August 20, 2009
Another Ex-Mayor’s Landmark Mansion Coming Soon (1772 Vallejo)
The Italianate mansion on Vallejo Street, with slanted bays and a Mansard roof, was designed by Edmund M. Wharff and built in 1875 as [Captain Ephraim Burr’s] wedding gift to his son, Edmund. During the 1906 earthquake, the house slipped off its foundations and ninety-three jacks were required to lift it back. As one of the best preserved residences of the period, it is a fine example of the transition of style in the later 1870's
In 1856, Captain Burr won the San Francisco mayoral election; legend has it that it took a thousand armed men and a police wagon at each polling station to purify the election. Burr had a reputation for honesty--indeed, for penny-pinching--that appealed to voters. He established the San Francisco Accumulating Fund, commonly known as the Clay Street Bank, California's first savings and loan company. As mayor, Burr was foresighted enough to back Andrew Hallidie's invention of the cable car with $30,000 in 1873.
Last sold for in 1995 for $1,300,000 with an interior, but non-structural, demolition permit approved soon thereafter. No word on where it will be priced or what has been done inside.
∙ San Francisco Landmark #31: Burr Mansion (1772 Vallejo) [noehill.com]
∙ Burr House History (1772 Vallejo) [verlang.com]
First Published: August 20, 2009 4:30 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
This house is beautiful inside and out! I've been for a charity event for the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake, a few years back.
It belongs to Ralph Baxter Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. They did a fantastic job remodeling the inside.
I wonder where he is moving to?
Posted by: Marina Boy at August 20, 2009 7:23 PM
Ralph Baxter, that's funny. Orrick had a horrendous year. But I guess he bought the place a while ago and as firm chair/dictator he's making quite a bit more than an ordinary partner draw; likely at least $10M/year -- though hopefully less last year and this year given the carnage he's responsible for. Curious as to where he's moving as well. I'd imagine he's probably 50/50 between SF and NY at this point.
Posted by: Shza at August 20, 2009 7:39 PM
I think Baxter is only admitted to practice California law, not NY.
I'd love to see the interior.
Posted by: StockBoySF at August 20, 2009 9:09 PM
Maybe he got a kickout for that great lease they just signed in NY versus what they were looking at originally to re-up at 666.
Posted by: JB at August 20, 2009 9:25 PM
StockBoySF, I seriously doubt Baxter actually practices law at this stage. Firm chair of a ginormous (though humiliatingly whittled-down over the past year) firm is a full-time management job.
Really, saying he probably splits his time 50/50 SF/NY was imprecise; he likely spends at least 100 days a year in various other cities in which Orrick has offices (still 20 across the U.S., Europe and Asia).
The NY/SF comment was in reference to the facts that (a) I think the NY office may have surpassed the SF "HQ" in size and (b) Orrick in the last decade has been running as fast as it can from its "SF firm" reputation and furiously re-branding as a de-centered "national" firm, a la Latham (not coincidentally one of the other hardest-hit firms in the past year).
Posted by: Shza at August 20, 2009 9:42 PM
This is a great house, inside and out. It sits in what is almost its own park.
Even with a house like this, there are problems:-- the huge apartment block immediately to the east at 1750. It is the best house for blocks around, among the best of northeastern Pacific Heights, (north of Jackson.)
Posted by: Conifer at August 20, 2009 9:48 PM
It's been on Malin's site a few days now. I've never been inside, but I've always admired this house. The large lot is just spectacular and will make someone a fantastic home, especially if they have an admiration for SF history! The poor location though is the only real drawback... But, in an area with quite a few one of a kind houses, this one really stands out.
Posted by: sleepiguy at August 20, 2009 10:33 PM
property appreciates at 2% a year, right? and prices are back to 1999, correct? so, add in some transactions costs and a little remodel, and how 'bout I offer $1.9M.
think they'll consider it? should I wait until next year when I can buy it for less? it may be foolish, but I'll go all cash and am willing to close quickly.
Posted by: steve at August 20, 2009 10:35 PM
There are about 7-10 unique homes on the north side of vallejo and broadway between Octavia and Franklin that are really pretty spectacular but have some unfortunate locations.
