AKA: Uplands II, Hillsborough, CA; Crystal Springs Uplands High School, Hillsborough, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Polk, Willis, and Company (firm); Willis Jefferson Polk (architect)

Dates: constructed 1911-1917

2 stories, total floor area: 35,000 sq. ft.

400 Uplands Drive
Hillsborough, CA

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C.T. Crocker commissioned the San Francisco architect, Willis Polk to design his Italianate mansion, known as the "The Uplands," for himself and his fiance, Helene Irwin, an heiress to the California and Hawaii Sugar Company fortune. After the two divorced in 1927, C.T. Crocker occupied the residence only occasionally, and sold it in 1942 to Romie C. Jacks, inventor of Monterey Jack cheese. Jack died just after moving in, and his widow lived on in the Uplands until 1951, when she leased it to the Soviet Delegation to the Japanese Peace Conference staged in San Francisco, CA. Following this, the mansion lay fallow for several years. The Jacks Family subdivided the property at this time, leaving a core of 10 acres surrounding the house. In 1955-1956, the Crocker Family repurchased the Uplands. Jennie Crocker Henderson, Charles Templeton Crocker's sister, assisted in the donation of the residence to the Crystal Springs Uplands School (CSUS) in 03/1956. On its web site, the CSUS noted of the Crocker House: "Built at a cost of $1.6 million, the mansion renowned San Francisco architect Willis Polk designed for Crocker contained 35,000 square feet of living space, a 10,000 square foot basement, and 39 rooms including 12 bedrooms and 12 baths. It also featured a large wine cellar, elevator, dumbwaiter, four staircases and mezzanine level quarters for servants." (See "Mansion History,"Accessed 12/17/2010.) The CSUS actually predated the house, having been founded in other quarters in 1952. Tel: 650.342.4175 (2010).

Charles Templeton Crocker (1884-1948) was a grandson of the Central Pacific (and Southern Pacific) railroad magnate and banker, Charles Crocker (1822-1888). Charles Crocker was known, along with Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington and Leland Stanford, a one of the "Big Four," those responsible for the Central Pacific Railroad, the western leg of the first transcontinental line. Charles Crocker's eldest son was Colonel Charles Frederick Crocker (1854-1927), C.T. Crocker's father, who served as the Vice-President of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The Crocker Family had a long history of philanthropy particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Extensive remodeling occurred to turn this private residence into a school in 1956. School administrators enclosed a loggia off what became the Crystal Springs Uplands School's Library in the 1980s.

PCAD id: 10466