891 Crystal Springs Drive

On the market for $100 million in 2013, the asking price for the 47.5-acre de Guigne estate at 891 Crystal Springs Road in Hillsborough, which includes a 16,000-square-foot mansion, was dropped to $39.9 million eight months ago and the condition that the buyer grant the seller, Christian de Guigne IV, a life estate in the property, maintaining his exclusive use of the estate until he passes, was removed.

And last night, the list price for the estate was quietly reduced another $5 million.

They’re now asking $34.9 million for one of the largest privately owned parcels of land on the San Francisco Peninsula and the mansion, which was designed by Bliss & Faville (the architects of the St. Francis Hotel and Pacific-Union Club in San Francisco), built for the de Guigné family in 1912, and (mostly) renovated by Anthony Hail in the 1960s.

A proposal by Mr. de Guigne to subdivide the estate and build 25 new homes upon the property, versus 10 new homes which the town’s general plan appears to principally allow, was floated in 2009 but never came to fruition.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Mark F.

    Gorgeous home and estate, just needs to find the right buyer.

  2. Posted by Cal Culver

    I’ll bet you’d go thru a lot of swiffers in that home. Wonder what it would be like to live in such opulence. Such a gracious, lovely, beautiful home. Yes, please.

  3. Posted by Stop Driving

    In a way, I’m glad the demand for palatial properties like this have declined so greatly. Sure, the place is awesome, but it is also a monument to excess. The fact that most billionaires choose not to live like this is sort of encouraging.

    • Posted by Mark

      Really? Seems like many of the tech multi-million/billionaires like their McMansions, albeit on smaller footprints.

    • Posted by Hunter

      reminds me of…Dynasty. 😉

    • Posted by Brian M

      They just own six smaller homes* in different places. Excess in a different way.
      * Given a lottery win, that’s what I would do. 🙂 One by the Ocean, one in Napa County, a glass tower penthouse in Seattle.

  4. Posted by Amewsed

    Lots of European castles and chateaus fall into disrepair and neglect since they are very expensive to maintain and the heirs may not be in a financial situation to keep it in their family. This would make a very nice upscale hotel/mansion stay for guests.

    • Posted by info

      Indeed. Do people watch Downton Abbey? I don’t, but I did see one episode (my wife is a fan) in which the family of the manor was talking about their dwindling finances and their need to reduce their butler staff. After all, who has an “under butler” these days? The horror!

  5. Posted by 4th Gen SF'er

    Steve Jobs, in his “wisdom” tore the beautiful historic Jacling house down the year he was dying. It was a much smaller home than the mansion that has since been built there. The one where his wife is living with her bf. The bf she met before Steve passed away. The bf who was married when he met her, just as she was married when she met him.

  6. Posted by tm

    that kitchen looks big but really sad!
    They couldn’t afford to do something about that?

    • Posted by SF

      The kitchen is actually a little bit frightening.

      • Posted by PeterGrrr

        That kitchen is wonderful!
        What would you prefer?
        The latest from Home Depot?

  7. Posted by Jim

    Why would you care what the cook looks at?

  8. Posted by roberto

    only an old fuddy-duddy would live in a place like that.

  9. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    What a great example of how capricious pricing is for luxury items. They were 3X off.

    Nice try.

  10. Posted by Louis

    100 to 40?
    Someone is very, very out of touch with the market here.

  11. Posted by Philip

    I believe the Pacific Union Club was designed by WIllis Polk

    • Posted by socketome

      Your right. Originally the Flood Mansion, designed by Augustus Laver in 1886, it was renovated by Willis Polk in 1908 (following damage from the 1906 Earthquake) to become the Pacific Union Club.

  12. Posted by charles de limur

    Downton Abbey’s occupants all knew the jig was up and tried desperately to figure out a way of making it all work. The pig farm was the ironic example. There were other estates on the Peninsula that eventually were sold to make way for new developments.

    Imagine what the upkeep is on places like this, not to mention the taxes. At $39M the property taxes would be somewhere in the $390K a year with a 2% guaranteed annual increase! If you have to ask how much, you can’t afford it.

    I’m sure if you scratched the surface all of it would have to be redone, from foundations to roof. Tony Hale applied the pastiches on the dancer’s tits. Zoning would not permit a high end hotel in a spot like this. The twenty five un-exercised single family units might become real in the next go around.

  13. Posted by Freeloader

    It’s now Contingent.

  14. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The listing for 891 Crystal Springs Road is once again active and the property is available for $34.9 million sans the originally required life estate.

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