Designed by Bernard Maybeck and built in 1909, the Landmark “Roos House” at 3500 Jackson Street, in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights, is about to hit the market with a $16 million price tag.

Commissioned by Morris Meyerfeld as a gift to his daughter and new son-in-law, Leon Roos of Roos Brothers Men’s Clothing, the 10,000-square-foot home is the largest Maybeck designed residence in San Francisco and features a plethora of original redwood walls, ornate fireplaces and fixtures designed by Maybeck, including throughout the home’s great room and adjacent formal dining room, as well as the study above.

The 7-bedroom home’s kitchen, however, has been modernized (as have a few other rooms as well).

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by condoshopper

    these billionaire row houses seem like relative bargains compared to SOMA top floor condos which are also tens of millions.

    • Posted by sfdragonboy

      And, no annoying monthly HOA and you can pretty do as you please to your home without getting permission first…

      • Posted by Richard

        So I guess you never intend to pay for insurance, water, sewer, garbage, reserve funds, etc.?

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      I agree. There is so much more history with this house. I would love to live there if I had the $$$.

    • Posted by Sal

      So agree. Amazing is not a strong enough word for this. Glass tower penthouse with view of the docks evokes nothing to me.

  2. Posted by Notcom

    I guess we can only hope the property carries a covenant that prohibits gutting the interior and replacing it with white, featureless walls. (I didn’t check – yes my bad – but I’ll assume the capital “L” means alternations to the exterior are restricted)

    • Posted by Serge

      I can already imagine some uncouth fool ripping out all the amazing woodwork and stunning fireplace just to make it look like a modern art museum lobby.

      • Posted by Richard

        As opposed to an old museum lobby?

        • Posted by Serge

          Sure, why not. At least they do not look like a sterile psychiatric facility.

  3. Posted by Conifer

    The picture of the bedroom is encouraging to all who believe in “clean and fresh.” Everything is nice and white, moldings removed. Reminds you that this is the 21st century. Now if only someone with more money than brains would buy it and get rid of all the dark depressing wood in the main room. “San Francisco values” please!

    This is one of the greatest residential buildings in California.

  4. Posted by mercury613

    Hopefully some idiot doesn’t gut it and modernize it in the now-popular Mid 2010s style.

    • Posted by Sal

      People are too classy & smart to do that in Pac Hts – only in Mission, Haight, Noe are they doing insane things like destroying 100 year old homes and paying 3x for it.

      • Posted by mercury613

        I hope you’re right.

      • Posted by OK

        Agreed, old money is way classier…

        • Posted by Anon123

          Color of money is green…

        • Posted by Sal

          Most Pac Hts interiors are intact. You never know what some 30 year old is going to do, but probably if they pay this much for a house like this, it’s because they like it.

    • Posted by mercury613

      Second time my comment was edited/deleted, so I’ll rephrase:

      Hopefully some idiot doesn’t gut it and modernize it in the now-popular Mid 2010s Vulgar Nouveau Riche style.

      No need for any further pearl-clutching.

  5. Posted by anon2.5

    The Waller St. victorian featured here is being stripped as we speak. Couple of dump trucks drove by already.

    Very sad. I wish when they do this that they let others in the community come in and scavenge what they can.

    • Posted by mercury613

      There’s a special place in hell…

    • Posted by Notcom

      And you are the same “Anon2.5” that expressed this sentiment:

      “As long as they don’t paint over any of the mill work, we should be content. I can’t see too many owners opting to live with the wallpapers”

      Sadly it appears to be a case of “careful what you ask for”, since it sounds like they’re not painting over the millwork at all.

    • Posted by Serge

      I saw dump trucks outside of it recently. Really hope that’s not the fate in store for it. You’d have to be a real jerk to destroy an amazing interior like that.

      • Posted by Serge

        Edit: Here is the permit for the interior:

        “CREATE (2) BEDROOMS, FULL BATHROOM, AND MUD ROOM ON 1ST FL. BATHROOM AND KITCHEN REMODEL ON 2ND FL. NEW REAR YARD DECK. BATHROOMS REMODEL ON 3RD FL. BATHROOM REMODEL/NEW HALF BATH ON 4TH FL. NEW INTERIOR STAIRS TO CREATE ACCESS FROM 1ST FL TO 2ND FL.”

        My only guess is that interior is not going to survive.

        • Posted by Notcom

          I guess that hinges on how they’re counting stories: if the garage level is the “first” – and I’m assuming it is by mention of a “fourth” – then the “second – where most of the pictured rooms were – sounds like it may get off easy.

          Of course large dollops of hope and (perhaps naive) optimism go into that thought…jerks will never make the EPA’s endangered list, I’m afraid.

    • Posted by Sal

      Unbelievable – I can’t even understand how this is allowed, with all our regulations. Just makes you sick.

  6. Posted by anon2.5

    That great room and its perfectly positioned picture window is to die for.

  7. Posted by Fishchum

    Simply Stunning.

  8. Posted by jwb

    Cannot unsee the face.

  9. Posted by Devin Swisher

    That is what I thought: “what a face”!

  10. Posted by MB

    The “Great Room” and Dining Room are some of the most beautiful design I’ve seen in a private home. It would be criminal to change it. If it were possible to give a historical landmark protection to a private home this would be the one for it. Coupled with the location, this is one incredible structure. I’d be the first in line to buy it if I won the state lottery.

