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Historic estate compound poised for contemporary lifestyle – Silicon Valley

Monica Lander –

You wouldn’t expect an estate of this magnificence to be located south of Lafayette’s Mount Diablo Boulevard among the charming cottages, Craftsman bungalows and within walking distance to downtown Lafayette.

This carefully remodeled 1906 home with a casita/ADU is bordered by Las Trampas Creek on three sides and provides direct access to the Lafayette/Moraga Trail.

Seeing the 2.35-acre level property come into view at the end of a long driveway makes quite an impression and a lovely surprise. Do properties like this still exist in the exclusive East Bay community?

They do, but probably not for long.

Truly a private and level parkland with sprawling lawns, overflowing garden beds and lush foliage nestled among towering oak trees, this property at 3477 Monroe Ave. is uniquely bordered by Las Trampas Creek on three sides with direct access to the Lafayette-Moraga Trail.

A long picturesque driveway navigates over a bridge, creating a romantic entry into this enticing home built in 1906 by a UC Berkeley professor desiring a summer retreat. (He apparently hopped on the train that ran on the track behind the house to commute via the Sacramento Northern Railroad.) The more than 3,350 square feet of living space has since been remodeled with restraint, thankfully retaining its unique qualities and features that include decks respectfully built around the trunks of massive oak trees. There are pinewood floors, stained glass imported from France, leaded glass window and Douglas fir ceiling beams.

There are four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms in the main home plus a one-bedroom, one-bathroom 600-square-foot casita that was recently renovated.

A large living room and adjacent bonus room with an en suite bathroom and separate entry offer an abundance of space to gather.

The home delivers distinctive details and an incredible indoor-outdoor atmosphere, especially in the atrium-style dining room.

Glass French doors open to the enchanting dining room featuring floor-to-ceiling walls of windows on three sides. Views of the oak trees and creek wrap around this unique dining venue that also features a trio of skylights.

The kitchen features a commercial-grade range, view windows and a walk-through pantry built around the trunk of an oak tree. There is also convenient access to the back deck. The adjacent informal dining room features a wall of built-in cabinetry and a front-facing garden view.

A wood-burning fireplace anchors the generous-size family room that also features an exposed beam ceiling and a built-in seat in front of a leaded-glass window.

The main home’s upper floor is dedicated to a romantic master suite designed with a vaulted exposed beam ceiling, curved leaded-glass windows, a walk-through bathroom to the walk-in closet with custom built-ins, and a private deck with a breathtaking view of the pool and the gardens.

Three additional bedrooms, one bathroom and the laundry room are located off the family room. Each bedroom has a closet with cedar floors, garden views and crown molding. One has a built-in workstation. This wing has a private entry.

This 2.35-acre level property features lush foliage, garden beds, leafy trees and plenty of room to walk.

The park-style grounds include the sprawling lawn, a rose garden, gazebo, solar-heated and completely fenced pool, viewing deck, and meandering paver walkways.

The charming gazebo and pool area is the perfect spot to revel in the twilight sky.

Also on the property are vintage pool and orchid houses, which offer endless possibilities to restore to their grandeur or redesign into studio workshops, entertainment venues, or the ideal work-from-home office. An additional workshop attached to the home would make a perfect wine-tasting room and cellar.

Walk to downtown or hop on the Lafayette-Moraga Trail from this ideal location. This property is close to BART, freeway access, top-rated schools in the Acalanes and Lafayette school districts, and steps from Lafayette Elementary and Stanley Intermediate.

Vital StatsWhat: Magnificent vintage estate property and compound bordered by Las Trampas Creek on three sides and walking distance to downtown.Size: Approximately 3,351 square feet in the main house plus a 600-plus-square-foot casita/ADU on approximately 2.35 acres.Bedrooms: four in the main house; one in the casitaBathrooms: three-and-a-half in the main house; one in the casitaFeatures: Pinewood floors, Douglas fir beams, imported stained glass, eat-in kitchen, atrium-style dining room, game room, upper level dedicated to the master suite, leaded-glass windows, solar-heated pool, viewing deck, rose garden, extensive gardens, vintage orchid greenhouse, and pool house offer endless possibilities, four-car carport, workshop, decks, updated water heater, dual furnaces.Price: $3,250,000Listing agent: Brian Rochford, Rochford Real Estate Co, DRE# 01470068, 925-285-0439,, www.

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