing.
The house is spread over three levels. Behind a gated entrance, the estate’s courtyard features fountains, trees, hedges and an expansive tiled parking area offering ample parking. Towering pillars open to expansive lawns, a rose garden, and ivy arches surrounding a huge statue-adorned swimming pool, public baths, and gazebo.
“Unmatched in pedigree and amenities, this is an estate truly fit for royalty,” the listing reads.
“My favorite features are the rose garden (and) when you walk around the perimeter, you can take in the classic architecture from every angle and the exterior features of the estate,” listing agent Jennifer Gilson of Golden Gate Sotheby’s told The Bee when the property first listed.
Shailesh Mehta, former chairman and CEO of credit card issuer Providian Financial, bought the property in 1997 “with a vision to maintain the property while remodeling it to fit today’s design and retaining its rich, cultural aesthetic,” Gilson said.
Mehta bought the mansion in 1997 for around $6 million, according to Zillow, and did extensive renovations.
“They have done extensive pool and interior renovations while adding master bedroom suites at each end of the house to create a warm and luxurious environment for family and guests,” Gilson said.
The new owner is listed as California-based Elieabad LLC, according to Property Shark.
The asking price fell to $19.8 million in February 2022, then fell to the eventual sale price of $15 million in September 2022.
Compass agent Alex Buljan, who represented the new buyer, told SFGate that the estate’s time on the market was not unusual. The transaction was completed last month.
“The property, due to its size and significance, required a buyer willing to devote time, effort and capital to preserving its rich history,” he said.
Buljan told the Wall Street Journal the $15 million deal was the second-highest sale at Hillsborough this year.
This story was originally published October 7, 2022 12:25 p.m.