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The lavish abode and spectacular views of local pottery magnates WJ “Bo” and Bobbie Bohannan

Gatsby-esque in Mission Hills

A Gatsby-esque sense of place, courtesy of intimate outdoor areas for mingling.
A Gatsby-esque sense of place, courtesy of intimate outdoor areas for mingling.

“Designed by the architectural firm of Richard Requa & Henry Jackson and built by Walter Trepte between 1929 and 1932, the ‘Bohannan Estate’ is one of Mission Hills’ most prominent estates.” Or so promises the opening for the estate’s Zillow listing. Offering over 5500 square feet of living area under roof and a full 1.35 acres of grounds, the home sits near the terminus of a dead end street at 2440 Pine, backing up to Old Town’s Presidio Park. It’s named for the owners: socialites and local pottery magnates WJ “Bo” and Bobbie Bohannan. The two were known for their lavish parties, particularly around the holidays. Their home would feature elaborate Christmas decoration, and hosted dozens of children for Easter egg hunts.

“Entering the driveway, you immediately experience the grandeur of this spectacular home as the expansive landscape and structure comes into full view,” the listing continues. Indeed, the red-brick drive that forks to make a semicircle past the front entrance and continue to the car park at the rear certainly makes an impression, and the “breathtaking views of Mission Bay, La Jolla, USD, and Mission Valley” are all on display in a second aerial shot of the front.

An ideal entranceway/staircase. No notes.

The entrance foyer “features beautiful oak hardwood floors, a grand chandelier” — one that we’re told is original — “access to an elevator, original phone booth and a wrapped staircase to the upper level.” The wood-inlaid arch work at both the passageways and curved-top doors are a lovely but melancholic reminder that very few craftspeople are turning out work like this any more. The arches combine with curves in the ceiling and walls to “soften the large interior space.” From the foyer, we pass to a living room with more custom plaster work on the ceiling and a massive crescent-shaped sectional couch focused on a fireplace. (So far, I’ve been tempted to share almost every photo of this house I’ve seen, and I know they’re not all going to make it. I’m here to poke fun at rich people’s houses as much as I am to be awed by them, but this appears to be quite a good house, and you should honestly consider checking out the listing itself to see what I’m here to tell you about.)

Moving on, we come to a formal dining room that has what looks like a large built-in China cabinet and seating for ten. This space is certainly decorated appropriately for a century-old mansion, but it’s also not quite spacious enough for the elaborate galas to which we’ve been told the home often played host. The kitchen is functional if not elaborate, though the arched windows show off a spectacular view, and I like the originality of the glossy wood top on the center island/bar.

Next up is a dark red room with a stone-backed bar and lots of deep brown overstuffed leather furniture. Even the barstools here look comfier than the armchairs in my living room — you could sink into one of these for hours, contemplating whatever it is rich people contemplate over a glass of very old and expensive whiskey.

The home office, by way of contrast, looks serviceable but pedestrian, the attached bathroom is just okay as well. But then we get some more shots of the wood and wrought iron staircase, and those other, forgettable rooms are quickly forgotten. The wood is polished to shining, stained glass windows and doors let in light from all angles, and the statuary and (possibly fake) plants add contrast without taking over the space. No notes.

The main bedroom is spacious enough and has a private balcony, though I’m not a fan of the wallpaper. Same goes for the en-suite bath, but at least a sunken tub is situated next to another of those arched windows, providing a sweeping view across Mission Valley to the north. After leaving the owners’ suite we see some more bedrooms and baths, plus a rooftop deck that seems to be begging for a spa or an outdoor kitchen to really render the space user-friendly. We also get a second galley kitchen and another living room with exposed beam ceilings, along with some considerably downscale bedrooms — this is probably the guest house, connected to the main mansion by a “meticulously landscaped sunken courtyard with water fountain made with rare Malibu Potteries tiles which were only produced from 1926 to 1932.”

When we finally make it back outside, it’s time for a tour of several different patios and outdoor entertainment spaces. These flow from one to another without offering a single massive courtyard. The view and vibe is a little different in each, making for an ideal party scene that encourages guests to mingle in small groups here and there, rather than cramming themselves into a single, crowded, banquet-type space. I like these grounds, especially in the shots taken at twilight, with city lights in the distance. They lend a Gatsby-esque sense of place.

Bobbie Bohannan passed away in February, 19 years after her husband Bo. Their estate was subsequently listed for sale in mid-April; through a series of expired listings, the price has been reduced from an original ask of $7 million to the current $5,750,000.

