Mid-Century Modern Classic in the Wealthy Enclave of Ross, California

The 1949 house was designed by Gardner Daily, with grounds by Thomas Church

Listing of the Day

Location: Ross, California

Price: $8.995 million

This completely updated and refurbished mid-century modern classic was originally designed by Gardner Dailey, one of the best-known Bay Area mid-century minimalist architects, with grounds by famed landscape architect and pioneer of California modernism, Thomas Church. This is the first time in 15 years it’s been on the market.

"Gardner Daily was out of the University of California at Berkeley," listing agent Tracy McLaughlin said. "He had a big mid-century modern/post-modernism following."

"Church had the same genre and mindset, so it’s very interesting that they did this property together," she said.

"There are not many mid-century houses like this in Ross," Ms. McLaughlin added. "It’s the best location in our community—it’s one block to downtown Ross, which is very hard to find."

The house features tall walls of glass, high ceilings, clean architectural lines, and large rectangular and square spaces all on one level.

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The owners retained the San Francisco design firm of Holly Hulburd to recreate Dailey’s original design with better functioning systems, upgraded materials and premium contemporary finishes throughout.

"What I find amazing about this kind of architecture is how timeless it is," Ms. McLaughlin said. "This house is as utilitarian today as it was then."

The expansive great room has a wood-burning fireplace, desk/work space and custom built-ins. The living room also has a fireplace and built-ins.

The designer kitchen features a large center island with bar counter seating, high-end stainless appliances, a wine refrigerator and ample storage.The large dining room is surrounded by glass and opens directly to the yard and gardens.

The sixth bedroom is currently being used as a secondary family room and offers an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet. It could also function well as a home office.

The master suite offers privacy, custom built-ins and two large walk-in closets.

More: 90-Year-Old House in San Francisco Lists for $6.74 Million

"The master bathroom is quite large and designed with a lot of glass," Ms. McLaughlin said.

The house offers "seamless indoor-outdoor living," she added. "You can step outside from the dining room, the living room, the master bedroom, the kitchen, the family room."

The grounds are a totally level 1.4 acres, Ms. McLaughlin said. "That’s a big property for where we live."

The house and grounds are also ideal for entertaining, especially on a grand scale, she added. "You can have an event here for 1,000 people," she said.



The 5,990-square-foot house has six bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one partial bathroom. It sits on a 1.4-acre lot.

A detached 765-square-foot guest/pool house offers an additional bedroom and bathroom with full kitchen and living room.



Amenities include a swimming pool with an automatic cover, a 5,000-gallon well for landscape irrigation, and solar panels on the roof to heat the swimming pool. The property is fully fenced and gated for privacy, and there is a two-car garage with a Tesla charging outlet, driveway parking for up to 10 or more cars, and off-street parking.

The park-like grounds feature old-growth oak trees, sweeping level lawns, and mature gardens that offer year-round color.

There is also a regulation-size tennis court, which Ms. McLaughlin has covered up with artificial turf while marketing the house.

"The problem with a tennis court is that you show a house to 20 people—no, 50 people—and only one of them wants the tennis court," she said.

The buyer can easily restore the court by simply rolling up the artificial turf that now covers it, she said. "It shows much better without the court."


Neighborhood Notes

The Marin County town of Ross, which is just north of San Francisco, is a "small town of around 2,000-plus people with one of the better school districts in the state," Ms. McLaughlin said

Filmmaker Barry Levinson "raised his children here, so did Sean Penn," she added.

The house is one block from the highly regarded Ross Elementary School.

"It’s a very wealthy community, very private, very understated, with a lot of long gated driveways," she added. "It’s also a gateway to a lot of outdoor activities."

Agent: Tracy McLaughlin, The Agency

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