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S E C T I O N 2 N Cover Story called Green Gables, was completed in 1912. Today, more than 100 years later, Green Gables is still home to the Fleishhacker family, and the property is still a 75-acre oasis of calm minutes from Silicon Valley. “It just happened that my grandfather made a brilliant choice,� in choosing the site for his family’s summer home, says David Fleishhacker. “This is an island in Woodside. It is part of but apart from (the town). That is how it was originally intended.� Charles Greene did far more than simply design the home for the Fleishhackers. He worked on projects there over several decades, designing the landscaping and the water garden, and a small stone dairy house. He designed, and sometimes actually crafted, furniture, pottery, wood-carvings and decorative painting, both inside and outside the house. Mr. Greene is said to have spent hours sitting on the property, contemplating the views and exposure, before deciding on the home’s site. It is near the top of a knoll with sweeping views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, but with almost all signs of civilization out of view. At the time, the hillside was bare except for a few oaks, and Michelle Le ot long after the 1906 earthquake, Mortimer Fleishhacker, a successful San Francisco businessman, decided he wanted to build his family a summer home in the country and began buying property, eventually totaling 75 acres, in the heart of Woodside. “He traveled around here and looked around and decided this was the best climate,� says David Fleishhacker, grandson of Mortimer, who with his two siblings has spent almost every summer of his life on the property. At the time, most San Franciscans built summer homes closer to the city and “there were no major estates� in Woodside, David Fleishhacker says. Mortimer Fleishhacker, whose investments included a power company, a paper box company and a chemical company, and who eventually became a banker, hired architect Charles Sumner Greene. Mr. Greene, with his brother, Henry Mather Greene, formed the firm Greene & Greene, among the bestknown architects of the Arts and Crafts movement. The home Greene & Greene built for the Fleishhacker family, Above: The main house at Green Gables. Left: The house under construction, around 1911. Below: The Roman Pool, one of the treasures of the Fleishhacker estate, was designed by Charles Greene in 1927 and recently renovated by the family. Mr. Greene placed the house close to a large existing oak, which has since had to be removed. Because there was no water source on the property, water was piped from land owned by the Huddart family on Kings Mountain Road and stored in a lake on site. “He had an agreement with Mr. Huddart that my grandfather would use the water every other day,� says Delia Fleishhacker Ehrlich, another of Mortimer Fleishhacker’s grandchildren. “We got mad at them and they got mad at us and they wouldn’t give us the water.� Eventually the property was Green Gables served with public water, but the lake, no longer connected to the Huddart stream, still provides landscape water. Today, from the back terrace, a favorite gathering place for family and friends, the view is of an expansive lawn terminating in a rectangular lily pond. In the distance are the Santa Cruz Mountains. Strolling past the lily pond, one sees a long flight of stairs that leads down to the “Roman Pool,� the water garden designed by Charles Greene, and a large oval pool Continued on page 23 6Wab]`WQE]]RaWRSSabObSWaabWZZOac[[S`V][S T]`bVS4ZSWaVVOQYS`TO[WZg Barbara Wood By Barbara Wood November 13, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN21

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