Piedmont estate once owned by a winemaker listed for $6.68 million
June 11, 2019
By Amy Graff, SFGATE Updated 12:30 pm PDT, Tuesday, June 11, 2019
A stately mansion with a storied past on a one-acre parcel in the exclusive East Bay city of Piedmont is on the market for the first time.
Featuring seven bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms spread across 8,000 square feet, the home is listed for $6.68 million.
With a craftsman facade and an interior adorned in classical details you’d expect to find in European estates over hundreds of years old, listing agent Anna Bahnson of Compass says 320 El Cerrito is an architectural masterpiece with each of its owners leaving their mark.
The property was originally built in 1911 for William and Florence Barnard. William was a grain broker and the couple moved in with their four children and a servant, according to Gail Lombardi of the Piedmont Historical Society. At the time, Lombardi says the property would have been considered a high-end craftsman, rather than a bungalow, with its cross-gabled roof, Tudor half timbering, Swiss balustrade and brick porch.
Only years later, H.M. Storey, who was the California director of Standard Oil, purchased the home, and it is unknown what changes he made to the home. Next came Horace O. Lanza who, according to UC Davis, was one of the few people who made made wine during Prohibition.
Bahnson says Lanza, who hailed from Italy, likely added the more extravagant European-inspired details to the home based on the half-dozen permits that were pulled for alterations, roughly between 1944 until the early-1980s. Today much of Lanza’s influence remains.
In the living room, light reflects through tall leaded-glass windows onto an intricately carved wooden coffered ceiling. In the dining room, the ceiling is hand-painted in gold leaf and another grand marble fireplace is the focal point. A solarium, which would have been used, features a tiled fountain, wall insets, stenciled ceiling, leaded glass skylights and checkerboard stone tile flooring.
It’s unknown whether alcohol was made in the home, but Bahnson says, “This basement is 1,700 square feet and it’s separated into four rooms. They could have easily made wine down there.”
The current owners renovated the attic level, pulling out a theater with a stage where children’s performances were likely put on. With a dramatic pitched ceiling, the space now acts as a huge family room.
Outside, a tiered garden “rises from brick patios past a waterlily-covered koi pond to a sweeping green field big enough for soccer, badminton, corn-toss,” according to the real estate listing. “The grounds also include a carriage house with a one-bedroom apartment, a garden guest house and a children’s playhouse and playground.”
“It’s so rare to have an acre of property in the heart of Piedmont,” says Bahnson. “It’s just unheard of.”
Amy Graff is a news producer for SFGATE. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.