Saturday, February 6, 2010

California Vintage Glory in Belmont at The Ralston Hall Mansion

Had a pleasant surprise yesterday when we had an impromptu self-tour of The Ralston Hall Mansion in Belmont. William Chapman Ralston, co-founder of the Bank of California, bought the property in 1864 from an Italian Nobleman  for his "country" estate to escape the pressures of city life in San Francisco.  The estate became grander over time, eventually expanding to 80 rooms and 50,000 square feet!

The grand ballroom was absolutely spectacular!  Lined floor to ceiling with gilded mirrors, framed in hand-polished antique frames, lit by French crystal chandeliers that are over 150 years old - AWESOME!  Look at the details in the  floors, striped with two different types of hardwood.... Suzanne was convinced that we were in a Jane Austen novel, expecting Mr. Darcy to appear any minute!

Sun streaming into the big bay window overlooking the gardens at Notre Dame de Namur...   Can simply imagine the elegant parties and gatherings that have been held in this room!  All of the antique furnishings have been restored, and are  lovingly taken care of in the grand style that they were meant for.

Incredible intimate alcove on the left side of the ballroom - will give you an idea of the amazing detailed wood work and the scale of the room.

Selfishly, I hope Kylie decides to go to college here, so that I have many excuses to go back and explore some more! 


Jojo said...

Don't you just wish Mr. Darcy would appear!! How beautiful!

Everything Coastal said...

Will have to go back another day when I am not in a hurry to get some more photos! Thanks for your comments!

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