The $22 million estate of former Ross mayor and cargo-container magnate John Gray is on the market, launchinga new chapter for the historic property with ties to The City.
First called “Baskinridge,” the estate includes a main home, carriage house, caretaker’s cottage and guest cottage. It was built in 1896 as a summer home for San Franciscan Edward Gunther Schmiedell while he and his wife Alice were on their honeymoon tour of Asia. They founded the private tennis club across the street, the Lagunitas Club, which continues to use the estate’s court for its tournament finals, real estate agent Susan Haas said.
The Schmiedells moved to the estate full-time and expanded it after the 1906 quake. The main home is built of redwood, with steep roof lines, brown shingle exteriors and square columns inside. It was designed by Bernard Maybeck associate John White.
The main house has six bedrooms and 4½ baths, while the carriage house has a large office, bedroom suite, work area and six-car garage.
The one-bedroom caretaker’s cottage has, among other things, a room used as a model train showpiece recalling Gray’s career transferring cargo containers from ship to rail. The trains don’t come with the house.
Gray and his wife, Frances, spent $3 million on renovations when he first purchased the estate in 1986 and put another $5.5 million into it last summer. During his ownership, the house has been a venue for charitable and private events.
The grounds include a pool and a circular grove of second-growth redwood trees outfitted with an outdoor barbeque and fire pit. There is parking for 30 cars, and the estate can comfortably sleep 20. San Francisco landscape architect Thomas Church designed many of the flower beds, as well as the pool.
“The best features were the proximity to [Mt. Tamalpais]. I have always mountain biked. The sense that from our back gate you could hike almost forever before encountering civilization,” Gray said.
The main house has radiant heating and fourof the buildings have air conditioning. The electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems have been renovated over the past 20 years.