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George A. Schastey, 1921-1933
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents Note

  • Descriptive Summary

    Collection Title: George A. Schastey,
    Date (inclusive): 1921-1933
    Collection Number: 1981-1
    Creator: Schastey, George A., 1869-1933
    Extent: 1 flat file drawer
    Repository: Environmental Design Archives.
    University of California, Berkeley.
    Berkeley, California.
    Abstract: The collection contains architectural drawings relating to the Lauriston Estate in Portola Valley, California.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Curator.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George A. Schastey, (1981-1), Environmental Design Archives. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was donated in 1981.

    Access Points

    Villa Lauriston, Calif.
    Law, Herbert Edward, 1864-1952.


    George A. Schastey (1869-1933)
    George Alfred Schastey Jr. was born in New York City in 1869. He entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts around 1885 and was graduated in 1891, five years after his friend Bernard Maybeck, another native New Yorker. Schastey returned to New York to begin his architecture practice, working for William Baumgartner. The firm was contracted to design the interior of San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel and Schastey was sent to California in 1905 to oversee the design. After the earthquake and fire of 1906, the new owner of the Fairmont, Herbert Edward Law, hired Schastey to design and execute the interiors of the hotel. Schastey moved his family to San Francisco in 1907 and formed Schastey and Vollmer, a firm specializing in interior decoration, furnishings, and hotel equipment. The partnership lasted until 1910, and Schastey remained independent for the rest of his career.
    Schastey worked on numerous commissions for Herbert Law, including a house in San Francisco and the sprawling Lauriston Estate in Portola Valley, California. The Lauriston project lasted several years and was unprecedented in scope. The Villa was intended to have the rhythm and feel of a Florentine villa. It was 13,000 square feet, had 30 rooms, ten bathrooms, ten fireplaces, and took over 100 craftsmen and artisans four years to complete. In addition to the Villa, the original estate included a residence for the administrator, quarters for hands, stables, milking barn, and garage. The estate included 627 acres of meadows, mountains, and valleys with trails for hiking and horseback riding. Over 12,000 trees were planted.
    Schastey's other San Francisco projects included the designs of the Cliff House, the Liebes Building, and the Foster Candy Company, and consulting on the interior and furniture for the Palace Hotel. He also designed residences in Sea Cliff community on the coast of Northern California. In 1923 he moved to Reno, Nevada for five years, where he designed the (then) tallest building in the city with Frederick de Longchamps. He also designed several small bungalows. In 1928, Herbert Law called Schastey back to San Francisco to design a residence for his daughter, Patricia Law. Patricia Law's "Homestead" was designed as an estate within the Lauriston estate, and Schastey worked on the design until his death in 1933. Partially finished, the house was never completed, but it remained standing until a fire of unknown origin destroyed it in 1971.

    Scope and Contents Note

    The George A. Schastey collection consists of drawings relating to the Lauriston Estate in Portola Valley, California. Drawings consist of sketches, working drawings, full-size details, and presentation drawings for the original residence, Villa Lauriston, the Patricia Law Homestead, and the administrator's residence. Also included are structural blueprints by Edward G. Bolles of Schrader Ironworks.