Listing of the Day
Location: San Francisco, California
Price: $6.995 million
Edward Coleman was an Englishman who made his fortune during the California Gold Rush. With his brother John, he owned the successful Idaho Gold Mine in Grass Valley, but as the 20th century approached, the brothers hung up their mining hats and moved to San Francisco.
In 1895, Coleman poured his wealth into the construction of a lavish Queen Anne house in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, a couple doors down from his brother’s house. When Coleman moved in with his sister, he was 64 years old, childless and a widower.
The iconic estate-style home has changed hands only a few times in the century since Coleman’s death.
“Very rarely do homes like this come on the market in San Francisco,” said agent Robert Callan Jr. of McGuire Real Estate. “To have such a large lot like this in San Francisco, it’s a rare jewel.”
The house has been exceptionally well-maintained, Callan said. As one of the city’s registered historic landmarks, it is regularly ogled by tour groups and it’s at the top of many city brokers’ “must-see” list.
Current owners Tim and Ann Simon bought the property in 2004, becoming only the second family to occupy it since the Colemans. Other residents have included a bridge club, a law firm and a retirement facility. During the 1960s it served as a flophouse, reportedly housing the likes of folk rocker Joe McDonald of Country Joe and the Fish, among other musicians and artists.
The home narrowly avoided ruin in 1906 by the fires that swept the city following an earthquake.
“The fire stopped in front of our house,” Mr. Simon said. “We have some pictures taken right after the earthquake, and everything east of the house is totally destroyed.”
The next owner has options at their disposal: The kitchen on the main floor has been brought down to studs, ready to design and build in their own style.
Plans for an elevator and a garage addition have already been approved, and because the property is divided into two lots, one could build out the garden lot or sell it if desired.
The 7,125-square-foot Queen Anne tower Victorian has 11 bedrooms, five full bathrooms, one powder room and seven fireplaces. In addition to three upper floors, the lower level offers an additional 1,740 square feet of living space, including a remodeled guest/staff eat-in kitchen, a craft/mechanical room and one of three laundry rooms. The driveway accommodates five cars.
The house sits on nearly a quarter acre that is subdivided into two legal lots. One lot contains the house and a park-like garden spills out of the adjacent lot, complete with irrigation, palm trees, roses and hydrangeas.
“The best of the home has been preserved over all these years, but behind the walls it has all the technology of a modern home,” Mr. Callan said.
Amenities include a modern security system, a mini wet bar, a Jacuzzi tub, central air conditioning—a rarity in San Francisco, Mr. Callan said. Many of the windows have been sound-proofed, ensuring a good night’s sleep for all.
Designer W.H. Lille’s craftsmanship remains intact throughout, including redwood wainscoting, coffered wood ceilings and hardwood floors with inlay. The staircase between the first and second floors features a sparkling three-panel stained glass window.
The Simons have added their own unique touches over the years, like an eight-foot-high play castle in one bedroom for their daughter. Another bedroom was converted into a game room that features colorful Venetian plaster, calling to mind a whimsical, child-friendly casino.
The property offers partial views of downtown and is just one block from Lafayette Park. Restaurants, cafes, theaters and a Whole Foods are all within a couple blocks; the Financial District is a short commute away.
Agent: Robert Callan Jr. and Barbara J. Callan, McGuire Real Estate
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