Campus and Contacts
Set in the beautiful Burlingame Hills, the historic Kohl Mansion is home to Mercy High School. It is located on 40 acres of land overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Built in 1914, the 63-room rose brick mansion was the central building in a grand estate of the Kohl Family. In 1924, the Sisters of Mercy bought the Mansion as their Motherhouse, and opened the high school in 1931.
Kohl Mansion is continuously buzzing with excitement and activities. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the landmark still houses many of Mercy High School's classrooms. Though on any given evening or weekend, the Mansion is the site of special gatherings, corporate events, and weddings. It also hosts world-class chamber concerts through Music at Kohl Mansion.
The Mercy High School campus is easily accessible by car, train, and bus. Our student live in 13 different Bay Area cities, from San Francisco to Palo Alto.
Car: The campus can be reached via Hwy 101 and Hwy 280. Many families use our “carpool list” to create carpools so they can share the driving. The list is available at the beginning of June.
Shuttles: Mercy offers shuttle service from several locations which vary annually depending on our families' interest and need. In the past few years we have offered shuttles from San Francisco, Daly City, and Redwood City. There is an additional cost for shuttle service.
Public Transportation: Many students ride BART or CalTrain to the Millbrae Station and take the free Mercy shuttle or the free North Burlingame shuttle to campus. The North Burlingame Shuttle operates before and after school, until 6:20 p.m.
• BART: Purchase tickets at Mercy for the student rate (for students north and or east of Mercy).
• CalTrain: A fun and easy way to get to school – Many students ride the train from the southern peninsula.
• Sam Trans stops at the bottom of Adeline Drive and El Camino – a short walk up
Mercy High School
Faculty & Staff can be accessed through the School Directory.
In 1912 Bessie and Frederick Kohl began to plan, with the architects Howard and White, for the building of a Tudor Mansion on 40 acres of land in Burlingame near Adeline Drive. The 63 room rose brick mansion was to be the central building in a grand estate which would include tennis courts, green houses, a rose garden, a large carriage house, and a 150,000 gallon reservoir.
Since its completion in 1914, 'The Oaks' has opened its doors to countless famous people. The Kohl Family, during their two year residency, lavishly entertained dignitaries and the Peninsula elite.
After Frederick and Bessie Kohl separated in 1916, Frederick moved to the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco and Bessie traveled to Europe to sing for the troops. The mansion stood unused, although it was maintained by a staff of servants, until Frederick's death in 1921. In 1921 Frederick escaped to Monterey with his mistress Mrs. Marion Louderback Lord. Despair overtook him, and over a solitary breakfast, he took his own life.
Frederick willed the mansion to Mrs. Lord. In July of 1921, Mrs. Lord rented the mansion to United Artists for the filming of "Little Lord Fauntleroy," starring Mary Pickford and her husband Douglas Fairbanks. Hollywood once again chose to use the estate when Disney filmed the movie "Flubber" in 1996, starring Robin Williams.
In 1924 Mrs. Lord sold the mansion to the Sisters of Mercy for $230,000. It has since been a convent, from 1924-31, and has been the home of Mercy High School, since 1931.
On October 17, 1989 the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake affected the entire San Francisco Bay and Santa Cruz areas. While no one at the Kohl Mansion was injured, the Mansion sustained $2 million in damages. Because of the historical status of the Mansion, FEMA was able to provide substantial funding for the restoration project. The rest of the funds were raised through the efforts of the Mercy High School Development Department.