Friday, January 26, 2007

Real Estate Pornography VII (Bay Area)

SELLER: Unknown
LOCATION: Corte Madera, CA
PRICE: $27,000,000
SIZE: 12,000 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: (shortened from listing agents website) Located on a gated private hilltop...this 11 acre (+/-) estate offers a dramatic contemporary 12,000 sq. ft (+/-) main house, a separate guest house, a gigantic level outdoor entertaining area (pool, cabana, water slide, soccer lawn, playground, volleyball, basketball, etc.), a working organic garden with huge greenhouse and much more. The main house...offers dramatic formal entry, living and dining a professional chef’s kitchen-family room...a professional music studio/entertainment center, a huge SF view luxury master bedroom suite, a separate kid’s wing and children’s playroom...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Okay babies, Your Mama is sitting here in Fiona Trambeau’s San Francisco office nursing a nasty hangover so don’t any of you bitches be crossing me this morning. We aren’t speaking to Fiona this morning due to a screeching fight we had last night over that crazy Tom Cruise and someone named Mike Piazza. We don’t even know who that is puppies, but Fiona was defending his honor something fierce. Lawhd children, I can’t go back into all that and relate all the details, but suffice to say that it resulted in Fiona and Your Mama being unceremoniously booted from the bar. Your Mama was so upset and disturbed that when we got home, we had to take ourselves TWO nerve pills just to get to sleep.

Anyhoo, we’re here to discuss the real estate and not the proclivities of certain celebrities and athletes. So since we’re in San Francisco, we’re bringing all the children some serious Bay Area real estate pornography. This property, located north of The City in some place called Corte Madera is being marketed by the listing brokerage as “The Bill Graham Estate.”

Do all the children know who Bill Graham was? We didn’t think so. Let Your Mama educate you some on this man then. Bill Graham was a legendary San Francisco concert promoter who was instrumental in bringing 1960s counter culture icons such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead into the mainstream consciousness. And he made buckets of money doing it. Tragically he was killed in a 1991 freak helicopter accident while returning home from seeing Huey Lewis and the News in concert. Lahwd children, all due respect to Mister Graham and his kin folk, but I don’t know what’s worse, dying in a helicopter accident or seeing Huey Lewis and News in concert.

After viewing the photos provided on the listing agent’s website, and due to the contemporary architectural stylings of the house, Your Mama was suspicious of this “Bill Graham Estate” marketing tactic. And as we suspected, the photos above are not photos the house in which Bill Graham lived. No babies, that house was torn down in the 1990s and replaced by this sprawling and angular behemoth designed by noted “green” architect Sim Van Der Ryn.

Your Mama is not down with the marketing angle here as the property has no visual relationship with the former Bill Graham estate other than a shared street address. We are, however, appreciative of the current owners extreme dedication to building an ecologically friendly abode. According to the architect’s website, the owner specified that “only reclaimed or certified sustainably harvested woods be used for framing and finishes.” And in fact some of the wood was reclaimed from the original house site and also from buildings being taken down at the Presidio of San Francisco.

The house incorporates rammed earth construction in order to cut down on the use of cement, and the south facing allows most of the rooms to be flooded with light and heated passively by the sun. The sun’s heat is absorbed in the floor further adding to the homes energy efficiency. We applaud the commitment to green building and think it’s amazing the current owners are so committed to sustainable living they have even included a large organic garden in order to grow some of their own food. Very cool, very modern, very Bay Area.

This house is so politically correct Your Mama feels like it's an environmental sin to speak ill of it, but there are a couple of issues we simply must address. We find the articulation of the roof lines and walls a little confusing. All those obtuse angles and swooping lines leave us feeling a little like we’re looking at a progressively designed convention center.

And hunnies, we’ve broken into a cold sweat over that backyard playground area. We understand well-healed parents like to provide a myriad of backyard activities for their children and the environmentally conscious super rich are apparently no different in this way. But this place seems more like a public park rather than a private back yard. And for some reason, this merger of residential and civic design makes us very uneasy. We understand a pool. We understand a tennis court. And we can even understand a play structure if you’ve got small children. It’s the steroidal water slide, the volleyball court, the soccer court and the freaking basketball court. Is that all necessary? It just seems TOO much and we are left breathless trying to imagine the number of full-time staff it takes to maintain all that.

Now, off Your Mama is headed into the foggy San Francisco morning to meet up with Falsetta Knockers, see the new Herzog and de Meuron designed DeYoung Museum, and if we’re feeling really arty and ambitious, we may even hit the SF MoMa too. Bye hunnies.

SOURCES: Tiburon Land Company, Van Der Ryn Architects, wickipedia


Anonymous said...

this is this estate at

Unknown said...
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