Built for the owner of a gold mine back in 1895, the landmark Queen Anne Victorian on the northwest corner of Franklin and California measures nearly 9,000 square feet and sits on the southern half of a 10,654-square-foot Pacific Heights parcel which has been newly subdivided into two legal lots.

The original interior of the home, which was designed by W.H. Lille, remains largely intact, with incredible woodwork, finishes and windows throughout.

Having been purchased for $3.3 million in July of 2000, the eleven-bedroom Queen Anne and its two legal lots at 1701 Franklin Street are now back on the market with a $6.995 million price tag.

And yes, the newly subdivided lot is buildable but the parcel remains historic and plans for its development would require a Certificate of Appropriateness to proceed.  Keep in mind that plans for a garage addition and elevator within the existing home have already been approved.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by jenofla

    This is old school awesomeness. A whole undeveloped lot in an overpriced city for your dog and kids to play in. 11 bedrooms, enough to house your 8 kids that you send all to private schools. Who cares about no garage…just have the driver bring the car up front, please. All that architectural detail, craftsmen maintenance. I love this.

    But people with the money like the shiny, smooth stuff and big open spaces and the wifi butler. It’s not like there are a lot of these left, yet it seems like there just aren’t the buyers for them and prices drop (see recent Maybeck home sale, Witches Hat home). It’s sad, but probably just for Luddites like me.

  2. Posted by Mark F.

    Fabulous home. Now, I need to look for the $7 million to buy it!

  3. Posted by Eddy

    The adjacent home on Franklin was for sale recently and had a hard time finding a buyer. Not sure whatever became of it. This home while in desperate need of some love and attention is fairly spectacular and the lot value here is a steal even on the busy Franklin corridor. Very curious to see what this ultimately fetches.

    [Editor’s Note: Another Million Dollar Reduction for a Renovated Landmark Mansion (after which it was relisted, reduced again and then withdrawn from the market without reported sale).]

    • Posted by sockettome

      Likely do to the fact the adjacent home seller is aware of the lot split and had to disclose it to potential buyers.

  4. Posted by jenofla

    Just wanted to clarify, it’s not sad that the prices are low (and maybe then I could afford one, haha, yeah right) but that when the prices are low, one wonders with wringing hands whether the buyer is going to renovate the life out of them.

  5. Posted by Notcom

    (1) this seems very similarly priced to the Piedmont house publicized recently which might make sense given similarity in house and lot size and age (tho worlds apart stylistically they are only 17 years apart in construction), but what’s become of the rule of thumb of SF properties fetching multiples of Eastbay ones?

    (2) Several “estate-in-the-City” properties on that quarter block: expect calls for eminent domain and construction of several hundred units of “density” in three, two, one…

  6. Posted by Anon123

    To me, it is beautiful to look at but not my taste for a place to live – feels like my (long gone) grandparents style. Not that it matters since I missed the Powerball jackpot..

  7. Posted by Serge

    What a fantastic and stunning home; inside and out. Really the only drawback is that it’s on a veritable freeway, which is likely why the adjacent house on Franklin also had trouble selling. Along with Van Ness, this really was the earliest “Fifth Avenue” equivalent we had in SF. Just hope that the interior isn’t gutted.

    Wondering about the fire escapes, though. Was this at one point converted into apartments?

    • Posted by derrysf

      Spot on, Franklin is a sooty highway pretty much 24/7, California Street is also busy, and this otherwise amazing home is only a few hundred yards from sketchy Van Ness Avenue as well. Were it situated a half mile north and/or west and this property would list at double this price.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering why this looked like a bargain.

    • Posted by denis

      I had just braved parking at the infinite loop of hell that is the Whole Foods parking lot only to give up (it’s back to instacart for me), and was wondering if this wonderful home would ever hit the market; and here it is.

      It’s a good price but the, yes, location is kind of awful. Even if it were a few blocks west on California street I think we’d see a different price. I’m clearly in the minority and want to live like it’s 1899 forever, so I love the interior. I’d just have slightly more contemporary furniture and wallpaper and be good to go.

      This is a really unpredictable home in estimating a final sale price. It could easily go over asking because on a PPSF basis, this is just hard to beat.

  8. Posted by Panhandle Pro

    This is a tough one. Obviously it’s a beautiful home that shouldn’t be gutted, but it’s incredibly out of touch with modern day living, both in size and in layout.

    The best outcome here is likely a conversion into a community living / co-op type home that takes advantage of all of the bedrooms to house single people. A good comp is “Agape” which is a monster SFH in the Mission. Whether the math pencils out, is another story.

