2550 Webster (

With an unpaid loan balance of $1.23M, the landmark Bourn Mansion at 2550 Webster Street was initially set to hit the courthouse steps on July 13. Pushed back a couple of times so far, August 10 is the latest date. As a plugged-in reader reports:

[Wednesday] night around 10:00 PM there were no fewer than 6 Police Officers outside of the home shining lights into 2550 with some apparent disturbance.

Me thinks that Ms. Arden is not going to go quietly.

Landmark 38: Bourn Mansion []

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by tipster

    1.23M? Can’t she can get a reverse mortgage for far more than that? Unless she’s completely cookoo, why would she allow it to be foreclosed?

  2. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Assuming the plugged-in reader’s supposition is correct, can’t imagine why the bank would even attempt to evict her. If I were the responsible officer at the lender, I’d just let her stay there through the auction and let the poor sap who buys the place go through all the work of getting her out of there.
    I’m sure that Ms. Arden will land in a very plush active adult community and live out the rest of her life in peace once she realizes the opera is over.

  3. Posted by anonn

    The house sucks anyway. That block, no views, and no sunlight? PLUS all the unreinforced masonry issues? PLUS the supreme NIMBYism of that neck of the woods? Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Cool looking facade tho.

  4. Posted by OneEyedMan

    This is how completely wacko this “eccentric” is, and this was 11 years ago. This is SF version of [Grey Gardens].

  5. Posted by briefremarks

    A great many “eccentric” people are in dire need and often quite ill. I hope there’s someone around to take care of this woman.

  6. Posted by BobN

    No sunlight? The photo sure looks sunlit to me.
    Could be moonglow, I suppose…

  7. Posted by anonn

    It’s got an east/west orientation. Its southern exposure is uphill with tall buildings looming all the way up the hill. They picked a nice time to take the photo, sure. That has little to do with how it’ll feel inside much of the house.

  8. Posted by Conifer

    There are two issues here.
    One is Arden Van Upp. Whatever her problems, she was always interesting, clever, and amusing, three very desirable characteristics in SF society.
    The other is the Bourn Mansion. If it is really for sale for 1.23m, it will be the bargain of the century, even if it takes 3 or 4 million to fix it up.
    Anyone who buys it should be forewarned that a large number of people, many of whom have visited this place, will be watching. Any permit that allows destruction of any kind will almost surely be appealed. I would expect the Chronicle will also be interested in the iconic building.
    This is one of the historic jewels of residential San Francisco; its has great architectural and historical importance.

  9. Posted by cerky

    There is almost no possible way to get a permit issued by the city to “destruct” this house. It is an historic landmark. Any plan for any change – even replacing the windows or rebuilding an outside back deck – will have to go before planning. I live in an historic district in a Victorian and having been through this process a few times I can tell you that they look very carefully at historic properties and proposed changes.
    Just Ellis Act the place and send Arden on her merry way.

  10. Posted by resp

    Don’t banks always evict tenants & owners before auctioning properties? Not sure of the procedure.
    I’d actually rather buy the place with her in it assuming there was a significant discount. When old people who are emotionally attached to their homes have their lives disrupted in a major way you know what happens? They keel over. I’d take that bet.

  11. Posted by jonj

    Until the gavel falls, Ms Epp is the owner. Unless she allows entrance, you’re buying the place sight unseen….a pig in a poke.
    I know, some intrepid SS poster made the hubris laden comment that there were no “white elephants” in SF. Well, say hello to the first….of many.
    Guaranteed, two fools will bid it up. The “winner” will never see a cent of profit.

  12. Posted by anonn

    Agreed. I didn’t want to tell these folks about the bankruptcy, because the editor should have known about it before he milked this property for the third time. Its lack of views is a real profit killer.

  13. Posted by jonj

    Ms Epp is the intruder from hell. She’s savvy and litigious. The best and perhaps the only way to get rid of her is a buyout. I suspect her price is north of $200k.
    Structures can be fixed…throw money at them. Intruders tie up the investment, your time and whatever good humor you had.
    Is that garage part of the property? Anonn?
    [Editor’s Note: With respect to the garage, no. And as another notes below, it’s Upp.]

  14. Posted by Conifer

    Upp, Mrs ARDEN VAN UPP. not epp

  15. Posted by jonj


  16. Posted by sparky-b

    This place has a garage on the left side, correct? Just not the one in this photo.

  17. Posted by anonn

    The garage is to the left. You can kind of see it in that photo. I think it’s only one car, not sure.

  18. Posted by OneEyedMan

    The link I posted refers to a garage ….. with a vintage Camaro parked in it …… with the ceiling collapsed on top of the car.
    I think this house comes with a two-part warranty. If you buy it, and it falls in half, you still own both parts.

  19. Posted by eddy

    Feels like there is some talking down on this property for purpose?

  20. Posted by anonn

    I wish Eddy. I tried. It’s just really big and cool looking. That’s it. It doesn’t get the NW view one would want, and it spends its late mornings and afternoons in shadow. The RH2 zoning isn’t great for development either.

  21. Posted by Ann

    MS. Upp has not lived in the house for several years. There is no electricity. Windows are broken in. The back deck has crumbled into the room below. Animals of all sorts have settled right in.

  22. Posted by eddy

    Someone better alert PG&E because there are lights on the second floor.

  23. Posted by Mud

    Is saw her ~1 year ago walking into building with her cat.

  24. Posted by jaja

    After reading the SF Weekly article from 1998 on Arden Van Upp, I have absolutely no sympathy for her. She sounds like a piece of work: slum lord, manipulator, thief, etc.. I hope they get rid of her from that building soon and move her into one of those dirty apartments that she own where you have “the toilet wouldn’t flush unless you held down the handle and counted out 11 seconds….The unit had no heat, the windows leaked, and the electricity went out frequently.” She deserves what’s coming to her. And there should be a law passed that for every lawsuit she files, not only she will be put in jail for 10 years to ensure she never file a frivolous lawsuit again, but she should also be fined $1M with no bankruptcy option available to her.

  25. Posted by jonj

    Vexatious litigant.
    But then, she’s still society’s darling. She must have some “juice” to get a foreclosure auction rescheduled. Those things usually proceed apace.

  26. Posted by anonn

    You could have that sort of juice too, jonj. We all can. It’s an American right. Declare bankruptcy and — WHOOSH — watch the all magic transpire around you.

  27. Posted by MarinaLocal

    I drove by this afternoon and there were workers in the garage and all the lights were on in the house.

  28. Posted by Michael Burns

    I think instead of talking about the poor women we should try and see how we can help her and others like her in these hard times

  29. Posted by Conifer

    Why is there a portable toilet outside?

  30. Posted by OneEyedMan

    ^So you don’t have to pee in the bushes, dummy.

  31. Posted by Sand Schantz

    I lived in Arden’s 1019 Ashbury mansion that had been divided into apartments. The year was 1971/1972. I’ve been to her apartment in Pacific Heights and I’ve met her daughter. I was most impressed with her when I had a problem with my toilet and she came over and laid down on the floor next to the toilet and fixed it. She also offered me drinks at her apartment and told me of the doings of the Sexual Freedom League in the basement at 1019 Ashbury. She got a little annoyed with me when me and my girlfriend Carmen got a Samoyed puppy on Christmas Eve 1971 and we decided to move to Marin to be in the country. I hadn’t kept up with Arden’s story since 1972 and I’m pretty shocked at all the stuff that’s gone on in her life since then.

  32. Posted by Geoff

    I once lived in this house for two years in the early 70’s. The stories I could tell.

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