National Register of Historic Places in Santa Clara County
Le Petit Trianon was designed by Willis Polk for the 137-acre Cupertino estate of San Franciscan Charles Baldwin. The building is constructed of redwood with an exterior finish of stucco to mimic stone.
The neoclassical design was inspired by 16th and 17th French models, particularly buildings at Versailles.
Harriet Pullman Carolan purchased the mansion in 1909. As a small girl she earned her first allowance by thinking up names for sleeping cars and later became the heiress to the vast fortune, of her father George Pullman. When the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915 came to San Francisco, she set out to compete with the Crockers in entertaining the crowned heads of Europe. The palatial Le Petit Trianon lent itself well to the lavish social functions of this First Gilded Age in California history. (Harriet Pullman Carolan later commissioned the even more palatial country estate, Carolands.)
Le Petit Trianon now houses the California History Center, a program of the Social Science Division of De Anza College, and the California History Center Foundation, a community based, nonprofit organization.
Adapted in part from the NRHP nomination submitted 15 November 1972.