Last year, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was elected Lieutenant Governor. With a second child and no legal need to stay in San Francisco, the Newsom family moved to Marin County. Which is also an easier commute to Sacramento, but we think the real reason had to do with laundry. Their Ashbury Heights house just came on the market.
It's not quite in the Liberty Hill Historic District and a few feet outside the Mission, and probably in Dolores Heights. Whatever, it's on a beautiful block in a classic San Francisco location.
355 Bryant is one of San Francisco's great timber-and-brick loft buildings, and one of the first conversions, dating back to 1992. In this loft owned by interior designer Steve Volpe there's a classic John Dickinson galvanized steel console we'd kill for. The fluffy lambswool chairs aren't bad either.
The Basics: a 1-bedroom, 2-bath loft in San Francisco's SoMA neighborhood, new to the market and asking $1.55M.
Not So Basic: 355 Bryant Street was re-invented as residential lofts by architect David Baker. This unit is exceptional for having very little done that interferes with the wide-open spaces, and it faces the building's courtyard, eliminating traffic noise and filtering the light.
Tucked into the larger metropolitan area around Oakland, the little suburb of Piedmont is a trove of handsome houses built for the new rich of the early-20th Century, and here's one for sale for $3.2M.
The Basics: a 5-bed, 5.5-bath house built in 1927 in Piedmont just outside of Oakland and an easy commute to San Francisco, asking $3.2M and on the market for about a month. Needs a new kitchen, has no air conditioning, but it looks like there's room for a pool. Piedmont can get steamy.
Not So Basic: the house was designed by Clarence Tantau (1884-1943) at the height of his very successful architectural career in the Bay Area.
An unassuming c.1900 workingman's cottage on Sanchez Street has been transformed into a 2011 millionaire's cottage. With probably the best new laundry room in town, it's available for $2.7M.
The Basics: a 4-bed, 3.5-bath, 2-car Victorian house in the Castro, asking $2.7M.
Not So Basic: the modest circa-1900 cottage has been completetly reprogrammed into a loft-like main floor, a lower level with a garage and garden, two bedrooms, a bath and a laundry room.
There's no view of San Francisco here, but we'd rather look at Angel Island, right?
The Basics: A 2-bedroom, 3.5-bath house on Kell Cove in the Marin County town of Tiburon, plus a 1-bed, 1-bath guest house, asking $2,8M. Built in 1944.
Not So Basic: On a long, narrow lot. tight to both the street and the water, the house and cottage are connected by a deck hidden from the road by a high hedge. So, no lawn.
The Royal Wedding's getting even the most hard-hearted souls across the pond excited for the celebration, and to honor of the festivities, we're publishing King's Ginger and No. 3 Gin cocktail recipes concocted by local bartenders that would be fit to serve at a royal event. Berry Bros. & Rudd, the makers of The King's Ginger and No.3, have been supplying the British Royal Family with spirits since 1760 during the reign of King George III.
In San Francisco, sometimes those pretty Victorians hide a minimalist heart.
The Basics: A 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath, 1-car parking duplex flat in San Francisco's Lower Haight neighborhood, asking $1.15M with HOAs of $225.55 a month.
Not So Basic: This flat has one of those perfectly-detailed minimalist renovations, done by an architect for himself and his family. They outgrew the flat and sold it in 2005 and the current owners don't seem to have done much except paint— it was originally a soft flat while everywhere. Above in the main hallway, the kind of details found throughout. All the closet doors have hidden hardware.
The Basics: A two-unit building, offering a total of six bedrooms, more or less, six baths, plus a lot of parking, for $3.49M, sort of in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, barely, and almost in the Mission.
Not So Basic: New construction in a very current design, it's now offered as a single property with "Luxury Compound can be modified by builders to meet your every need!" prominent in the listing text. It had originally appeared on the market in 2009 as two units for $2.37M each, then as two units at $1.695M and $1.895M respectively (one is a tad larger) and now again as one for a total of $1.25M less.
In San Francisco, a house can't make up its mind what it wants to be when it grows up. And is full of surprises.
The Basics: An extensively-renovated 4-bed, 3.5-bath, 1-car house on one of Noe Valley's prettiest streets, built in 1911. Came on the market today asking $2.275M.
Not So Basic: It started out life as an interesting mash-up of Arts & Crafts and Queen Anne— which it continues to be— overlaid with some active re-decoration. A lot of Venetian plaster. Kudos to the owners for not holding back, and they don't seem to have done any harm— although that sink/horse trough/public fountain in the powder room (above) might get a little splashy.