The eastward exit from Interstate 15 onto Rancho Bernardo Road eventually curves toward the south to become Espola Road. From there, it’s a short distance to a right turn onto Lake Poway Road that heads back toward the west. The farther west Lake Poway Road goes, the more the clangor and crush of civilization fades into the distance. Rows of tall established trees line what seems like a country road in Sonoma County, well paved, but rural. The area is Green Valley Summit that dates back to 1989 and harbors some of the finest homes in San Diego County.
Terri Fehlberg, an affiliate agent with the Rancho Bernardo office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has the listing for a home at 13590 Summit Circle in Poway. It’s a five bedroom, five bath, approximately 6,500-square-foot home, inclusive of a guesthouse on the back side of the approximately 4-acre lot. The asking price is $2.35 million.
Custom-built in 1991 by San Diego-based architect Paul McKim, the house looks and feels like a romantic French chateau. McKim came to San Diego in the early 1960s to start his own firm, now known as McKim Design Group. McKim’s early office was in Lloyd Ruocco’s Design Center on Fifth Avenue along with a host of other design talent of the era. In 2014, McKim was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Institute of Architects San Diego — its highest honor. The AIA San Diego website honored Kim for “his long and varied career during what spanned one of the most dynamic periods in California with the emergence and establishment of modernism as the defining typology of progressive architecture.”
The home is a custom-built home for specific clients, but McKim’s overarching goal of incorporating the natural beauty of San Diego’s landscape into any project is unmistakable. The institute’s website describes his interior spaces as filled with expanses of glass that allow filtered sunlight to cast shadows across plain walls on the interior. Kim makes extensive use of glass walls to blur the line between the indoors and the outdoors.
The home on Summit Circle is no exception.
The property stretches from one side of Summit Circle to the other. Beyond the impressive gate, only a small stretch of the curving driveway is visible. It winds up the sloping lot past a classic formal garden known as a French parterre. This lovely manicured garden is defined by plant beds in symmetrical patterns separated and connected by paths. The interior sections are bursting with flowers. The borders are edged with stone and hedging, reminiscent of the gardens at the Palace of Versailles.
The formal garden is the centerpiece of the entertaining side of the home. Grand double staircases sweep down each side of the residence with balustrades from expansive terraces overlooking the breathtaking view of the mountains to the east.
The drive continues a short distance to the formal front entry. The northwest side of the home has a large entertaining area with a pool and spa. On the farthest edge on the other side of Summit Circle is a guesthouse.
“For parents to have their own space, or a college student their own independence; it’s great that it has its own garage, ”Fehlberg said.
Fehlberg said there’s an area there that could also be used for a side patio.
“Besides having all the lovely manicured area,” Fehlberg, who has been selling real estate her entire career all over San Diego County said, “much of the property is all natural with different elevations — it has a natural ravine, a small vineyard and the previous owner even had a zipline for the kids.”
Fehlberg said the “non-formal” part of the acreage is landscaped in native, water-saving California foliage.
“Inside the house, it’s very timeless,” she said. “When you stand in the living room and you look up to the dramatic stairwell or you go out on the balcony from the master where you get a higher level of the same feeling that you get when from the main floor; it’s exquisite.”
The people selling the home are the original owners who raised their family there. Every detail of the home has been meticulously maintained.
Fehlberg said when you walk into the living room or step outside on the verandas and look out over the mountains to the east: “your blood pressure goes down; you find a different place in your head and your heart; it just takes you down more than one level.”
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