Carolands is a Large Beautiful Home in California
Carolands Mansion or Chateau is a beautiful large home located in the city of Hillsborough in Northern California about 15 miles south of San Francisco. With 65,000 square feet of space and a 75 foot high atrium Carolands is one of the largest and most impressive homes in the United States.
Carolands was built in 1914 for Harriet Pullman Carolan who was the daughter and heir of millionaire railroad sleeping car inventor George Pullman. Harriet and her husband Frank Carolan lived in the large home for just three years before separating and moving out. Frank Carolan died in 1923 and Harriet moved back into Carolands for a short time in the 1920's with her new husband Colonel Arthur Schermerhorn. But the couple left the home in 1927 and it remained unoccupied for the next 23 years.
In 1939 the United States Government seriously considered buying Carolands and turning it into a Western White House for the President but did not end up buying the beautiful chateau home. Harriet Pullman sold Carolands and the surrounding land to a developer in 1946 who chopped up the land for development. In 1948 the local Burlingame High School had what might have been the coolest prom ever in Carolands.
In 1950 Carolands was purchased by millionaire Countess Lillian Remillard Dandini of San Francisco. The Countess lived in the mansion for the next 23 years and would often open up the Beau-Arts mansion for charity events and social gatherings.
When the Countess died in 1973 she left Carolands to the city of Hillsborough. The city did not want the expense of the mansion and it was sold to an oil and real estate heiress in 1976 and then continued to be sold and owned by a number of neglectful owners who could not afford the upkeep.
During the 1980's Carolands was essentially abandoned and local high school kids would sometimes break into the home which resulted in a serious crime being committed in the home in 1985.
In 1998 Carolands was purchased by mutual fund billionaire Charles Bartlett Johnson and his wife Dr. Ann Johnson. The Johnsons under the supervision of Dr. Johnson have sunk upwards of $50 million dollars into Carolands to restore the home to its original glory. Today Carolands remains a private residence that is sometimes opened for charity events and fundraisers.
In 2006 a documentary movie was produced about Carolands called Three Woman and a Chateau.
Carolands would make a magnificent tourist attraction in California that could rival Heart Castle and one cannot help but to think the city of Hillsborough missed a golden opportunity when it owned the home in the 1970's. Perhaps someday Carolands will end up being a tourist attraction and wedding and special events home open to the public.
For more see 21 Beautiful Famous Castles in California