Speakers Bureau

Learn about Filoli at Your Next Event

Part of a club, group, organization, or any collective that wants to learn more about Filoli? Book our speakers bureau for a presentation at your next event or meeting! Take a deep dive on the story of Filoli and our vision for the future with a resident expert. 

Learn About

Filoli StrokeLine
The House
The Garden
The Estate

The History

Located 30 miles south of San Francisco, Filoli is nestled on a slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains and surrounded by more than 23,000 acres of the protected Peninsula watershed. To the two families who lived here, Filoli represented a desire to create a magnificent and enduring country estate. Today, Filoli’s mission is to connect our rich history with a vibrant future through beauty, nature, and shared stories.

Designed by architect Willis Polk, the House took three years to construct and cost $425,000 ($8.5 million in 2020 currency), not including the Garden and auxiliary buildings.

The House

The Garden

The Georgian-style terraces in the Garden highlight sweeping views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Their simple design is a contrast to the formal English Renaissance-style garden to the south, which features lush flower beds, yew-lined avenues, and centerpieces like the Sunken Garden.

The Filoli Estate and Natural Lands boast a variety of ecosystems within a compact area, including oak-madrone forests, redwood groves, and chaparral. There are also natural springs and creeks, a reservoir, and cultivated grasslands.

The Estate

900 to 1500

The Indigenous Ohlone  maintain a village in the area.


Spanish explorers from the Portolá Expedition camp in present-day San Mateo County on their return south from San Francisco Bay. 


The land in this area is used for ranching and logging, as control of the California territory passes through Spanish, Mexican, and American hands.


The Bourns purchase 709 acres for $89,000 ($2.3 million in 2020 currency).


Construction of the Filoli House is completed.


Agnes and William Bourn pass away.


The Roth family buys Filoli.

1975 - 1981

Lurline Roth gifts 125 acres, including the House and formal garden, to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


The nonprofit Filoli Center purchases an additional 528 acres from the Roth family, and opens to the public.