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“and suddenly there is the bay, a tugboat pulling out of a dock, a tiny water taxi heading north, a view of the Bay Bridge. If I had a zillion dollars and could live anywhere, it would be on Telegraph Hill, with the city spread out at my doorstep. But that’s only a dream, or maybe a novel.”  (Carl Nolte)

Stunning mid-century remodeled and re-imagined view home on an oversized lot with a glorious garden.

Designed by the Project Architect for Coit Tower, this house is located on an incredibly private, exclusive cul-de-sac on Telegraph Hill. The magnificent views can be seen from all three levels and include three bridges, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the Bay. The exquisite renovation features an open living/dining room with the views, flowing into a gourmet bar area and kitchen, which in turn opens onto a south-facing deck. There are four large bedrooms and four full bathrooms and two half baths, including the potential for a splendid view master suite. On the top floor is a grand view entertaining room with a kitchen and view deck, one full and one half bath, laundry and an office/bedroom opening to another large south-facing deck with a beautiful view of Coit Tower. The home was originally built as an owner-occupied investment property on a spectacular site. It's been remodeled and lived in by the current owners as a single-family home with a garden level unit.

Built in 1940 and designed by Henry Temple Howard, this mid-century modern home has a rich history with the same family owning the building for 75 years; the sellers are the second owners. One of the original owners of the building, Dorothy Erskine, is well known in San Francisco history as a pioneering activist and founder of the Greenbelt Alliance. The building was designed to appear more modest from the street, as the top floor is set back five feet behind a deck overlooking the Bay.

Magnificent views can be seen from all main floors including Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the San Francisco Bay. The building is on a very large lot, approx. 30’ x 135’, featuring a spacious south-facing garden. Each floor has two decks overlooking the back garden and Thomas Church garden next door and all main rooms, including bedrooms, have views of either the lush garden or the water.

Enter through steel and glass entry doors into a magical, landscaped walkway with sight-lines to the garden, and admire the 75-year-old Trumpet vine, which creates a wonderful arch and then climbs up the side of the house - a beautiful reminder of the rich history within. The main entrance offers a gracious entry and large coat closet. French bleached wide plank white oak floors lead to the main stairway with original custom metal railings designed specifically for this space.

Stepping into the main/first floor through custom steel and glass doors, the exquisite quality of the renovation is abundantly clear. The large living/dining room has incredible views through new oversized windows. Sunlight fills the room from north and east facing ribbon windows, and the view is great even when seated – watch the sunset, the ships, and to the east, the sun reflecting off the Berkeley Hills.  A unique feature about this home is that the view is unobstructed by buildings across the street – the protected, city-owned Chestnut Street Open Space allows for views without buildings. Dark gray custom built-ins in the living room area center around a concealed flat screen panel, and a large formal dining area can accommodate countless guests. The dining area flows naturally into the lower half of the kitchen, following a long walnut butcher block counter extension to a fabulous bar/entertaining area, including a Miele espresso maker and dishwasher, Subzero wine fridge and refrigerator drawers, a stainless sink, and custom glass storage cabinets. A marble Carrera slab countertop and backsplash and custom cerused oak cabinetry add style and substance, creating the perfect entertaining space.

Just off the bar area is the main kitchen, with marble Carrera slab countertops and backsplash on the right, a custom marble-topped island in the center, and concrete slab countertop with Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks tile backsplash on the left. The mix of patterns and neutral colors complement each other perfectly and add interest from every angle. Interspersed amongst the cerused oak cabinetry are bead blasted steel cabinets and a custom hood as well as a Gaggenau induction cooktop (with gas line behind if gas cooktop is preferred), a Miele wall oven, an Asko dishwasher, a stainless Banco sink and faucet, a Subzero French door refrigerator, and a pantry in the back corner of the room with an appliance storage area and a built-in shelving space. Luxurious details such as recessed lighting, motorized shades, and custom new windows make this kitchen the definition of high-quality. A steel and glass door opens out to a fabulous wood deck, overlooking the garden, and also with views through the house to the bay. Perfect for outdoor dining!

Down the hallway is a guest room, a walk-in closet, and a bathroom. The bathroom is cleverly split: a pocket door can separate off the bedroom and shower portion of the bathroom, offering just the powder room to guests, or another custom pocket door can separate off the entire bathroom portion for the bedroom suite. The playful bathroom design includes a Toto wall hung toilet, Boffi wall faucet and wall hung sink, and whimsical dotted Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks custom tile throughout. The separate shower room is spa-like and outfitted in floor-to-ceiling Carrera marble. The bedroom faces west and south, flooded with sunlight, and opens to the back deck.

