CFAH

2950 Vallejo (www.SocketSite.com)
Another trophy home on Vallejo is on the market (but not the MLS). “Built in 1928 for the Gilmore steel family and designed by John H. Powers,” 2950 Vallejo has only had three owners (perhaps you can be the fourth). Panoramic views, historic architecture and craftsmanship, and around 8,000 square feet (both the home and the lot).
2960 Vallejo (Image Source: MapJack.com)
And while interesting, perhaps even more so is the Ryan Associates down-to-the-studs remodel that’s underway on the Joseph Esherick designed Mid-Century modern home next door (2960 Vallejo). No word on whether or not it’s a spec job (or already spoken for).
UPDATE: From a plugged-in reader: “[2960 Vallejo] was the home of sculptor and legendary philanthropist Sally Lilienthal. It was on the market for something like a day or two in February ’07.”
UPDATE: And an Esherick quote we had to add: “‘I get fascinated with anything I don’t understand, and since I hardly understand anything, I have a very busy life.”
∙ Listing: 2950 Vallejo Street (7/7) – $25,000,000 [Virtual Tour]
Joseph Esherick, EHDD [greatbuildings.com]
Joseph Esherick, 83, an Acclaimed Architect [New York Times]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by eddy

    I’m reasonably sure [2960] is being owner rehabilitated.
    I think [2950] is overpriced 5 or 6 million. I’d rather have the other place on Vallejo that is currently asking $25.
    [Editor’s Note: That other place.]

  2. Posted by Tweety

    Wasn’t this house used in the movie “Bullitt?”

  3. Posted by SFhighrise

    Nice place, but $25 million for that? You have got to be kidding me.

  4. Posted by Oceangoer

    McGuire’s ad says, “Have you been scouring the internet looking for the perfect home? Look no further. With just a few clicks you will be able to see what sets this home apart from the rest.”
    News for those folks. People who have 25 mil to drop on a house do not scour the internet looking for a home. They have connected folks with their ears to the ground doing the looking for them, sub rosa.

  5. Posted by kthnxbye

    Unlike Sunny Jim’s house, that monstrosity really does need all the wallpaper stripped away. Eeeesh.

  6. Posted by El Payo

    For 25 million, this house better have a magic portal to an empty beach in the South Pacific, ice cold Coke running from the faucets and a pile of 20 million in cash on the living room floor.

  7. Posted by ex SF-er

    wow… it is unbelieveable that this place could be worth anywhere near $25M.
    it seems that someone paying that sort of cash would want something a little nicer. it’s one of the ugliest homes on that block (must be an expensive block!)
    I’ll never be in those ranks of course… and I’m assuming it’s the land that makes it so valuable… but it definitely is a dream killer to see that $25M only gets you that!

  8. Posted by Rocco

    For $25M, maybe some Photoshop and color correction?
    It may look like a public library in Cleveland from the outside, but the interior spaces and terraces could look glorious with a little paint. OK, maybe not the kitchen.

  9. Posted by Sleepiguy

    The 2900 block of Vallejo is the best in the city. Well, in my fantasy world it is. It’s not as congested as outer Broadway, and the cul-de-sac end keeps it from being used as a through street. 2950 is next door to 2930, a Greek Revival home used in Basic Instinct. Also Billy and Vanessa Getty live on the corner and Dianne Feinstein across the street. I adore the exterior of this house, however, the inside needs some serious help. First, I’d swap the guest bedrooms and master suite. I’d want the view from my room! Also, is this house on stilts? What the hell are those things? I’m wondering if it needs some intense structural rehab? However, I also agree with ex-SF. If this house sells for 25 mill (and it should), it’ll basically close the door on Pac Heights view homes which were selling for 6-11 million just a few years ago.

  10. Posted by lolcat_94123

    Is there actually a market for these kind of freakishly expensive places in SF?
    I understand the history, as they were built for the super rich at the turn of the century when there was really nothing else around. But today, seems like if I’m going to spend $25m for a house, I want something much nicer, bigger and in a better location than this.
    Are people buying these to live in, or are are they mostly investment vehicles? Who buys something like this?

  11. Posted by pica1986

    “For $25M, maybe some Photoshop and color correction?”
    The interiors are beyond the help of Photoshop. That interior decorating disaster needs the help of Industrial Light & Magic….

  12. Posted by Rocco

    Re: 2690 Vallejo, Joe Esherick, 1953
    This was the home of sculptor and legendary philanthropist Sally Lilienthal. It was on the market for something like a day or two in February ’07.

  13. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The photos look OK to me and there has definitely been some tweaking done. For example photo 17 of the formal living room was run through a tone compression HDR process (or manually spliced together from 2 images). Fair game in my book.
    Still not the “lotto winner” house for me. I’d take a six pack of 3690 21st Streets over this place any day. Not that this is a bad place, just not my preference.
    … as if I’d ever have to make such a choice 🙂

  14. Posted by Anonymous

    Has any house in San Francisco ever sold for $25 million or more?
    I got a very good laugh from the comment above that this property is next door “to 2930 [Vallejo], a Greek Revival home used in [the film]Basic Instinct.” I wonder what that house last sold for! Imagine being next door to a house that was used in a 1991 movie starring the former wife of the former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, a newspaper which has lost roughly $350 million in the past 8 years!

  15. Posted by Anonymous

    And another thing–does this property feature those patented magic earthquake-proof bricks which are immune from seismic events all the way up to a 8.0?

  16. Posted by Sleepiguy

    The Basic Instinct house sold in 1998 for 11 or 12 million, a then record price for SF. It was the Decorator’s Showcase home twice. Yes, several homes and condos have sold in SF for over 25 million. However, I only know those properties with a public sale. I don’t know if this is a UMB building. It’ll be interesting to find out.

