Cedar Valley Realtor

Filoli

Filoli is a country house set in 16 acres (6.5 ha) of formal gardens surrounded by 654 acres (265 ha) estate, located in Woodside, California, about 25 miles (40 km) south of San Francisco, at the southern end of Crystal Springs Lake, on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains.[3] Now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Filoli is open to the public. The site is both a California Historical Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filoli was built between 1915 and 1917 for William Bowers Bourn II, owner of one of California's richest gold mines and president of Spring Valley Water Company, supplying San Francisco's water,[4] and his wife, Agnes Moody Bourn. In 1910 they had bought an estate in County Kerry, Ireland, but wanted a country place nearer home.[5] The principal designer, San Francisco architect Willis Polk, used a free Georgian style that incorporated the tiled roofs characteristic of California.[6] Polk had previously designed Bourn's houses in Grass Valley and on Webster Street in San Francisco. Polk's friend Bruce Porter was commissioned to collaborate with the Bourns in planning the gardens, which were laid out between 1917 and 1922. The horticulturist who designed the plantings and fixed the original color schemes was Isabella Worn; she supervised the garden's maintenance for 35 years.[5] Filoli served as one of the Bourns' residences from 1917 to 1936. The name of the estate is an acronym formed by combining the first two letters from the key words of William Bourn's credo: "Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life." Mr. Bourn's Spring Valley Water Company owned Crystal Springs Reservoir and the surrounding area. Bourn called the Crystal Springs Reservoirs "Spring Valley Lak

s" for his company. The original Spring Valley was between Mason and Taylor Streets, and Washington and Broadway Streets in San Francisco, where the water company started. When the company went south for more water, the Spring Valley name was carried south too.[7] Following the deaths of William and Agnes Bourn in 1936, the estate was sold the following year to Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth. Mrs. Roth was Lurline Matson, heir of the Matson Navigation Company. The Roth family built Filoli's botanic collections of camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, notably in the woodland garden, and added the serene swimming pool and the screened-in teahouse.[8] In 1975, Mrs. Roth donated the estate in its entirety to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with an endowment that helps support annual operating expenses.[9] The estate operates as Filoli Center, a private, non-profit organization with its own Board of Governors, staff and volunteers. The 16 acres (6.5 ha) of gardens are structured as a series of formally enclosed spaces framed within brick walls and clipped hedges, which open one from another, providing long axial views, in which profuse naturalized plantings of hardy and annual plants contrast with lawns, brick and gravel paths, formal reflecting pools, framed in walls and clipped hedging in box, holly, laurel and yew (illustration, right) and punctuated by massive terracotta pots and many narrowly columnar Irish yews, originally grown on the estate from cuttings. Filoli is an outstanding example of the Anglo-American gardening style reintroducing Italian formality, that was pioneered at the end of the nineteenth century by Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll in British gardens and exemplified in the U.S. by designs of Charles A. Platt and Beatrix Farrand.