AKA: Newmar, Hillsborough, CA; La Dolphine, Hillsborough, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Hobart, Lewis P., Architect (firm); Lewis Parsons Hobart (architect)

Dates: constructed 1912-1916

2 stories

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1761 Manor Drive
Hillsborough, CA 94010

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Building History

This Beaux-Arts Style residence stood on 3.36 landscaped acres in Hillsborough, CA. The French-influenced house had matching landscaping with parterres and ornamental fountains. San Francisco architect Lewis Hobart (1873-1954) designed both the residence and the gardens for George A. Newhall, Sr., (1862-1929), son of the wealthy auctioneer/land speculator Henry M. Newhall (1825–1882).

The businessman Richard Scofield Rheem (1903-1971), who co-founded the Rheem Manufacturing Company in Emeryville, CA, in 1925, resided in the Newhall House by the 1950s. Like Harriett Pullman Carolan (1869-1956), who purchased antique French paneling, or boiseries, from antique dealers in New York, Rheem bought renowned boiseries from the antiques dealer Joseph Duveen (1869-1939) in the 1950s for the Newhall House, renamed by Rheem, "La Dolphine." Writing on the Carolands Foundation.org web site, Martin Chapman, Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, wrote: "Another figure who was closely connected with Gilded Age clients in supplying works of art as well as paneling was the antique dealer Joseph Duveen. His dealings with the paneling from the Salon Dore of the Hotel de La Tremoille, then thought to come from the Hotel Crillon on the Place de la Concorde, show the progression of panelings from private mansion to public museum. Originally installed in the huge Otto Kahn mansion at 91st and Fifth Avenue in 1916, Duveen bought the paneling in 1934 after Kahn died from his widow. Duveen then used this paneling as a background for displaying his French furniture in his premises further down Fifth Avenue. In the early 1950s the firm sold the paneling to Richard Rheem for his mansion La Dolphine in Hillsborough to panel his new ballroom. However, within a very few years Mr. Rheem gave the paneling to the Legion of Honor museum in 1959 where it has been redisplayed after a recent renovation." (See Martin Chapman, Carolands Foundation.org, "Period Rooms," accessed 04/05/2021.)

Building Notes

In their book The Golden Age of American Gardens, authors Mac Griswold and Eleanor Weller wrote of the Newhall House and Garden: "In 1914, when [Lewis] Hobart designed what was then called 'Newmar' for the George Newhalls, a French garden was a rarity in California. But the low French-windowed stone house was inspired by the Petit Trianon, and Hobart, following what by then had become a Beaux-Arts tradition of unity between house and garden, went on to make a brilliant French garden. The plan itself was hardly striking. A cypress-edged tapis vert extended an axial view from the entrance court; on the garden front, on the same axis, a 175-foot allee was framed using the lines of pink and white hawthorns, and terminated in a temple of love. Just below the house terrace, a wide grass parterre was strictly divided into four grass rectangles and centered with a reflecting pool. The parterre was surrounded on all four sides with nearly 100 perfectly pollarded plane trees. Outside the confines of the main view, things relaxed: a rose garden and abundant orchards lay just beyond the severe cypress hedges." (See Mac Griswold and Eleanor Weller, The Golden Age of American Gardens, [New York: Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, 1991], p. 319.)

In 1925, Newhall was the Vice-president and one of four Life Members of the Burlingame Country Club, in Burlingame, CA. (See New Society Blue Book of San Francisco, 1924-1925, [San Francisco: Marguerite M. Pinchard, 1924], p. 257.


A swimming pool on the property had been altered in 1941 from a strictly ornamental reflecting pond.

PCAD id: 16123