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Junior League of San Francisco's Exquisite Home Tours

1701 Franklin

Photo by Mark Constantini/Chronicle

It's time again for the anticipate Junior League of San Francisco's annual tour of exquisite residences.

Two in particular have really caught our eye:

1701 Franklin Street was built in 1895 for successful miner Edward Coleman, this three-story wooden frame Victorian is a triumph of the Queen Anne motif. The grand home features two principal facades, bay windows on the three main floors and towers in every corner. The ornate gables lend to its castle-like appearance, complimented by a band of carved wooden wreathes and garlands. A Southern Magnolia and Victorian box tree provide a buffer of privacy on the California Street side, and charming gardens encircle the home.

The house survived two earthquakes and a fire (yowzah!) and has since been engineered to withstand even more. As legend goes, the home was saved in 1906 by a firefighter who kept General Funston from detonating dynamite underneath it to expand the fire defense line.

The current residents are only the second family to call it home. Following the Coleman years, the home had incarnations as a 1960s rock’n’roll flophouse, and starting in the 1970s, a law firm. When the current homeowners purchased the 9,000 square-foot mansion in 2004, five law firms had to vacate, and the plumbing, heating and electrical all had to be replaced.

Decorated in period style with Oriental rugs, hand-carved armoires and marble bathrooms, the décor reflects the home’s spirit and history, further enhanced by woodwork and chandelier restorations. The space now boasts 10 beds, 10 baths, seven fireplaces and marble sinks in most of the rooms on its four floors.

When the home was featured on HGTV’s Designers’ Challenge, three whimsical playrooms were added upstairs, each featuring custom-painted murals. The adult playroom serves as the ultimate poker room with playing cards painted on the walls and a faux roulette wheel encircling the chandelier. 

2000 Gough was originally built in 1885 for $6,000 as wedding present from a father to his son and new daughter-in-law, the Jones-Schwabacher house, as it is known on the historical register, survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, which destroyed most of the city just east of the house and its two neighbors.

The house resembles a country cottage and displays both Stick-Eastlake and Queen Anne elements. Puesdo-structural “sticks” and other verticals divide the surface into a symphony of rectangles, and the bay windows, fish scale shingles and complex roof are all well harmonized in the Queen Anne style.

When the current homeowner purchased it in 1999, the home had been divided into apartments. They launched a 9-month renovation to reconnect and update the home, keeping the integrity of its history with the original parquet floors and exquisite inlaid walnut, crown and picture moldings.

The four-story home is now a tribute to the owners’ love of travel and Asian culture, and every room is brimming with treasures from family adventures. Homeowner/interior designer Audrey Brandt created a rich and jewel-toned color pallet, mixing gold, garnet and peridot tones with an array of textures, including intricate rugs from Iran and China.

On the first floor, deep mustard walls and red velvet upholstery frame the music room, while the dining room is designed around striking custom mahogany furniture and upholstered in Stroheim & Roman striped silk. The remodeled kitchen cabinetry is inspired by tansu chests and shoji screens and overlooks the home’s garden and majestic mural by San Francisco artist Julian Montaner.

The second floor holds the bedrooms and family room. Reminiscent of a Zen retreat, the master bedroom features a mural depiction of the Japanese countryside by Willem Racké and an intricate patchwork coverlet of antique obi and kimono fabrics, designed personally by Brandt.

Down the hall, the red-walled family room is inspired by Africa. A large African antique door hangs on the wall, and the elephant motif extends from pillows to artifacts, displaying cherished finds from the family’s travels.

For more info on the homes and when you can tour them, click here!