April 28, 2011
Vintage Mid-Century Modern At 1157 Washington
The single-family home at 1157 Washington just hit the market in Nob Hill listed for $995,000 and touting "original vintage Mid-Century detailing" with which we’ll concur.
And while we often object to the de-vintification of Mid-Century designs, in this case we wouldn’t, especially with respect to the bathrooms. But please don't pull that staircase.
And we'd love to see the vintage cook-top counter incorporated into a new kitchen design.
First Published: April 28, 2011 12:45 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
those wide angle shots just look ridiculous.
Posted by: lyqwyd at April 28, 2011 1:15 PM
I LOVE that single piece kitchen, it'd be great to repurpose that if they decide to gut the place.
Posted by: Wayneco at April 28, 2011 1:19 PM
That kitchen should head to the Smithsonian. (unless they already have one)
Posted by: BobN at April 28, 2011 1:27 PM
with custom linoleum floors throughout!
Posted by: Sarah at April 28, 2011 1:29 PM
the lighting looks like vintage lightolier originals - including 3 usually attributed to paavo tynell (the downstairs pulley and the brass spots) and a sarfatti sputnik (IMO the nicest sputnik design with a lower, grander profile).
that's $6-10K of lighting on a good auction day at wright or phillips or rago modern.
agree on the baths, and the flooring might need work (is that terrazzo or linoleum?), but there's a lot here that should be reused.
on the negative side, no outdoor shots or floor plan (really needed as it looks like you'd have to grandly descend those grand stairs for formal dining) and pretty poor resolution images which can hide a lot of wear and tear, popcorn, or veneer damage.
google maps seems to put it up an alley behind an unimpressive 4 story with a very suburban garage door (though pretty industrious neighbors :)).
hope you follow this one more.
[Editor’s Note: Excellent comment (and a slightly better source for photography has been found and linked to above). Cheers.]
Posted by: modernedwardian at April 28, 2011 2:27 PM
Trying real hard here to understand (and respect) the admiration for a lot of mid-century architecture and interiors. Some of it is quintessentially cool, elegant and clean. Some of it comes off as cheaply built, lots of plastic and poor lighting.
Is it just "nostalgia" for simpler days, an easier way of living? or? Is it just because Mad Men is such a hit show?
The interior really is very "institutional" in style and materials. Those polished terrazzo floors are going to be pretty cold and slick during our winters, and our foggy nites. The baths are harsh looking and need to be completely redone.
The (white) refrigerator sticks out like a mustache on Doris Day.
Posted by: noearch at April 28, 2011 2:55 PM
"Some of it is quintessentially cool, elegant and clean". You answered your own question Noearch.
Posted by: 94114 at April 28, 2011 3:04 PM
noearch, next time you're at Blockbuster or logged into NetFlix, rent the movie A Single Man, starring Colin Firth. I used to not like mid-century, and it's grown a lot on me since I saw that movie in the theater.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at April 28, 2011 3:09 PM
Yea, I saw that movie soon as it was out..in a proper theater. Not into netflix.
And yes, SOME of mid-cent is cool, etc. This place doesn't completely measure up, IMO.
With a careful restoration, better lighting, baths, interior painting in appropriate mid-cent colors, and great mid-cent furnishings, it could be awesome.
Posted by: noearch at April 28, 2011 3:17 PM
"The (white) refrigerator sticks out like a mustache on Doris Day."
Best simile of the week.
(and era-appropriate to boot)
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 28, 2011 3:25 PM
wow......I wouldn't change a single thing. Perhaps leave an unopened pack of smokes on my vintage florence knoll credenza......just in case Draper drops by.........
Posted by: runnz at April 28, 2011 3:39 PM
Wow, anyone else surprised this is priced under 1m? This would be a pretty easy redo in and out and make one great SFR with views
Posted by: mikey woodz at April 28, 2011 3:48 PM
Posted by: EH at April 28, 2011 4:34 PM
Terrazzo! That costs around $45/sqft to install nowadays. Institutional, yes, in the best possible ways: handles wear, easy to clean. Not for everyone, but a precious example of this style that would be awkward to replicate today.
Posted by: Mole Man at April 28, 2011 5:08 PM
It may be hard to comprehend, but some of us have tastes that don't come via pop TV or culture.
Where DOES it come from?
Why is the sky blue?
I'm always bemused by the attack dog-ish, and often ad hominem, posts here at SS asking how ANYONE could like/love/appreciate X or Y or Z when OBVIOUSLY it's trash/crap/inferior/etc.
I love modern in all its forms, from the 1920's thru today, and I despise Victorians, but I likewise easily accept that my tastes are not ipso facto those of everyone else. (See "solipsism" at Wikipedia for more details).
That said, I sincerely appreciate noearch's attempt at respect and hope he continues taking whatever new drugs are the cause of this recent pleasantness.
And please toss me any leftovers while you're at it -- clearly this post shows a not insignificant level of general and specific snark.
I'll go lay down now.
PS The house is so freakin cool it hurts. Except for the fridge which Cookie Monster himself could easily identify as "the thing which is not like the others."
Posted by: Kurt Brown at April 28, 2011 5:53 PM
The bathroom sink and widespread faucets look to me to be high-end American Standard circa 1950's, with that style being very chic during that period and found in true custom homes. The kitchen is way cool just as it is.
Posted by: SJnative at April 28, 2011 5:54 PM
What is wrong with the baths? Unless they don't work why try to fix it?
Why the only thing that can still be had new, the staircase, would be the one thing to save. Irony?
