Our fall 2016 tour of the great houses of the Peninsula drew a capacity crowd. Featured were some of the surviving country estates of San Francisco’s Gilded Age: the Kohl, the Ralston, the Carolands and the Uplands. Today three of these grand properties are in institutional ownership, in use and well maintained. Only the Ralston mansion sat vacant and forlorn, abandoned due to concern for seismic safety. William Ralston was a pioneer settler on the Peninsula, acquiring an existing house and engaging John Gaynor (who later designed Ralston’s Palace Hotel) to enlarge and remodel it. The other mansions date from the early 20th century, a time when Willis Polk’s career was at it height, and the San Francisco architect had a hand in others we visited. He executed the design of Parisian architect Ernest Sanson at the Carolands and designed the Uplands for Charles Templeton Crocker. For a change of pace, we visited Villa Delizia (Willis Polk & Co.), in Hillsborough, where its current owner, Ms. Willy Werby greeted us warmly and hosted our lunch break. This comparatively modest-sized Spanish Colonial Revival house is the only one of the houses we visited that remains very much a home, and, as her personal residence, it reflects Ms. Werby’s character extremely well.