    • Posted by Serge

      I’m confused how the layout is out of touch with modernity, besides not having a cold and drab open floor plan? If someone wants a sleek and modern Apple Store-esque interior there are thousands of mid-century boxes that are a perfect canvas for that design. There are people who build modern McMansions and try to replicate these types of interior details and finishes, consequently making them look cheap and gaudy. This is at least the real deal with stellar craftsmanship and quality (yes, I know that most Victorian Era interiors were catalog order at the time).

      • Posted by Panhandle Pro

        The layout is out of touch with modern day living in the following ways: 1) enclosed kitchen, walled off from living and dining rooms 3) far too many fireplaces for what is used 4) formal entryways without any utility 4) likely outdated infrastructure (plumbing, lack of power outlets) 5) far too many bedrooms for a modern family of 2-3 kids, not 5-6

        • Posted by Serge

          Most of the complaints seem to be too many walls, which you can move if you wanted to. Make two bedrooms into one, or expand out the bathrooms.

          Since when is having fireplaces a negative? A fireplace in a bedroom is quite nice to have, despite not being overly practical. Then again, a 7,000 sq ft home isn’t necessarily practical in the first place.

          Enclosed kitchens that are separate from the living and dining rooms are just fine. I know everyone these days love that bachelor studio style kitchen, but there really isn’t anything wrong with separate kitchens.

          I will agree that the formal entryway doesn’t have much utility. But once again, this house wasn’t supposed to be practical.

          I won’t argue that the infrastructure is out of date. Plumbing is a PITA to change, but running new Romex isn’t necessarily the end of the world.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            I agree that an enclosed kitchen can be an advantage, especially if you cook smelly stuff on high heat. No amount of hood suction can keep that contained as well as walls and a door.

            As for updating the electrical wiring: that’s pretty hard to do because it involves popping a lot of access holes in the plaster and then patching over those holes. That discourages installing can lighting which is a good thing :-).

          • Posted by Panhandle Pro

            Moving walls is often not that simple due to structural concerns. Also, it creates a nightmare in terms of flooring and ceiling design continuity.

            Would you want your children able to burn wood in their bedroom after everyone goes to bed? Stacks of wood in every room? Huge fire hazard.

            Enclosed kitchens are less desirable than open kitchens, according to buying patterns. You might prefer one, but I’d guess 80% of people or more prefer an open one, which is why almost every new construction home since the 90’s (?) has it.

          • Posted by Serge

            Though not as simple, it can be done, and is done quite often. A competent architect can do it.

            Having a fireplace in the bedroom does not mean you are required to use it. Still unsure how that is a negative. Keep firewood and matches away from children? Seems like a simple enough solution. Put some twinkly LED lights inside with some logs and the kids will think it’s magical and never have to light the fire.

            Trends also favored sunken living rooms, avocado green appliances, formica countertops, faux skylights over islands, and track lighting. I wouldn’t use current trends as an argument for something being good or worthwhile.

      • Posted by SFMichael

        Plus the 11 listed bedrooms with 5 1/2 bathrooms, including one bathroom dedicated to the master bedroom and the 1/2 bath being accessible only through an office that may be off limits to guests. Heck the top floor one bathroom for six bedrooms.

      • Posted by I see

        1) Way too many living spaces for typical modern families; 2) Way too many bedrooms.

        • Posted by Chris

          Have you ever watched a home renovation show?

          The bedrooms will be combined into fewer and larger bedrooms, an extra bathroom will be added. The kitchen will be modernized, and probably at least partially opened up. The historic details will remain and be returned to their original luster.

          Someone who buys this house WANTS a historic home; otherwise, they would buy one of the numerous white, open space luxury shit boxes you see scattered throughout the city and the suburbs. Not everyone wants to live in a white-walled cube. So, the market for this house is not as broad, but there are still enough people who are specifically looking for a large historic property that it will find a buyer.

    • Posted by Dan

      According to HGTV, open floor plans are so passé.

  9. Posted by Just My Opinion

    The right interior designer should mix old with new and turn this into a more contemporary showplace. I weigh this against the $6+ million homes selling in Noe Valley and think this is a relative bargain. Cool house. Look past the furnishings and drapes. What kid would not love to grow up in a place that was different than all his friends and had all these nooks and crannies! Hide and seek in this house would be an adventure!

  10. Posted by Vick Toryanne

    What is the “phone booth” to the left of the living room fireplace?

    • Posted by Serge

      Looks like a moveable screen, but I could be wrong.

  11. Posted by jwb

    A wonderful property. I lived across from it on California for years. The exterior has seen better days; I think it’s looking a little shabby at the moment. I assume it’s a maintenance nightmare. You can’t just pop down to the lumber yard to pick up those round double-hung windows.

