The home comes with a bit of a bittersweet backstory.
The home was originally built for Joseph Ghirardelli and his wife, Ellen, who had plans to move to the town of Piedmont, an upscale enclave across the bay from San Francisco.
In 1906, the couple purchased a plot of land in the East Bay and commissioned the Milwain Brothers architects to build a grand home in the Spanish Mission Revival style popular at the time.
Joseph, whose father was chocolate impresario Domingo Ghirardelli, never lived in the finished home. While he was away on business about 75 miles south in Santa Cruz, the1906 San Francisco earthquake struck, and he was unable to make the arduous journey back to the Bay Area. As he traveled mainly by foot, he suffered a lethal heart attack.
In 1907, Ellie—as she was known—and her two children proceeded to move into the completed abode, according to information from the Piedmont Historical Society.
Three years later, the widow married a man named Thomas Cushing. In 1911, she and her new husband substantially remodeled the home in the Colonial Revival style.
Since then, the well-preserved property has undergone updates over the years. It has maintained many original elements, including the barrel ceiling in the dining room, wood moldings, decorative windows, fireplaces, and built-ins.
The spacious home has seven bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms, in addition to a separate two-bedroom guesthouse.
“It is hard to find a home in this size in Piedmont,” says co-listing agent Debbi DiMaggio. “People tend to move in and not go anywhere.”
Numbers prove DiMaggio’s point: In Piedmont, there are only 18 homes currently on the market. Bargains are also hard to find in this desirable suburb of Oakland. The median list price is a steep $2.4 million, and the median sale price sits at $2.6 million.
This home with the Ghirardelli provenance last changed hands in 2016 for $4.65 million.
The 6,500-square-foot home features a formal entry, formal living room with a fireplace, and dining room. A library features built-in shelving, and the enormous kitchen is equipped with Sub-Zero appliances, a center island, and space for casual dining. There’s also a pantry and an adjacent wet bar.
The eye-catching staircase features intricate leaded windows and a built-in window seat at the landing. Upstairs you’ll find three en suite bedrooms, including the master. The upper level also includes an office, sunroom, and deck.
Other amenities include a laundry room, home gym, and two-car garage.
Outside, the serene grounds feature lush gardens, rose bushes, a fireplace, and a patio with a built-in barbecue.
DiMaggio and Adam Betta of the DiMaggio & Betta Group & Highland Partners BHG hold the listing.