An elegant masterpiece of a home is being introduced to the market, for the first time in over 60 years. Situated in one of the best micro-climates in California, this magnificent property is perfectly suited as a primary residence, or part of a portfolio of homes for the affluent. Only minutes to some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most in demand restaurants in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco, foodies will have more choices than one could ever imagine. Entertainment and shopping are top notch, and all within close proximity to this fabulous estate.
Welcome to Casa Azul
A mere 18 miles from San Francisco, across the glimmering bay, resides Orinda – where the next generation can enjoy La Dolce Vita, as well as the finest of both indoor and outdoor living. Casa Azul is a grand estate that features five ensuite bedrooms, ample entertainment space, a stately dining room, a former ballroom, and a cozy tower that can be found above the second story. Imagine basking in the sunlit space while enjoying the spectacular beauty of the panoramic surroundings. A separate guest house rests on the lower property, and offers 2 separate quarters on a first and second floor. Situated on approximately 2.5 acres of mature grounds, this estate is located adjacent to the exclusive Orinda Country Club.
Casa Azul has ample property for planting a private hillside vineyard, installing an in-ground pool, building a tennis or sport court, or designing a custom garage to house one’s classic car collection. It’s ideal for hosting holidays and entertaining family, friends and business associates. The below-grade basement has the potential for a 50+ case wine cellar and custom tasting room.
Open space, privacy, breathtaking views, and a sense of community are only the beginning. Escape from the city, yet maintain close proximity.
The ability to transform this sun-kissed property to its former glory and grandeur, presents a rare opportunity for a homebuyer with the right vision and aesthetics. Renovation or refurbishing of the interior of this 5,500-square-foot estate could create a new modern approach, or simply, an updated version of the original glorious estate.
Casa Azul’s Origin
America’s East Coast was roaring in the 1920s and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby captured the imagination of millions of readers who were naturally curious about the decadence and idealism of a prosperous class of people largely unknown to them. Out West, however, a much subtler form of wealth was emerging with architectural innovation that matched California’s amazing climate and Spanish influences. San Francisco had not only recovered from the disastrous 1906 earthquake and fire, it was re-imagined, rebuilt and reborn as the most refined city west of the Mississippi. The Julia Morgan Ballroom was built in San Francisco, as well as the Julia Morgan Theater in Berkeley and the Julia Morgan School for Girls in Oakland. Further south and decidedly not subtle, William Randolph Hearst had the now infamous architect build his castle up the hill from Big Sur. From Los Angeles through the Central Coast cities of Santa Barbara and Montecito to the East Bay across from San Francisco, Mediterranean-inspired homes dominated the landscape, its cities and suburbs.
Casa Azul, in Orinda, was designed by Lloyd Warnecke, and built in the 1920s by Chester Williams – the same builder that constructed The Orinda Country Club and The Olympic Club. The decade of the 1920s is largely regarded as golf architecture’s golden era and the Orinda Country Club, designed by a Scotsman, Willie Watson, was on the cutting edge. With its opening in 1924, Orinda was on the map, and quickly became known as a paradise for residents of San Francisco and surrounding areas. Many were searching for summer homes. Others were wanting homes within more affluent communities, where they might raise their families. Casa Azul was William’s vision of what the future could look like to residents of this newfound community. He knew he had found all the makings of a haven that offered it all – location, climate, land, and a growing, upscale community that shared his same vision.
With the thriving country club in full swing, golfers were able to relish in the beauty of Casa Azul as they stood at the tee box of the first fairway. Casa Azul had made an impact on the residents of Orinda. And to this day, still does.
Casa Azul Noteworthy Features
Each of the bedrooms in the main home has private tiled bathrooms, dressing rooms, and balconies overlooking the magnificent surroundings.
An octagon shaped tower overlooks the first fairway of the Orinda Country Club, and is a wonderful location to relax and find inspiration. The views are unmatched and take one’s breath away.
Situated between the formal dining room and the grand living room is a sun drenched solarium, that has served as both a greenhouse, and/or a sun parlor, overlooking the gardens.
A stately covered portico, supported by rows of arches, leads to, what historically, was the grand Ballroom.
Casa Azul Today
Cattle ranch land in the 19th Century, Orinda, to this day, still offers the best of town-and-country living. Excellent public schools are award winning at every grade level.
Orinda Country Club offers premium golf, as well as an award-winning aquatics programs, a scenic tennis and fitness facility overlooking Lake Cascade, a vibrant social scene and exceptional culinary dining.
The Orinda BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is nearby and able to whisk local residents to the Financial District in San Francisco in less than 45 minutes.
Casa Azul is conveniently located less than a half mile from charming downtown Orinda. It is 10 minutes to Lafayette’s restaurants and 20 minutes to major shopping in Walnut Creek.
The possibilities for this home, and accompanying lifestyle, are only limited by one’s imagination.
Prior to residing in the greater Bay Area, Meg spent her earlier years in Canada, France, the East Coast, and the Southern states. She has been a resident of California for the past 35 years, and much of that time has been in the East Bay. Having begun her real estate career on the peninsula, Meg worked for some of the top builders, specializing in selling distinctive properties from Woodside to San Francisco. Meg relocated to the East Bay in 1989, and has called Danville her home since that time. Married with a daughter and two sons, Meg’s enjoyment comes from spending time with her family, traveling, music, exploring new wineries and restaurants, interior design, and, of course, satisfied clients. Proper to selling real estate, Meg managed a West Coast division of a national engineering firm. It was there that she developed a passion for real estate, as the company’s consistent growth created the need for replacement facilities.
As a professional, McCarthy is dedicated to guiding clients of all types and ages, through the entire process of the real estate transaction. Her long-term success in the dynamic Diablo Valley is due to her thorough knowledge of all the local neighborhoods, and, placing her clients’ needs first. Her attention to detail and her ability to remain poised under pressure has consistently earned her the position as one of the top producers in her market.
Known for her superior marketing of extraordinary listings, Meg understands the power of interactive internet exposure in conjunction with relevant and appropriately timed modes of marketing. She listens carefully to her clients to create a customized marketing plan tailored specifically to meet each clients’ needs. “I can be high touch, or high tech – whatever means of communication my clients prefer.” A veteran of several local real estate cycles, she has a keen sense of what it takes to sell a property.