For lovers of all things Parisian, this spectacular, almost century-old mansion in the heart of San Francisco’s coveted Pacific Heights neighborhood could be the closest you’ll get to the City of Light for a while. But once you’ve indulged in a morning croissant on the home’s sunny terrace, and maybe an evening kir royale in front of the hand-carved 16th century French fireplace, you might never want to get on a plane to Charles de Gaulle again.
“This is the kind of grand, elegant hôtel particulier home you see in the 6th or 16th arrondissements of Paris. Every time I walk through the front door, I feel like I’m being transported there,” listing agent John Kirtland of Sotheby’s International Realty tells Robb Report.
Seems the previous owner, a prominent Bay Area antiques dealer, transformed the four-story mansion at huge expense, between 1994 and 1997. During that time she went on foraging trips to France, sourcing architectural gems everywhere from Paris to Provence to Bordeaux.
“There is beautiful, hand-carved wooden cabinetry in the kitchen that supposedly came out of a 17th Century French apothecary. Most of the fireplaces and wooden doors are hundreds of years old. It makes the home totally unique in San Francisco,” says Kirtland.
Built in 1912, the mansion’s exterior originally featured a somber red brick facade. The 1990s restoration added white stucco and huge, hand-carved stone frescos splashed across the front and back.
In Paris mansion-style, the steeply-pitched slate roof features lovely arched windows, while below the carved frescos are elegant, upper and lower balconies with iron balustrades and towering French doors.
Stairs from Pacific Heights’ Pacific Avenue lead up to a grand entryway with columns and imposing carved wooden doors. Step inside and it’s like entering a museum, with carved marble columns and a sweeping stone staircase with delicate, wrought-iron railings.
The 8,650-square-foot house sprawls over four floors, with five bedrooms and five-and-a-half bathrooms. Arguably its most jaw-dropping feature is the richly-detailed gold-and-white coffered ceiling in the grandly proportioned living room. Local San Francisco artisans created the ceiling during the exhaustive renovation.
Three sets of French doors open out to a gorgeous, south-facing terrace, with views of the south San Francisco hills. Elegant statues—again the result of the previous owner’s forays into France—along with carved stone walls and a fountain decorate the area.
“This main floor was designed for entertaining,” says Sotheby’s Kirtland. “The rooms are truly on a grand scale, which attracted the current owners, who are involved in the San Francisco arts scene.”
On this main level, in addition to the 28-by-20-foot living room, there’s a dining room and adjoining kitchen and breakfast area. A professional-grade La Cornue range dominates the kitchen.
Take the staircase, or jump in the elevator, to the second level with its massive, full-floor primary suite. Here there’s a bedroom, a vast bathroom with elegant free-standing tub, a huge walk-in closet, dressing room and south-facing home office.
The third level is dedicated to four additional bedrooms set in that pitched roof. One of the larger suites enjoys a full-width balcony overlooking the rear patio.
The mansion’s subterranean level includes a spacious family room with more French doors opening out into a covered grotto with spa. Close by is a games room with wet bar, an adjoining wine cellar, plus a large catering kitchen for those elegant, soon-to-return, dinner parties.
On this level there’s also a two-car garage with a de rigeur electric car charging station.
According to property records, the current owner acquired the building in 1999 for $8.58 million. Despite its current $16.95 million asking price, Sotheby’s Kirtland predicts it will likely be sold in coming days.
“The property is in a highly sought-after part of Pacific Heights, one of the oldest and most affluent areas of the city. It’s home to established San Francisco families, tech titans and lots of international buyers. And for Francophiles, it’ll soon be just an 11-hour direct flight to Paris.”
Check out more photos of the mansion below: