San Francisco’s Most Expensive Property: How Have You Lived This Long Without Seven Fireplaces?
If you’re feeling spendy, you can snag it now for a mere $28.5 million.
CBS Moneywatch named San Francisco the fourth most expensive city in the United States. It’s preceded by Honolulu, and none other than New York City, who claims both the number one and two spots (number two being the hipster borough of Brooklyn). But there’s ‘expensive’ and then there’s, ‘even-Oprah-would-say-hmmm-no’, expensive. This 16,000 square-foot villa in the Cow Hollow area of San Francisco might make even Bill Gates call his accountant. If you’re feeling spendy, you can snag it now for a mere $28.5 million.
Before you grab your phone and call your broker, let’s take a peek into the history of this mini-castle on a hill. The lot was first bought in 1905 by Eugene and Olive Grace who hired a contractor to build and design the house. The only remodel prior to 2008 was in 1912 when a top story was added. From 2006-2008 a new foundation was laid along with updates to plumbing and wiring. Additionally, ornamental plaster was preserved and the original molding was restored. Talk about a fixer-upper!
Apparently this house used to be quite the place to throw a house-party at the turn of the century. There’s a story that claims the Crown Princess Marie of Romania was planning to stay here in 1915 for a spell. In honor of the impending royal visit, the owners at the time installed marble flooring, a Tiffany glass dome and had the Romanian Crest emblazoned on bronze fixtures. The joke was on them because she never showed—yet these elements remain. According to an article by Millie Robbins in a 1968 edition of The San Francisco Chronicle, “More people seem to know more things about that house than almost any we’ve discussed before, even if some of the more colorful data leans to the legendary. Often referred to as a “residence club” – it was high end, with lots of artists, creative types.”
It’s easy to get your party on with five marble terraces, seven bedrooms, ten baths, seven fireplaces, six balconies (these are different than terraces as balconies have less square footage), and a ton of French paned windows. Currently this party-palace is owned Ken and Dorothy Paige of Paige Glass, who bought the property in 2005.
When you enter the front door you can see the Tiffany glass fountain, a Spanish-influenced, hand-carved ceiling and a huge marble staircase topped off with a Tiffany skylight.
You get the feeling you’ve traveled back in time to the Gilded Age with the gold-leaf ceiling that covers the formal reception hall, and even Stevie Wonder couldn’t miss the larger than life floor-to-ceiling mirror between two Corinthian-style pillars.
The enormous catering kitchen is attached to a formal dining room and of course there’s a less formal eat-in kitchen leading you to one of the seven outdoor terraces. This place looks super cozy for a midnight grilled-cheese sammy.
Roaring fire anyone? Why yes, please, but only in the white Carrera marble fireplace in the expansive living room. Then after, perhaps a brandy in the music room with a wall-to-wall, book-lined library?
The master bedroom has a walk-in closet the size of a small third-world country and for when you’re too lazy to wash yourself, just get into the jacuzzi and let the bubbles do their magic. The dressing area and salon boasts a silver-leaf ceiling and when you’re done your soak in the tub, you can have a martini on the terrace that presides over the Bay.
There’s two more bedrooms on the third floor for overnight guests and, just to be extra adorable, they’re matching his-and-her’s master suites. If you’re too exhausted from shaking your cocktails, take the elevator to the roof and meet up in the roof-garden that has its own fully appointed outdoor kitchen and full bar.
When you’re done your stay, please don’t forget your driver who parked the Benz in the four-car garage. He’s probably watching a movie in the media room or playing poker in the game room that sits right next to it. You may want to give him a breathalyzer test because the wet bar and wine cellar are on this level as well. All in all, you get quite the bang for your buck with this mini-palace by the bay. You’d never have to leave the property to enjoy the most spectacular sunsets San Francisco has to offer. I’d say that’s worth every penny.
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