  12. Posted by GSB

    This is my great, great Uncle’s house. When he passed, he left the home in trust for the unmarried daughters of my great great grandfather John Crisp Coleman who owned the house just up the street at 1834 California. John & Edward were equal business partners their entire life.

    The family sold Edwards’ house shortly after his passing in 1913 and one of his unmarried nieces, my great Aunt Persus, lived to be 104 and died in the mid 1980’s. She lived @ 1834 California street till the day she died. We had large family Thanksgiving gatherings every year @ 1834 & it’s nice to finally see the inside of Edwards home. It brings back a lot of great memories. Thanks for posting this!

    • Posted by Serge

      Wonderful post, thank you for the added history! I’ve always liked this house and 1834 California. I call it the Queen Anne without the witches’ hat. Do you know if it ever had one? I assume not.

    • Posted by Conifer

      Thank you very much. We do not get enough realSF comments here.

      Those who feel this house is unsuitable for modern living have perhaps never visited the many houses of similar size and period throughout PacHts and PresHts, and other neighborhoods. There are dozens of them, perhaps hundreds. They house families, sometimes for generations, and are equally beloved by the buyers when children are gone. Their size and grandeur make life comfortable, with room for dinner guests and house guests, not to mention collections of art and artifacts. In old age there is room for caregivers.

      Of course, one has to be able to afford a house like this. And the taste to buy it.

      This one, as many have noted, now has a location problem. Making Franklin one way, many decades ago, was a permanent compromise of house values on the street.

      • Posted by Serge

        Indeed.

        The City is contemplating making some streets in the TL two-way. Perhaps it’s time to make Franklin (and maybe Gough) two-way again?

        • Posted by Notcom

          Wasn’t the rationale for the Franklin/Gough pairing that they funneled into access ramps for the Central Freeway? With those now gone, I would think much of the justification for the routing would be gone as well.

  13. Posted by RGBiv

    At first glance seems perfect for communal, hippy-like multi-group, enclave, like those in Pacific Heights during the 80s and 90s and now often seen in Silicon Valley and Oakland. However, right next too very busy street that is gateway to Golden Gate Bridge.

  14. Posted by JWH

    1701 was used as law office for many years before it was sold to the current owner.

  15. Posted by elmerJFuddMillionaire

    Gorgeous home but let us all be honest. Living on the corner of CA and Franklin would be a 24/7 nightmare of traffic, exhaust fumes, and car horns a honk’n. Not to mentioned the constant steady Fire trucks zooming past at all hours of the night form the station a few blocks West

  16. Posted by Frisco

    Finally, an outlet for my Turrets syndrome!

  17. Posted by JRSF

    I disagree about the 24/7 noise (I live at Gough and Geary); it gets even quieter up toward CA and Franklin after 8p; a lot of Franklin traffic peels off at Bush, esp once the sun goes down and nobody is headed back to Marin. During the day it is busy; as they open more Whole Foods in SF that one has quieted to a degree (but it’s a still a zoo over there during peak shopping times).

    • Posted by elmerJFuddMillionaire

      Gough/Geary is another planet relative to Franklin/CA. And by your own words, having to wait until 8pm for the noise to settle(it doesn’t) is not acceptable for a multi million dollar mansion.

  18. Posted by Formerly Native

    Call me a heretic if you must, but that house is not all that impressive, inside or out.

    I can’t imagine actually living in that thing as it is. It’s a museum.

    I know this is a land mark and it is in San Francisco, but DAMN! with that much property, a true NEW landmark could be build

    • Posted by Tesla

      Heretic.

    • Posted by Tesla

      As a Former Native, you need to remember that ALL of the Mansions on Van Ness and the West Side of Franklin Street were blown up with Dynamite in the days following the 1906 Earthquake.

      They had to create Fire Breaks to Stop the Fires from Destroying what was left of the City.

      A.P. Giannini, Founder of the Bank of Italy (Now Bank of America) Had Teams of Horses pull the Bank Vault out of the City.

      Other Bankers had to wait weeks for their Vaults to Cool Down. He was taking deposits and making loans within days.

      The Building, the Location and it’s History ALL Matter. They are Important.

  19. Posted by Tesla

    I Apologise. It was all of the Buildings on the EAST SIDE OF FRANKLIN ST. that were Blown up with dynamite.

  20. Posted by Lori

    This house was also featured on an HGTV show many years ago, although I forget the name. It was the one where there are three designers competing to redo a room in a home. It may have even been Chris Harrison as the host.

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