Posted by: GetOffTheIvy at April 28, 2011 5:55 PM
PS If the dining set is included, that's a big plus. Again... so freakin cool it hurts.
Posted by: Kurt Brown at April 28, 2011 5:56 PM
People have a nostalgia for the architecture of their grand parents. That's why Victorians and Edwardians were popular starting in the 70's and Mid Century is popular now. In another couple of decades it will be 70's and 80's.
No one likes the architecture of their parents, but give it a generation.
I saw the mid century craze coming 10 years ago and mentioned it to friends; most didn't agree but acknowledge that it's now upon us.
Posted by: John at April 28, 2011 6:17 PM
Why no outdoor photos?
Posted by: john at April 28, 2011 6:18 PM
Goog Street View has a nice outdoor shot:
Glass brick -- do love
Posted by: Kurt Brown at April 28, 2011 8:04 PM
This is going to go for over asking, no doubt.
An architect who doesn't know why people like MCM is not very well-rounded. Nothing personal, but not being able to see what others like about a place like this must be pretty solipsistic. But then again, maybe it's just passive-aggressive market research. It's always good to be able to sell into a trend, no? Know your customer, yadda yadda.
Posted by: EH at April 28, 2011 8:05 PM
Oops, incorrect street view. That's the multi-unit that sits in front of the subject house. Street view not available for the property, which is probably why there's no exterior shots. The satellite pic looks like it's pretty well surrounded.
Posted by: Kurt Brown at April 28, 2011 8:09 PM
As usual EH, like some others here, you don't take time to read a post very carefully, but are very quick to judge.
Notice I said a "lot"..of mid-cent
And also said "some"..
Like it or not, some see mid-cent right now as very trendy and hip. It is. It doesnt mean it's all bad architecture. However, some is. Some is brilliant.
Lighten up. Expand YOUR mind with regard to other opinions.
Posted by: noearch at April 28, 2011 8:15 PM
It's also called glass "block" fyi, kb..
Not glass "brick".
Posted by: noearch at April 28, 2011 8:18 PM
Thanks, I love glass brick too. We have that in common. Love of glass brick.
Posted by: Kurt Brown at April 28, 2011 8:43 PM
"anyone else surprised this is priced under 1m?"
I think that this part of the neighborhood is a bit bleak. Keep in mind that it's also on the cable car line, which can be a pain to live on. They can be loud (although this place seems to be set back from the street) and they break down a lot which can be annoying if you're stuck on the other side of the broken down cable car and trying to get home. I used to live on Washington two blocks away and those were my two biggest complaints about the neighborhood. Those and the fog!
Posted by: xx at April 28, 2011 9:09 PM
I'm with noearch. While a lot of mid-century modern is very appealing, a lot of it just looks like my grandmas's dowdy old 50s house in suburban Chicago. I'm not able to articulate where the line crosses from cool to dowdy, but I know it when I see it, and most places I see marketed as this style fall on the dowdy side. This place has elements of both. The kitchen, stairway, some of the lighting, and one bathroom look pretty cool. The rest looks like grandma's place.
Posted by: A.T. at April 29, 2011 8:08 AM
The lack of parking on Nob Hill definitely helps explain the pricing.
Posted by: sfappraiser at April 29, 2011 8:09 AM
Good points AT:. that's essentially what I'm saying. This place has both good and bad qualities of mid-century design.
It's funny (sort of) how some others here get into such a kerfuffle over critical comments, that fly in their face of "swooning" over any mid-century interior, regardless of the flaws.
@kb: both glass "brick" and glass "block" can be pretty cool, when used the right way. Brick is generally a solid casting in glass; Block is typically hollow inside. Both give off great light qualities on the interior.
Posted by: noearch at April 29, 2011 8:53 AM
Okay, it takes a LOT for me to like a staircase. I see stairs, I either think "can I rip that out and get an elevator in that space?" or "oh look, more non-ADA compliant, airy, highly dangerous deathtraps. Why can't they design a staircase that's pretty and safe?".
I LOVE this staircase.
And I love the terrazzo. Maybe it's my tires talking, but I like a floor that can handle some wear and tear and spills and still look good. A few rugs would look great in there.
The bathroom, on the other hand, is going to have to go. Not only is it dated and grandmotherly, it's a terrible use of space.
And that kitchen-dining area cabinet is begging for a Bakelite collection.
Posted by: wheelchairgirl at April 30, 2011 1:14 AM
Somebody just tell me when to come pick up that sick kitchen system, I'll install it in my mid century (1958) Tahoe cabin home in a heartbeat. I'm in love with it :) we'll take those pesky mid century lights off their hands, too.
Come to think of it, it would look sweet in a gutted 1950s Airstream trailer, too.
Posted by: Wayneco at May 3, 2011 3:25 PM
It looks to me like the bathroom sink is a Crane sink, an "Elayne". Original catalog scans here.
But yes, from a high-end build, and highly sought after now by MCM enthusists.
Posted by: RetroRuth at May 6, 2011 8:42 AM
So this house and the adjacent one at 1155 Washington were designed by an architect named Mark Daniels. Anybody know of any other Mark Daniels houses in San Francisco? Could this be the same Mark Daniels as the landscape architect who co-designed Sea Cliff, Saint Francis Woods and Forrest Hills?
Posted by: BigFan at June 28, 2011 8:23 PM
The sale of 1157 Washington Street has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $900,000, 10 percent under asking.
Posted by: SocketSite at July 22, 2011 4:54 PM