  17. Posted by Anonymous

    Well, if several San Francisco homes have sold for more than $25 million, I want to know which ones they are, and, more importantly, I want to see pictures. Then, I want to know why.

  18. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “… Then, I want to know why.”
    Probably the same reason why certain rare classic cars frequently sell in excess of $300,000

  19. Posted by amused

    Anonymous –
    Those who spend $25 million or more on a home make a point of not publicizing the information, and, more importantly, not making photographs available.
    They do, however, let you know why: because they can, of course.

  20. Posted by Anonymous

    So if it’s not publicized, it’s not a comparable sale, is it? It’s as if it didn’t happen. There must be at least one publicly acknowledged San Francisco sale at $25 million or above, or else you are talking completely imaginary numbers–which is, of course, the language of real estate agents.

  21. Posted by Sleepiguy

    3777 Pacific for one.. and 2920 Broadway was close. I don’t know the official sale price. Sperling paid around 32 million for 2845 Broadway.

  22. Posted by amused

    There is a distinct difference between “publicized” and “public”. The former suggests seeking attention. The latter suggests only that it is a matter of public record.
    All home sales in SF are a matter of public record and are therefore acknowledged as such. This is where comps come from.
    The people with $25M or more to drop on a home, however, are generally pretty circumspect to sharing information. If they don’t HAVE to make it public, they won’t. So there go your pictures.
    Bashing real estate agents is a silly and pointless exercise. Good ones make money, bad ones do not, and you always have the choice as to whether you wish to work with one.

  23. Posted by Anonymous

    Why aren’t homes like these on the MLS? Why is it arguably worth millions to exclude somne potential buyers?
    But bad real estate agents made plenty of money, too, a few years ago. That’s really pointless.

  24. Posted by Ryan

    views are nice, but not breath taking. interior is a major nightmare even for the era and classic sf. whatever stilts its sitting on scares me big time. over priced by about 15 million for sure. even though it is in prime territory it will be like all the other 15M+ properties on the market right now in pac heights 365+ days.

  25. Posted by amused

    Irrational exuberance leads to any number of professions making unreasonable sums. Getting all torqued up over it… that’s profoundly and irretrievably pointless.

  26. Posted by paco

    “I don’t know if this is a UMB building. It’ll be interesting to find out.”
    looks like beautiful poured in place concrete covered by decorative brick. i think they showed photos of the foundation b/c they are proud about how good/solid/ and aesthetic it looks.

  27. Posted by lolcat_94123

    That Barbara Callan must make a ton, she’s always the agent for these listings.

  28. Posted by Smiling Millionaire

    Why buys these properties at these prices?
    Someone more stupid than they are rich.

  29. Posted by Recent ORH buyer

    “Probably the same reason why certain rare classic cars frequently sell in excess of $300,000”
    Milkshake,
    A couple of weeks ago I was at an event at a winery in Napa where the owner has a massive collection [over 100, I’m guessing] of classic cars. He rarely opens them to the public, but that day he opened the doors to two of his five ‘showrooms’. One of the cars that caught our eyes was an Alfa Romeo from the ’30s or 40’s, which looked like the type of ‘gangster’ car you could picture Al Capone driving. When we asked what it was worth, he said it was hard to say, given that it was the only one of it’s kind that existed. He estimated it was worth 6 to 8 … million dollars. Apparently there were other iconic cars in his other ‘showrooms’ [which he wasn’t showing] worth more than this home is listed for, because they were indeed one of a kind.
    It was mindboggling, and way out of my league, but I guess it goes to show that among a rarified group, value is in the eye of the beholder.

  30. Posted by Enthano

    I think some of you are confusing 2950 and 2960 Vallejo – the 25 million one is the brick house, not the wood box/garage. Records for 2950 (the brick one) say the house is 6,244 square feet and that it is an unreinforced masonry brick building. As far as I can tell, there aren’t permits for anything on the house, including any seismic upgrade work.

  31. Posted by Finch

    The Basic Instinct house is actually further east, on the corner of Vallejo and Buchanan.

  32. Posted by marketwatcher

    eh! At $25m, it’s only 2.5% of a billionaire’s net worth. Just a drop in the bucket. Places like this will sell like hotcakes (sarcasm now being turned back off).

  33. Posted by Denis

    This house is now for rent on craigslist for 20k a month…

  34. Posted by lol

    20K/month to rent a “25M” house? That wouldn’t even cover property taxes (on a 25M tax base).
    This blows all the usual metrics we have seen on rent vs own. In (grossly overpriced) SF, you can usually purchase a place for 250X monthly rent. The US usually is at 150. Foreclosure areas are under 100. For this property, that would be 1250X!
    Either the 20K/month is cheap, or the 25M is grossly overpriced.
    Or maybe both are overpriced, period. Sellers are probably looking for cash flow. Pride of ownership alone doesn’t fill your bank accounts.

  35. Posted by eddy

    Interesting as McGuire (Callan) still has the tour site up; but the rental agents are PacUnion?

  36. Posted by Denis

    Why did no one tell me this is the Decorator Showcase home for 2011? Am I that out of it?
    So the question is, will it fail to sell like:
    3450 Washington 2010
    2820 Scott 2008
    2901 Broadway 2007
    2601 Broadway 2000
    2500 Divisadero 1999
    Sell and come back on the market a year later and not sell like:
    3701 Washington 2006
    Rented and sold a year later for 20% off asking like:
    2830 Pacific 2009
    Or find a happy buyer like:
    1 Cherry 2005
    2516 Pacific 2004

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