The second floor of the home offers a potential for an extra-large master bedroom suite with fireplace, sweeping Bay views, and a large walk-in closet with private deck, as well as a small kitchenette. The south side of this floor offers two more bedrooms, both with great closet space, and a full bathroom with shower. Both bedrooms open onto the back deck overlooking the garden. The bedroom floor has not been remodeled.

The top floor is yet another fabulous entertaining space, with a stunning great room and front deck overlooking the Bay, perfect for parties, watching the fireworks, the Blue Angels, or just admiring the sailboats and cruise ships on the bay. The oversized windows face the direct views of the bay, Alcatraz, and Angel Island, all three bridges, and in the evening the lights from the cruise ships and the waterfront twinkle and illuminate the night sky. Off the great room is also a small deck overlooking the gardens and a kitchen with oak cabinetry, Misterio quartz countertops, and stainless Bosch appliances.  There is an attached half bathroom a few steps up for guests, outfitted in sleek gray tile, and down the hallway is a large walk-in closet with built-out shelving as well as a laundry room with side-by-side Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer and a quartz countertop. The beautifully remodeled bathroom is accessed through frosted glass pocket doors, with gray tile flooring and shower surround, a large linen closet, a quartz-topped vanity, and Hansgrohe fixtures. At the back of the home is a playroom (or bedroom) with a giant attached deck, perfect for outdoor dining and entertaining, with a view of Coit Tower as well as the garden greenery below.

The garden is landscaped with an upper and lower portion and brick steps, mossy stone walls, bamboo at the back for privacy, and a sandy area for seating. On the lower floor are two one-car garages.

The home has been renovated to the highest standards and is equipped with a new roof, insulation, plumbing, doors, windows, recessed lighting connected to a Lutron system, and solid core white oak doors.  Each floor has individual on demand heat and hot water, and there is a whole house air circulation system. 

Situated in a fabulous Telegraph Hill location, across from the Chestnut Street Open Space, and within walking distance to shops and restaurants in North Beach, Jackson Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Embarcadero, this incredibly new yet historic home is perfect for those who desire exclusivity, privacy, quality, and a personalized space.

The garden apartment is completely separate from the rest of the home, with a private entry, and private patio. Measuring approximately 790 square feet, the unit is a large one bedroom with study which could serve as an additional bedroom. It has been fully renovated. Everything is new, including electric service, plumbing, engineered white oak hardwood flooring, a gray tile bathroom with a tub and washer-dryer, and an attractive kitchen with oak cabinetry, stainless appliances, and quartz countertops. The rooms all have garden outlooks and the unit opens out to a patio with concrete pavers.

Year Built: 1940(Per Tax Records)
Square Footage: 233 Chestnut: 4484 sq. ft., 235 Chestnut: 790 Sq. ft. (Per Architect)  


Video Tour


Telegraph Hill

Telegraph Hill is one the city's oldest neighborhoods, inhabited long before the gold rush by the men who worked on the nearby waterfront. Today Telegraph Hill is home to the largest concentration of pre-1870 buildings in San Francisco, some of which predate the gold rush. The neighborhood still bears witness to those glory days. As ships unloaded their cargo, a quarry at the top of Telegraph Hill supplied the rocks they needed for ballast, and today the exposed cliff face above Broadway remains one of the neighborhood's defining features.

Telegraph Hill is famed for its Italianate homes, Carpenter Gothic, and charming cottages with their steeply pitched roofs and ornate wooden scroll work. Those examples of old San Francisco are joined by newer additions including modernist homes by noted architects Richard Neutra, Gardner Dailey, and William Wurster.

Coit Tower, named after the heiress who donated the funds to honor San Francisco's firefighters, dominates the skyline of this residential community just above Chinatown and North Beach. While steep, the slopes of Telegraph Hill lead to the financial district, Fisherman's Wharf, and the waterfront, making this an extremely walkable neighborhood. The Filbert Street Steps, one of the many wooden walkways that crisscross this community, provides a pathway up the hill from Levi Plaza. Fortified with a meal from Il Fornaio, climbers can take the steps to Coit Tower, past flowering community gardens, and towering trees colonized by rowdy flocks of escaped parrots now gone feral. The view from the top of Coit Tower draws tourists from around the world.


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