The Archbishop’s Mansion is SF's poshest new co-living space

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Communal living seems to be all the rage nowadays, tackling surging housing costs and difficulties with forging human relationships IRL all at once.

Yes, there is the option of moving into dorm-like quarters with millennial Silicon Valley commuters; or hell, you could just move into a hotel. But wouldn't it be so much nicer to hang your hat inside a gorgeous mansion that's also an official historic landmark, located in one San Francisco's prettiest 'hoods? In answer to the question Where do you live?, you may now reply, the Archbishop's Mansion.


Situated on Alamo Square with a view of the Painted Ladies, the Archbishop's Mansion was built in 1904 and its 114 years have been eventful. The architectural grand dame, built of stucco with a steel-reinforced concrete foundation by architect Frank Shea, showed her mettle when she survived the 1906 earthquake; since then, she's been home to a number of archbishops and hosted Pope Pius XII, and has housed a convent, a bed and breakfast, an orphanage, a psychiatric hospital, and even a rehab center. Now, in her umpteenth life, the opulent landmark truly enters 21st century San Francisco as a co-living and working space under the platform Roam, the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week.

Based in New York, Roam touts itself as a global social experiment for the modern nomad who's looking for a cool place to crash—be it for a week or indefinitely—and all the necessary amenities of modern life. Roam's stays—currently open in a handful of cities including London, Miami, Tokyo, and Ubud, Bali—provide all the creature comforts of a hotel (luxe interiors, private bathrooms, chef's kitchens, and high-speed Wi-Fi), as well as that ever elusive sense of community. The company seeks to fill the gap between the increasingly ubiquitous co-living startup offering affordable communal housing and shared amenities (such as OpenDoor, WeLive, Starcity, and Common) and the less personal business hotel.

San Francisco is newest city to join the Roam coterie, and the Archbishop's Mansion (which sold for for $7 million back in 2012) seems to check all the boxes. The interiors are, of course, downright grand, with a breathtaking stained-glass dome capping the mahogany staircase, ornate fireplaces, vintage fixtures, and French doors that open into private bedrooms.

In addition to its 19 guest rooms, more than half of the property is dedicated public spaces—a home theater, multiple dining rooms, bar and lounge areas, and a basement events space and a workshop equipped with everything from laser cutters to sewing machines. The co-working space has standing desks, a conference area, and a 6x2 multiscreen 4k layout. Laundry, room service, and parking are also included. You can even enjoy a meal home-cooked by fellow residents (Roam covers the cost of groceries), in-house concerts, yoga classes, lectures, and group outings.

Here comes the not-so-shocking part: The price of tucking in at the Archbishop's Mansion's reflects the posh nature of the address, with rooms going for more than those at Roam's other locations (roughly $172/night, $1,200/week, or $3,800 to $4,500 per month). And since the building is also a licensed B&B, vacant rooms may also appear on Airbnb.

Roam says it also plans to raise more capital in the fall with hopes of expanding to 30-50 new locations, including more sites in SF. Up next: a 150-unit building near New York City's Bryant Park. // 1000 Fulton St. (Alamo Square), roam.co

Mismatched rugs, low modular seating, and graphic photography lend a modern-boho vibe in the main living room.

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