I think this house will be very interesting to watch. There was another home on Jackson / Octavia about 18mo ago that took a very long time to sell and it was priced pretty aggressively. And that was a much better market to be selling into.
My totally uneducated guess since I know nothing of the interior is that this home is either low 6 for shabby quality, high 8 if mint / classic inside. Maybe 9 if it's Mint and has sweeping views. I don't think they will list it for over $10 unless there is something so outrageously unique about this home that I'm not seeing.
Love the exterior and this home all around.
Posted by: eddy at August 21, 2009 7:12 AM
Curious as to why this is "poor" , "unfortunate" location.
Posted by: marc at August 21, 2009 7:36 AM
marc, you're correct to make that statement, as there really is nothing poor or unfortunate about this location. This home just happens to be situated amongst several larger buildings and closer to Franklin / Gough / Van Ness. It lacks surrounding homes of similar style and is sort of out of character in its setting.
That said, I don't think those factors will be a detriment to its ultimate saleability as it is clearly an impressive home just from the outside alone, but it does impact its value greatly. If this home were four blocks west on Vallejo it's value would be 20-30% higher, easily. I would much rather have this home in its poor and unfortunate location than 2849 Pacific which has a superior location / address.
Posted by: eddy at August 21, 2009 7:56 AM
And it is active!! 5BD/4.5BA ... $7.9 ... But I think the realtor should quit with the cut and paste... those HOA dues cannot be for this house...
Posted by: Bonbon at September 11, 2009 2:17 PM
I love it. Seems to be priced more than competitively, Quick sale I think.
Posted by: eddy at September 11, 2009 2:58 PM
Reduced to $6.995. Interesting.
Posted by: eddy at October 9, 2009 9:51 AM
Did this sell? How much?
Posted by: Conifer at February 2, 2010 2:18 AM
Still listed at Active on Malins site. Home suffers from a serious need of staging and more reasonable sellers. I'm starting to think this home could go in the $5's as is can't seem to find a buyer who wants a great property on a so-so part of Vallejo. I think this is a great property.
Posted by: eddy at February 2, 2010 9:41 AM
As I have said, it is the very best house on the street, and probably the best for blocks in all directions. The Baxters have had tented parties in the garden, and they are not the only social people who live in the area.
Although many houses in PacHts have big buildings as neighbors, the apartment to the east of the garden is huge. Still it is a great famous house surrounded by its own gardens.
I disagree with eddy's comment about staging. The only problem is the traditional issue of Location! between Franklin and Gough.
Posted by: Conifer at February 2, 2010 10:21 AM
For rent on craigslist... asking $26,950
Posted by: Denis at July 25, 2010 5:33 PM
Anyone who would like to see the interior, feel free to email me! I have just over 60 photo's of the inside! firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by: Chad at October 6, 2010 10:27 PM
Still for rent:
Posted by: eddy at October 8, 2010 11:24 AM
You classist neuvo's are so ridiculous. EW Burr was NOT a captain. He was an ambitious merchant who sent a ship to SF, and had to go retrieve it, never to return to NE as he couldn't get a crew to sail it back for him. He supplied the miners with backing from financiers back home, and eventually succeeded by becoming a bankster himself, backed by the Vigilantes. He was a racist Puritan who was ram-rodded into office (you can hardly say an election was "purified" with 1000 guns.) The first Tea Partier, he devastated public services like fire control by practically eliminating the budget, but made sure his neighborhood got clean water. (Luckily no major fires during his term.) And all his children hated him due to his hyper-control dictating their whole lives, while tallying an account for how much each cost him. This house was built for Edmund after EW forced his son to abandon his (eloped) first wife and child in Germany, and return to marry the woman of his father's choice. Edmund's 'spinster' daughters (pre-Stonewall?) lived there from birth to death. Another set of spinster granddaughters were ensconced for life next door (now demolished). Happy homes! (But if you want to buy some of the family furniture at a premium, just let me know.) - A great, great, great granddaughter
Posted by: A Burr at September 26, 2012 12:33 PM
BOM: $6,995,000. Maybe low inventory will get it done this time. I think this is a very nice home.
Posted by: eddy at December 13, 2012 8:21 PM
Ha, In Escrow-Firm. That didn't take long. I predict an at asking sale.
Posted by: eddy at December 14, 2012 2:44 PM