San Francisco Landmark Designed by Iconic 20th-Century Architect Hits the Market

A San Francisco home of immense architectural and historic significance is gracing the market—
providing the opportunity to own a special piece of the city’s legacy. Sitting in the Pacific Heights neighborhood at 1969 California Street, the beautiful townhouse is indeed a San Fran landmark. Priced like one, it will cost $13.85 million to acquire it.

Known as The Tobin House, it was designed by renowned architect Willis Polk, famous for his work in the Bay Area, in 1915. You can see his vision for the property was grand and dramatic as Gothic Tudor-style architecture prevails, creating a moody and storybook-like setting. Just one look at the signature slate-clad gables, handcrafted iron entrance gate, and intricately carved stone and you’re transported to a time of gas lanterns and elaborate balls.

Such architecture fits its prestigious past well. This is the last remanent of the estate of Michael H. de Young. De Young was the founder of the San Francisco Chronicle and a strong voice in the city’s politics, culture, and urban development until he passed in 1925. As the only part of his residence left standing, the stunning spread pays tribute to that San Francisco era.

While a listing’s history is all well and good, if it’s not livable, what’s the point? Happily, the 8,990-square-foot townhouse is very desirable for modern living. To start with, it’s ultra-secure for buyers with privacy concerns. Per the listing page, it has the “highest security standards with a multi-zoned alarm system and sophisticated exterior camera coverage.”

Beyond providing a feeling of safety, it also serves up refined beauty inside. There are 11-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling French doors, and exquisite arched doorways. Outside living impresses as well in the 1,000-square-foot garden.

Joseph Lucier and Stacey Caen of Sotheby’s International Realty have the listing.