  • 2440 Pine Street| San Diego, 92103
  • Current owner: Bohannon Estate | Listing price: $5,750,000 | Beds: 6 | Baths: 7 | House size: 5500
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A Gatsby-esque sense of place, courtesy of intimate outdoor areas for mingling.
A Gatsby-esque sense of place, courtesy of intimate outdoor areas for mingling.

“Designed by the architectural firm of Richard Requa & Henry Jackson and built by Walter Trepte between 1929 and 1932, the ‘Bohannan Estate’ is one of Mission Hills’ most prominent estates.” Or so promises the opening for the estate’s Zillow listing. Offering over 5500 square feet of living area under roof and a full 1.35 acres of grounds, the home sits near the terminus of a dead end street at 2440 Pine, backing up to Old Town’s Presidio Park. It’s named for the owners: socialites and local pottery magnates WJ “Bo” and Bobbie Bohannan. The two were known for their lavish parties, particularly around the holidays. Their home would feature elaborate Christmas decoration, and hosted dozens of children for Easter egg hunts.

“Entering the driveway, you immediately experience the grandeur of this spectacular home as the expansive landscape and structure comes into full view,” the listing continues. Indeed, the red-brick drive that forks to make a semicircle past the front entrance and continue to the car park at the rear certainly makes an impression, and the “breathtaking views of Mission Bay, La Jolla, USD, and Mission Valley” are all on display in a second aerial shot of the front.

An ideal entranceway/staircase. No notes.

The entrance foyer “features beautiful oak hardwood floors, a grand chandelier” — one that we’re told is original — “access to an elevator, original phone booth and a wrapped staircase to the upper level.” The wood-inlaid arch work at both the passageways and curved-top doors are a lovely but melancholic reminder that very few craftspeople are turning out work like this any more. The arches combine with curves in the ceiling and walls to “soften the large interior space.” From the foyer, we pass to a living room with more custom plaster work on the ceiling and a massive crescent-shaped sectional couch focused on a fireplace. (So far, I’ve been tempted to share almost every photo of this house I’ve seen, and I know they’re not all going to make it. I’m here to poke fun at rich people’s houses as much as I am to be awed by them, but this appears to be quite a good house, and you should honestly consider checking out the listing itself to see what I’m here to tell you about.)

Moving on, we come to a formal dining room that has what looks like a large built-in China cabinet and seating for ten. This space is certainly decorated appropriately for a century-old mansion, but it’s also not quite spacious enough for the elaborate galas to which we’ve been told the home often played host. The kitchen is functional if not elaborate, though the arched windows show off a spectacular view, and I like the originality of the glossy wood top on the center island/bar.

Next up is a dark red room with a stone-backed bar and lots of deep brown overstuffed leather furniture. Even the barstools here look comfier than the armchairs in my living room — you could sink into one of these for hours, contemplating whatever it is rich people contemplate over a glass of very old and expensive whiskey.

The home office, by way of contrast, looks serviceable but pedestrian, the attached bathroom is just okay as well. But then we get some more shots of the wood and wrought iron staircase, and those other, forgettable rooms are quickly forgotten. The wood is polished to shining, stained glass windows and doors let in light from all angles, and the statuary and (possibly fake) plants add contrast without taking over the space. No notes.

The main bedroom is spacious enough and has a private balcony, though I’m not a fan of the wallpaper. Same goes for the en-suite bath, but at least a sunken tub is situated next to another of those arched windows, providing a sweeping view across Mission Valley to the north. After leaving the owners’ suite we see some more bedrooms and baths, plus a rooftop deck that seems to be begging for a spa or an outdoor kitchen to really render the space user-friendly. We also get a second galley kitchen and another living room with exposed beam ceilings, along with some considerably downscale bedrooms — this is probably the guest house, connected to the main mansion by a “meticulously landscaped sunken courtyard with water fountain made with rare Malibu Potteries tiles which were only produced from 1926 to 1932.”

When we finally make it back outside, it’s time for a tour of several different patios and outdoor entertainment spaces. These flow from one to another without offering a single massive courtyard. The view and vibe is a little different in each, making for an ideal party scene that encourages guests to mingle in small groups here and there, rather than cramming themselves into a single, crowded, banquet-type space. I like these grounds, especially in the shots taken at twilight, with city lights in the distance. They lend a Gatsby-esque sense of place.

Bobbie Bohannan passed away in February, 19 years after her husband Bo. Their estate was subsequently listed for sale in mid-April; through a series of expired listings, the price has been reduced from an original ask of $7 million to the current $5,750,000.

  • 2440 Pine Street| San Diego, 92103
  • Current owner: Bohannon Estate | Listing price: $5,750,000 | Beds: 6 | Baths: 7 | House size: 5500
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