Cliff and I are going to Filoli. Sandy, a very good friend, is a docent there, and she has offered to give us a personal tour. We’re going Thursday morning, June 24, and I have promised to operate my scooter in a safe and sane manner. I asked if cameras were allowed, and was told that they are encouraged, so I will certainly be posting photographs.
Filoli was built for prominent San Franciscans, Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn. Mr. Bourn arrived at the unusual name Filoli by combining the first two letters from the key words of his credo: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.”
Mr. Bourn chose longtime friend and prominent San Francisco architect Willis Polk as principal designer for the House. Construction of Filoli began in 1915 and the Bourns moved into the House in 1917. The estate was purchased in 1937 by Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth, who owned the Matson Navigation Company. Under the Roths' supervision, the property was maintained and the formal garden gained worldwide recognition. Mrs. Roth made Filoli her home until 1975 when she donated 125 acres, which included the House and formal garden, to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
It is now operated by Filoli Center, and the 654-acre estate is a California State Historic Landmark, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.