3800 Washington Circa 1906

While it’s looking a lot better today than it did in 1906, as a plugged-in reader notes (and following an anonymous complaint a year ago), Halsey Minor’s Le Petit Trianon at 3800 Washington has been deemed “abandoned” by the city and an order of abatement has been issued for failing to comply with San Francisco’s Abandoned Building Ordinance.

3800 Washington: 4/19/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

As plugged-in people know, Minor paid $20,000,000 for the 17,895 square foot property in 2007 (a notice of default followed in 2009).

And yes, we should all be so lucky as to live near such “blight.”

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    How could there be a NOD? I thought that luxury properties were purchased in cash and without the need for debt.

  2. Posted by Denis

    This whole thing is confusing.. Does Minor still live in the guest house on the left? I noticed this was posted a year ago.. So odd.. How hard would it be to maintain the exterior? Minor had a multi-million dollar remodel planned for this thing. Some contractors definitely skated on this one..

  3. Posted by EH

    I’d love to buy that place and make it look like the earthquake pic on purpose. A little piece of Universal Studios in SF.

  4. Posted by Michael

    People with money finance things all of the time. Especially Halsey Minor. He is in debt up to his eyeballs.

  5. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Wow. Who owns the note and how much is owed on it? I can’t imagine it’d sit for too long if the lender actually got off the dime and put it up for sale at a reasonable price.

  6. Posted by Kurt Brown

    MOD actually teaches graduate level sarscasm at UCB and Stanford.
    Clearly, some folks on SS skipped those classes.

  7. Posted by EBGuy

    How could there be a NOD?
    Just to be clear, I’ll repeat what I said on the previous thread. According to the SF Recorder’s website, the NODs (First Republic & Merrill Lynch) were canceled on April 7, 2010.
    And to update Michael’s link (for tax year 2010):
    As of April 7, 2011, the biggest delinquent taxpayer was Halsey Minor, founder of CNET, the technology news site. He and his wife, Shannon, whose address is listed as San Francisco, owed over $13.1 million.
    Has everyone filed their returns?

  8. Posted by Mark D.

    It’s interesting that the fire hydrant doesn’t appear to have changed at all in the 100+ year difference between the two photos.

  9. Posted by anon

    Question…does this sell at the courthouse steps for more or less than 135 Locust?
    I’m thinking less.
    Perhaps the city makes this the new Western Transbay Terminal

  10. Posted by sf victorian

    Question for SS readers prompted by the photo included in this posting.
    What is the best place to find historic photos for SF addresses? There are a couple buildings in SF that I have worked on (or lived in), where I would love to find a historic photo. One of them is a notable home, so I assume there is a photo out there somewhere.
    Any ideas where to start or how to start? I have done what I can online with web searches etc and no luck so far.
    Any advice is appreciated!!! Thanks.

  11. Posted by derrysf

    Interesting that the house originally had another penthousey floor.

  12. Posted by noearch

    you could start by googling “historic photos for SF houses”.

  13. Posted by sfrenegade

    “What is the best place to find historic photos for SF addresses?”
    There are libraries that have specialty collections of this sort of thing. Some of those libraries have put those collections online.

  14. Posted by BobN

    The main branch of the Public Library has a great resource for finding old photos.
    I used the online version on site and remember it being very useful. It’s been years, though, so the details are fuzzy, unlike the photo of my house that I found.

  15. Posted by BobN
  16. Posted by BobN

    I should add that they have other sets of photos that are not online and that’s where I found the best photo of my place.

  17. Posted by sher

    I live a block away and have noticed activity inside (ie curtains opened/closed, cars in driveway)… ghosts perhaps?

  18. Posted by bobo

    In Oregon, the Oregon Historical Society has most/best photos. Presumably there is a Calif or SF Historical Society. For building footprints use the Sanborn Fire maps (they even show outbuildings.) Ask at Library or Historical Society.

