|Historic West Side
|Close to Downtown St. Helena
||Full 2nd Story Master Suite
||2,000+ Bottle Wine Cellar
||In-ground Pool & Spa
At the very heart of Alexander Court, a secluded and self-contained pocket neighborhood in St. Helena, presides a Grande Dame of the town’s historic west side, an elegant, sumptuous home set in a small gardened estate on nearly a half acre of land. The residence had its beginnings in 1906 shortly after the big quake, when Frank Alexander brought the prominent Napa architect Luther Turton to St. Helena to design the home for his wife Carrie. The residence was elaborately furnished in the fashion of the day, with dark wood paneling and silk damask covered walls.
Gary and Julie Wagner purchased the property in 1982 as the second proud owners of the property, and quickly set to impose their own vision: to restore the elegance of this great home in the eclectic manner of the late 20th century. The transformation was, and still is, splendid, incorporating floor plan enhancements and integrating features such as the custom colored shingle exterior, large scale molding, hand finished floors, the finest of paint treatments, rebuilt fireplaces, cleverly concealed storage areas and even a secret room for small guests.
The kitchen is outfitted in a manner fit for any trained chef, including a commercial Traulsen refrigerator, Hobart hi-speed dishwasher, Wolf Range, and of course, a dumbwaiter with service to the upper and lower floors. The luxuriously appointed master suite occupies the entire second floor, providing views of the estate’s gardens, an expansive sleeping area with rich upholstered walls, an opulent mirrored dressing room, capacious closets, and a plush bath with steam shower, creating the overall feel of a fine penthouse apartment. Among the many enhancements to the home, one of the most dramatic was the addition of a full 1500 +/- sq ft basement that incorporates a 2000 + bottle capacity wine cellar, laundry facilities and abundant storage.
In addition to the main residence, the property holds a chauffeur’s quarters with one bedroom suite, and a 2-bedroom guest cottage that dates back to the late 1800’s. The cottage, originally used as a milk house, retains all of the charm of its origins plus modern-day elements including a wrap-around screened-in porch, wood-burning fireplace with French style mantle, built-in bookcases, and delightful kitchen.
San Francisco based Eric Cogswell was commissioned to design the gardens on the estate, adding extensive plantings while incorporating the original Alexander palm trees, the giant Douglas Fir, and redwoods planted from coffee cans by the Alexander sisters. The garden is configured on two levels with the pool and spa on the upper level, while using rectangular cut Arizona flagstone to define pathways and patios.
This Grand Dame, now living in the 21st century, is more vibrant than ever, carrying on a rich tradition of fine design and luxuriant living. Its next owner will have the pleasure of becoming the steward of this heirloom property and the honor of continuing the story started by Mr. Frank Alexander.