  11. Posted by Katherine

    I drove by this yesterday and was horrified (really, I can be dramatic) by that red paint on the cut out areas. As soon as I got home I told my (perplexed) husband about it and he didn’t seem nearly as incensed as I thought he should have been about it. That wasn’t there a year or so ago (or 20 years ago) was it? I can’t believe I would have missed such a garish color, unless I had some sort of episode where it seemed better to block it out of my memory completely? Aside from that (and the twee coordinating flowers in the planters just below), it’s gorgeous and whoever buys it will be very lucky (as long as they don’t gut the interior, because then they will be cursed forever).

    • Posted by Notcom

      No it seems to be quite new (the Google Street from January has them a dark brown)…hopefully it’s just a primer
      (HA! HA! HA! he thinks , inside)

      • Posted by Katherine

        I appreciate your matching my comment style of excessive parenthetical phrases in your reply… and the fact that you’ve confirmed that this red is a (very poorly thought out) recent development.

    • Posted by Philip

      The red has always been there. The current paint job may have been a little brighter.

      • Posted by Katherine

        Really? I have found several pictures online of this house and it most definitely does not have the red paint – faded or not.

        • Posted by Notcom

          From the NRHP nomination:

          “Maybeck later incorporated the use of vivid colors as decorative accents, for example the red backing for some of the light fixtures and doorbell surround, as well as the amethyst velvet on the doors in the entry hall in the Roos House. He stained wooden structural members with color to deepen the tone of the shadow, as in the staining of the decorative Gothic quatrefoils used on the balcony of the Roos House.”

          So it would appear that – while “always” isn’t correct – the scheme is in keeping w/ the original design (though the mention of “staining” rather than enamelling implies this is rather too bright.)

  12. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    Donald Trump would like this house. Seems really wealthy. Real classy and European. And as soon as they walk in, everyone knows how rich you are. “Have you seen this fireplace? It’s a Slovenian piece of work. Speaking of which, where’s Melania with those cocktails?”

  13. Posted by Sal

    Is the red historically accurate? I usually dislike a modification like this, but actually think it is kind of a cool touch (even more so if originally intended that way).

    • Posted by Presidio Heights resident

      The red is historically accurate

      • Posted by Sal

        Wow – amazing – I love how they matched the red flowers to the trim.

  14. Posted by Conifer

    There really needs to be a non-profit agency that would accept gifts of legal protections for interiors. We would be happy to have that for some of our rooms, to protect the house after we are gone. But ours is nothing as important as the Roos Mansion.

    • Posted by anon

      Basic property law prohibits this.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Could you expand on this, perhaps ?? Although I’m not quite sure it’s what “conifer” is advocating, but would it be prohibited to have a property covenant that a house – say – be maintained in it’s current condition as long as reasonably possible ??

        • Posted by emanon

          Inverse condemnation.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Wouldn’t that (only) be if the Gov’t placed the restriction ?? I’m talking about the property owner attaching a covenant.

        • Posted by anon

          Yeah, one cannot simply “declare” that the interior of one’s house can never be changed, even after you’re dead and someone else owns the house. And you can’t do that indirectly by somehow “gifting” the right to enforce your declaration to some non-profit that will outlive you. Restrictions on property rights are disfavored, particularly silly, unreasonable ones. Restrictive covenants – agreements with one’s neighbors recorded on both deeds – can be allowed, but even those are quite limited.

          • Posted by jwb

            Uh, sure you can. How do you think all those conservation easements are structured? You sell an easement on your property to another party. The easement says that nobody can do such-and-such things upon the property. Removing the easement requires you to buy it back from the party that holds it. Such parties can and do live in perpetuity as corporations, partnerships, trusts, etc.

            There is no reason why you could not structure an easement to preserve the interior of this building.

          • Posted by anon

            I agree that if the law were changed to allow for “home interior easements” as it was expressly changed in about the 1980s to allow for conservation easements, this would work. But it would take just that – a change in the laws. Current law would not permit it.

          • Posted by jwb

            anon, all of those organizations that currently hold preservation easements on California properties will surely be interested in your jurisprudence.

          • Posted by anon

            jwb, yes, those organizations hold those easements pursuant to the code revisions I referred to. If one of those organizations tried to enforce a “home interior easement” against a subsequent owner of a home it would be laughed out of court.

  15. Posted by Mark F.

    Astroturf in the backyard? Shame on you! But otherwise, a great home.

    • Posted by Philip

      That north garden is very dark, and regular lawn would be tough to grow. But AstroTurf is not a good answer, unless you have little kids…

  16. Posted by Suzy

    Forget all the snark. Can someone definitively answer the question as to whether or not the interiors are protected by Landmark status?

  17. Posted by Adam

    I hope all of the original furniture is carefully packed up somewhere, and isn’t going to be sold separately from the house. I know for a fact that many of the original Maybeck designs were still present in the house before this was staged.

    • Posted by Sal

      Oh, that is really too bad to hear. That furniture should stay in the house.

  18. Posted by MB

    Wow, 20′ ceilings really do make a difference! Great room indeed 😉

  19. Posted by MB

    As someone wishing to protect all remaining old growth redwood forests (and who laments the extensive loss of most of it), I feel strange loving this home so much considering the number of said trees felled to make it possible!

  20. Posted by Jim

    What horrible staging. As Adam says there is a complement of Maybeck furniture which imparts a wholly different feeling to the spaces….and the whiting out of so many of the rooms couldn’t be more boring. Unfortunately realtors just want to sell to anyone, regardless of whether they really value the house. And more anyones can’t imagine anything well designed, and just want a blank box.

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