  19. Posted by lolcat_94123

    There’s a great CA historical society office over on mission just passed 3rd. I used to swing by about once a month when I worked near there just to poke around and see what they have. they’re always showing fun old SF movies/documentaries and have a great book selection if you’re a history buff.

  20. Posted by eddy

    @derrysf, the top floor is still there its just not visible in the pic above. click the SS pic from last year and it shows an ariel view with the top level still in place. It’s just the angle in the photo above hides the floor.

  21. Posted by sf victorian

    Thanks everyone for the good suggestions on how to find photos. I will follow up and see what I can find for historic photos for a couple addresses in SF that I”m interested in.
    And, special thanks to noearch for his/her most helpful suggestion:
    “you could start by googling “historic photos for SF houses”. Wow, that is the best advice of all of them. You know, I never, NEVER would have thought of that one on my own. Good thing we all have you to rely on noearch. LOL

  22. Posted by guest

    only 319,000,000. Thats a bunch of pix

  23. Posted by noearch

    yea, SF vic: you got that exactly right.I’m so glad I could help you.
    And I actually meant it seriously. Did you even bother to google “historic photos for SF houses”? I did and got TONS of links and info, all that was suggested by others above.
    Just a little tip: try google. it works. and it’s easy.

  24. Posted by sf victorian

    @noearch: if you bothered to read my original post, you’ll note that I wrote:
    “I have done what I can online with web searches etc and no luck so far.”
    Obviously, I need to be much more specific for you, although other SS readers had no trouble understanding my basic question. So, for your benefit, allow me to clarify: I wanted to know if there is a resource (or resources) in SF where I might hope to find a photo of a specific historic home in SF, ideally searchable by address, or block and lot number.
    When I say that I’ve looked online, it meant that I’ve spent a fair amount of time going through everything I could find online — including online databases, etc. etc. I haven’t found historic photos of any of the buildings I’m looking for, but one of them in particular is a significant Victorian building in SF, so I’d be surprised if there isn’t a photo out there somewhere.
    Now, noearch, being the unlimited source of SF knowledge that most of us turn to in times of need, do you have any suggestions for me?
    If it helps, the home in question is in the Western Addition and was once owned by SF Redevelopment, and then sold to a private party. SF REdevelopment does hot have a historic photo of the home. I need to find a photo prior to 1944, because in 1944 the Victorian ornament was stripped from the outside.

  25. Posted by eddy

    Never gets old… 🙂
    But flickr is a good resource too.
    Berkley library also has some historic photos in its collection.

  26. Posted by noearch

    oh, eddy! you’re so damn funny…you made my day.
    I did exactly what your little url suggested.
    and! omg! it worked.

  27. Posted by BobN

    If you’re really intrepid and have the time, go down to the SFPL main branch and look at the reverse directories from the 1850s forward.
    You can look up people by address, then check the large genealogy databases and see if you can find their descendants. Then contact them for old family photos.

  28. Posted by Willow

    What happened to anon.ed’s comment? A little too caustic for the editor? I actually thought it too was rather pointed (and one of his best) but didn’t cross the boundary of the usual level of discourse on the site. Oh well…

  29. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Well, here’s how not to be deleted: (sarcasm) “hot hot hot” “all rich people buy with cash, all the time” “buy now or be priced out forever,” etc. Might be stale as last week’s broccoli, but it works.

  30. Posted by kthnxybe

    Yeah, sf victorian, why didn’t you just go in look in that haystack over there?

  31. Posted by jlasf

    This is like “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”
    But it’s “The Picture of Halsey Minor’s Finances.”
    The second picture shows the millions that people think he has.
    The first shows the accurate condition of his financial worth.
    btw, the penthouse must have been altered. The two pictures
    are taken from exactly the same location and angle. Look at the way that the balustrade lines up with the lower window on the right.

  32. Posted by rob

    In the’06 pic there’s no parapet (balustrade)-it fell down during the shake. Today: from the 3rd floor you would have seen the photographer without getting noticed.
    cool huh?
    BTW: the front steps/entrance purpose is to conceal the Ballroom floor.
    wow man

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