Hillsborough: A History of the Good Life
The fabled residential enclave founded by some of California's most illustrious business icons, Hillsborough presents a unique heritage of distinguished living. Drawing residents that are primarily business executives and professionals, Hillsborough has traditionally served as a haven for San Francisco's upper echelon that desire a more relaxed, rural living pace.
By World War II, most of the sprawling estates had been parceled into smaller lots still generous acreage by San Francisco standards. Residents have staunchly fought to preserve the residential nature of their community despite the area's allure for major developments such as the $315M research center. Grand mansions of the early 20th century designed by renowned architects such as Willis Polk, Angus McSweeney, Gardner Dailey, and William Wurster, stand amidst a handsome mix of traditional, contemporary, and modern homes˜with most properties boasting over half-acre parcels in private country seclusion.
The circa-1890s Burlingame Country Club parallels the evolution of Hillsborough, as well as the historic Mission-style Caltrain depot -- often referred to as the “prettiest station on the line” -- at the east end of Burlingame Avenue, which offers village-style amenities to Hillsborough residents. Zoning laws have been consistently and rigidly enforced to offer residents serenity in this residential haven. Since 1937, the minimum lot size has remained a half-acre with a minimum frontage of 150 feet. Beyond the beauty and natural tranquility of its surroundings, one of the primary attractions to Hillsborough is its superb school system that has been recognized by the county, state, nation -- even internationally -- for excellence in education.
Historic Chateau Carolands, a circa-1915 French mansion, has been renovated to breathtaking beauty. In 2006, "Three Women and a Chateau" premiered a feature-length documentary on the rise, fall, and rebirth of one of America's largest and most illustrious private residences. Incorporated in 1910, the town of Hillsborough is a purely residential hamlet, noteworthy among the most affluent towns in the United States. One of the main attractions Hillsborough has for home buyers is its charm. Hillsborough still offers its escape from the pressures of the city. In addition to its generally quiet atmosphere, Hillsborough has excellent, award-winning public schools, police and fire protection and public works service. These are the qualities that have formed the character of the town and have remained stable for over 100 years.
Written by Geoffrey C. Nelson, McGuire Real Estate