Notable Listings / Sales

Joanna Truelson of Alain Pinel Realtors Orinda Lists Automotive Innovator’s Historic Home

October 11, 2013

Where: 12 El Sueno in Orinda (listing | virtual tour)
The historic Casa del Sueno or “House of Dreams,” a stately Mediterranean estate on the ninth fairway of the Orinda Country Club, has been listed by Joanna Truelson of the Alain Pinel Realtors Orinda office. The extraordinary estate was built for Frank Fageol of the Fageol Motor Company in 1929. The Fageol brothers revolutionized the way multi-passenger vehicles were manufactured and built a substantial bus business in Oakland before the great depression. Renovated in 2001, this Old World Estate located at 12 El Sueno includes a main home, two adjoining apartment villas and a carriage house.
While grand estates like this are rare in Orinda, it is a testament to its rich history. The Faegeol brothers began as sales and service people at a Rambler dealership which they eventually acquired. In 1916 they founded the Fageol Motor Company and purchased four acres of land in Oakland for their auto, truck and bus plant. They started building “safety coaches,” buses with a wider stance and a lower floor, a revolutionary idea that reduced the tendency for buses at the time to flip over. The company boomed with gross sales of over $5 million in 1925, according to the Oakland Tribune. With this success, Frank Fageol began building his family compound next to the Orinda Country Club, which was founded merely a few years before. While the company did not survive the Great Depression, the hacienda-styled home did.
The home has been renovated with many of the latest luxuries; however, Fageol’s keen eye for details is seen in the many of the accents throughout the main house, including lots of hand-forged iron work. Highlights of the home include a massive main salon with a stunning fireplace and wrought iron dragon light fixtures, a massive dining room that fits 30, Turret alcove stairs that lead to an office with almost 360 degree views of the grounds, and a lower-level cantina with full kitchen, enormous fireplace and plenty of room for entertaining. The grounds include rich gardens, a greenhouse, a secluded hot tub, many terraces and patios, 3 ponds, 3 fountains, many streams and pool with impressive golf course views.
The two adjacent, multi-level apartment villas and the carriage house above the garage each have separate kitchens with one bedrooms and one bathroom. Collectively, the estate totals to over 35 rooms with 10,800 +/- square feet of living space including 9+ bedrooms, 9 full bathrooms, 2 powder rooms and 5 kitchens.
For more details and to see more photos of this piece of Orinda history, visit:
Offered at: $6,500,000
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