Bernard Maybeck’s Historic Grayoaks Estate on Market

Posted by Rainy Hake — February 16, 2010

Set on approximately 1.25 acres in the bucolic Town of Ross, the Marin County landmark known as Grayoaks has been listed by Donna Goldman of Alain Pinel Realtors. This celebrated estate designed by famed Bay Area architect Bernard Maybeck has been published in numerous books and journals, and is considered one of Maybeck’s greatest works in the Swiss Chalet style. Proposed plans for restoration and updating of Grayoaks have been designed by architect Charles Theobold and were unanimously approved by the Town of Ross. With them comes the opportunity to restore and enlarge this vintage estate.


Grayoaks is one of a number of celebrated and historic Maybeck estates in the Bay Area. A prominent architect in the Arts and Crafts Movement, most famous for designing San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts, Maybeck designed over 150 buildings in California during his long career, the majority of them homes in Berkeley. Most of these homes have been impeccably maintained or restored, and every year there are even walking tours of his residences throughout Berkeley held by the Bernard Maybeck Society.

Maybeck designed and built Grayoaks in 1906 for lumber baron J. H. Hopps, adding on a grand entertainment room in 1925 to provide the owner a space in which to celebrate the wedding of his daughter. With his success in the lumber industry, Hopps had access to the best building supplies available, selecting old growth redwood trees, the solid material of which much of the home was built.

Grayoaks is thoughtfully sited with views of Ross Valley and Mount Tamalpais. The home illustrates Maybeck’s unique style, including redwood detailing and monumental fireplaces. Heavy, rough-sawn boxed beams and redwood board-and-batten walls are also indicative of Maybeck’s style and provide striking character to the home. In the renovation plans, spaces are designed to be light filled and open, providing inviting transitions between the existing works by Maybeck and the more modern additions.

“This is one of those special properties that are rarely available because homes like this are lived in and loved by generations,” said Goldman. Because Grayoaks has had only a handful of owners over its long history, Goldman predicts this to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the future owner. The unmatched quality of this home makes it an unparalleled find, a true piece of history in Marin.

For more information about the property, please visit

About Alain Pinel Realtors

Alain Pinel Realtors (APR) is the largest privately-owned and independent residential real estate company in California. APR was ranked the eighth largest residential real estate firm in the United States based on its sales volume in 2008, and has been consistently ranked in the Top 10 firms in the country. The firm has approximately 1,400 agents in its 32 offices throughout the Bay Area. APR was founded in 1990 by CEO and President Paul L. Hulme, and is based in Saratoga, Calif. For more information about APR, please visit our website at

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