November 26, 2013
Seeing Red And Green At 285 San Anselmo Avenue
Sitting on a near half-acre lot, the 6,700 square foot St. Francis Wood home at 285 San Anselmo Avenue was originally designed by Samuel Lightner Hyman and Abraham Appleton.
The interior, however, has since undergone a contemporary remodeling, including a modern high-end kitchen finished with white Zodiaq quartz counters and Spanish red Poggenpohl cabinetry:
With five bedrooms and six baths across two floors and a paved eight car "motorcourt" which ends at a three car garage, the property is now on the market for $6,850,000.
∙ Listing: 285 San Anselmo Avenue (5/6) 6,700 sqft - $6,850,000 [285sananselmo.com]
First Published: November 26, 2013 1:30 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Yet another gracious old SF house destroyed.
Did they get wholesale prices on white and gray paint?
Posted by: conifer at November 26, 2013 2:04 PM
While a floor-to-ceiling wall of kitchen cabinets looks impressive, I find that configuration awkward. When you retrieve multiple items from a cabinet or fridge, you want some open countertop to stack and stage your goodies before moving them to their destination. Without easy access to counter space you need multiple trips to transfer stuff one or two at a time.
At least the oven and microwave have some counter space to the right. Just get rid of that plant.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at November 26, 2013 2:55 PM
This house is pretty bad. All lowes level finishes outside the kitchen. It's insane to ask so much with such a poor level of finish and those carpet colors...
Posted by: James at November 26, 2013 5:21 PM
I remember years ago when the house was gutted. They never actually finished the work. The outside fences were never completed with railings and the yards was poorly maintained. The rear of the house backs up to Monterey / Santa Clara which is a busy street. At $6.8M I believe that it would be the most expensive house sold in the Wood.
This part of the city has always been a great deal vs. other higher end neighborhoods however not sure that a person willing to spend that amount will want to live there. There was a much better looking property at San Anselmo - it was 10K sq ft and sold in the $4M range or so just a couple of years ago....
Posted by: Bob at November 26, 2013 7:39 PM
I'm pretty sure the people commenting on here have not actually been to see such a spectacular property. Where else in SF will you find this size of a lot with all the magnificent mature greenery, with larger than life modern spaces inside. The bountiful outdoor spaces is quite unusual for SF, and in the springtime, when all the flowers are in bloom - it just takes your breathe away. The kitchen is large with plenty of counter space, with top of the line appliances. There are four corner bedrooms upstairs, each with fantastic views (two with breathtaking ocean views). There is an abundant of entertaining space, prefect for hosting family gatherings, parties, whatever you can dream up. This incredible house is a steal at just over $6.8 and is perfect for a growing family.
Posted by: Lee at November 26, 2013 10:42 PM
Thanks for the real estate sales pitch but this house has been stripped of all character and is ghostly bland inside.
Posted by: Snark17 at November 26, 2013 10:57 PM
Super private estate. Very charming, warm, modern, up to date. Tons of open green space.
Posted by: Sf38 at November 26, 2013 11:27 PM
This house is completely different from anything you will find in the woods. everything looks new, unlike most of the other houses in the area which need updating.
Posted by: pizzaman at November 26, 2013 11:31 PM
I wonder how many smart cars you could fit on the driveway?
The powder room is to die for, disco ball explosion!
Posted by: Marvin at November 26, 2013 11:41 PM
It is obvious that we are getting promotional material from people with an personal interest in the property: Lee, Sf38, pizzaman. They do not even try to hide the fact.
This remodel is a disaster. Why cannot developers respect the original intent of the architect? Why do they need to destroy the interiors of grand old houses?
Posted by: conifer at November 27, 2013 8:40 AM
It is one thing install hardwood floors improperly, it is another to intentionally photograph them to highlight that they are cupping.
Posted by: floorguy at November 27, 2013 9:09 AM
Neighbor speaking here. I live a couple blocks away and have always adored this house when passing by. I was lucky enough to see it for the first time last Sunday. This truly is a one of a kind estate you will NEVER find anywhere else in San Francisco.
Not a single detail was left out when it was gutted almost a decade ago. Everything still feels brand new and up to date. Even with the busy Monterey Blvd, just steps away, it is surprisingly quite, I honestly did not hear the large moving trucks or the muni bus pass by. The estate is also incredibly private and detached, a rarity in SF. Another plus is the straight shot down Monterey to 280, perfect for commuters going downtown or down south for work.
Posted by: Bob2 at November 27, 2013 11:58 AM
What's with the logs on the floor? Bring back the 1970's burlwood tables instead!
Posted by: TinyTim at November 27, 2013 12:00 PM
Yet another promotional flyer, now from "neighbor" Bob2.
One sentence is almost true: "Not single detail was left [out] when it was gutted..."
Socketsite is in danger of being declared an advertising agency.
Posted by: conifer at November 27, 2013 12:15 PM
There is nothing wrong with going modern. Yes, it is sad to see the old gone, but I think they did a fantastic job.
Posted by: connie at November 27, 2013 12:32 PM
There is something wrong with "going modern." It destroys something valuable and beautiful that was conceived by creative people as part of a whole with the exterior. It steals a small part of our artistic patrimony for no good reason. The interior of this house could have been preserved and it would have been worth just as much.
