First Time Ever for Sale

One-time dream home in Saratoga boasts desirable siting, enviable modern design
Fridays on the Homefront
One family's mid-century modern dream home (above), in Saratoga, has hit the market for the first time. Its vaulted, open-beam ceilings, open floor plan, and walls of glass give that spacious ambiance and synergy with the outdoors that marks the best MCM homes. All photos courtesy Amy McCafferty

In the lovely South Bay town of Saratoga, one family's mid-century modern dream home has just made its first-ever appearance on the market, designed by a local legend on one of the most noteworthy properties in the city.

"It was originally part of a larger estate," explained realtor Amy McCafferty, who listed the wooded, 1.24-acre parcel at $4,898,000 recently for Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty.

"The lots were separated by the oaks," she said of the "really smart," mid-20th century subdivision of the property, which was originally settled the previous mid-century by California Gold Rush 49er Frank Farwell. Of all the resultant parcels, McCafferty adds, "This was the favored lot," and the house makes it easy to see why.

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On the cul-de-sac parcel designated 14582 Horseshoe Court, local architect Warren Heid designed a spectacular five-bed, 3.5-bath home (1966) that the unidentified family has enjoyed for more than half a century. Its vaulted, open-beam ceilings, open floor plan, and walls of glass give that spacious ambiance and synergy with the outdoors that marks the best MCM homes.

"I think the best feature is…the expansiveness of the floor plan," agreed McCafferty, exclaiming, "It's awesome!"

Heid had a practice in Saratoga the first fifty of his sixty years there before retiring in 2008. After being raised in Los Gatos, he eventually served on the Santa Clara County Planning Commission and was locally renowned for his design of structures that included the San Jose Mercury News plant, The Inn at Saratoga, and the Ponderosa Lodge at Mount Hermon.

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On Horseshoe Court, Heid was designing for a property that had been the site of one of Saratoga's most famous estates. It stayed in the family of Farwell's successors for numerous generations, including Charles Blaney, chair of California's first highway commission, and state controller and assemblyman Robert Kirkwood.

Blaney and his wife built an impressive, Italian-style villa there in 1917 designed by famous San Francisco architect Willis Polk. Decades later, the estate was subdivided, and the villa known as Rancho Bella Vista was razed.

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