I suspect I am arguing with the developer and the brokers and their friends rather than with the regular socketsite commenters.
Posted by: conifer at November 27, 2013 12:42 PM
It steals nothing from you. It is none of your business.
Commenting on its aesthetics as a hobby is fine. But it "steals" nothing from you.
Posted by: Truth at November 28, 2013 1:39 PM
It steals from the common patrimony of the city.
That is why the historic preservation movement is strong in every advanced industrial country in the world. Admittedly it is sometimes excessive. But if you want the SF preservation movement to move to private interiors, then this kind of wholesale destruction is the way to encourage it.
Why are you so angry? Perhaps you recognized that you or someone you know has destroyed something of value for no good reason. It did not even get you any more money that you could have had by respecting the integrity of the building.
It is not merely a matter of aesthetics, it is a matter of morality. Next time, choose a house with less merit.
Posted by: conifer at November 29, 2013 12:08 AM
What is surprising is that the real estate listings of older upper bracket period residences of the Los Angeles area, especially districts like Hancock Park, Pasadena/San Marino, Brentwood/Beverly Hills, etc. will showcase the fact that original design details and materials have not been stripped away. The more that the seller can demonstrate that original conditions are in place, the higher the price that can be achieved.
Diane Keaton even did a whole picture book on her love for period Spanish residences of Southern California and has made a successful side business out of restoring these homes with only original hardware, cabinetry, tile, etc. If a homeowner in Brentwood can demonstrate that the bathroom tile is "original" (and in good condition) on their period 1921 Spanish style residence they will make sure the listing page has plenty of close-ups of the tile.
I think in the long term, after the Bay Area Dwellification fad has vanished and all the new money has time to mature, many San Francisco homeowners of period residences will regret destroying the real value hidden in their "old" homes by removing the authentic heritage of their property. Take Santa Barbara/Montecito, which seems more expensive than SF or the Bay Area, and can be very instructive for San Franciscans to spend 10 minutes browsing area listings showing the still intact interiors and exteriors of many of their residences. Nobody would dream of Dwelling their George Washington Smith 1912 home in Montecito.
Posted by: Arch2 at November 29, 2013 10:22 AM
"angry" ?? My language was flat. I think I actually agree with you in terms of taste. But "steal" ? No, and that is not debatable.
Posted by: Truth at November 29, 2013 11:49 AM
If what Arch2 says is true, something has happened that no one would have dreamed: Los Angeles and the southland has developed better taste and wisdom than San Francisco.
I think socketsite should keep a list of great houses with interiors or exteriors destroyed by flippers and developers.
The first one on the list will be 285 San Anselmo Avenue, St Francis Wood.
To get on the list, the house has to have had a worthy interior or exterior. Little workingmen's shacks turned into $3 houses for techies do not qualify because the interiors were never very good, but the exteriors of some such houses might be meritorious enough to qualify.
For example, any house, large or small, featured in the book, Here Today, will automatically qualify.
Any other nominations?
Posted by: conifer at November 29, 2013 1:20 PM
LA has been really good about using the Mills Act to preserve the interiors and the exteriors of homes in historic districts. My friends in LA only pay a small fraction of their property tax bill. In exchange, they are not allowed to do any remodeling without consulting their City of LA Mills Act officer, who gives recommendations and approves any proposals for remodeling/restoration. My friends have established a good working relationship with the Mills Act officer, and are very happy both with their greatly reduced tax bill and the opportunity to restore their house to its 1920's splendor.
Posted by: Dan at November 29, 2013 1:39 PM
@Conifer, the "deconstructed fireplace" at 2666 Broadway is a true crime against a valuable mid century home that contained a Thomas Church courtyard garden. Even actor Brad Pitt does more sensitive restorations of mid century homes in the Hollywood Hills by John Lautner and Richard Neutra.
These new interiors demonstrates how far San Francisco "taste" has slipped.
Posted by: Arch2 at November 29, 2013 1:58 PM
Arch2 is correct. We already have two on the list great houses with interiors or exteriors destroyed by flippers and developers.
285 San Anselmo Avenue, St Francis Wood
2666 Broadway, Pacific Heights
I wonder if San Francisco will follow Los Angeles in using the Mills Act. What a clever use of government to promote voluntary good works.
Posted by: conifer at November 29, 2013 2:22 PM
Posted by: anon at November 29, 2013 4:30 PM
I think 1601 Monterey is iffy, since they left the very fine entry hall and apparently some other original rooms.
I will leave this up to a vote of the regular socketsite posters.
Posted by: conifer at November 29, 2013 6:14 PM
I just want to join in the cries of dismay. Why oh why do SF developers and flippers think they need to strip every architectural detail out of home?. Everywhere else in the state and in the country renovations are being done without stripping a home bare -- in fact, in these areas, to do so would devalue the home.
And Milkshake of Despair, yes, good kitchen design leaves a landing zone near the fridge. And it does not cut off the path to the sink, prep sink and prep area by putting these on the opposite side of a "barrier island".
Posted by: Gur at November 30, 2013 9:20 PM