The listing photos for 2550 Webster do a nice job of highlighting some of its original detail, but a plugged-in tipster provides a more candid peek inside:
Now that I’ve returned from seeing this property, I am amazed and aghast at the same time. I’m not in the construction business so I can say without hesitation I’ve never seen anything like it before…
The first inkling that there might be trouble inside was the fact that a San Francisco Police Officer was in attendance near the front door, just to ensure there was no possibility of a problem. Then I heard whispers that “she” was inside. Of course this was referring to Arden Van Upp herself. I can only suspect that she was getting a chuckle over the fact that she was chaperoning the brokers’ tour. For those that attended the tour and didn’t notice her, she was the woman in all black and the black headscarf, perfectly made up on the 2nd floor. Very Grey Gardens. She was a bit conspicuously overdressed, almost like she was headed to a funeral.
As you enter the home on the first floor, there is a room on the left (parlor) that is crammed with personal effects. You practically cannot get in the room. I was under the impression that [Ms. Van Upp] had vacated completely but perhaps that is not the case. As expected, floors, walls and ceilings all need repair. Thankfully, most of the hand carved wood and adornments are intact. Some other areas are stuffed with items as well. The detailing in this home is unprecedented.
The second floor is the most beautiful…it has two enormous fireplaces, gorgeous woodworking and hand painted oil portraits on the walls.
Truth to the rumors? I was unable to see the garage and the alleged vintage Camaro in it. I did not see where a swimming pool could have been and the back yard was much smaller than I anticipated. The kitchen is pretty uninhabitable…
…and yes, half the ceiling is missing.
All the bathrooms that I saw are in rough, rough shape but are all carrera marble.
I was unable to get down to the basement because there was no light and I didn’t want to risk breaking an ankle. As far as secret passageways go, there is one on the 3rd floor — the bookcase opens up into a bathroom.
As for the solarium, yes, the back half is missing.
Most of the 4th floor ceilings have caved. There is a lot of mold throughout the house, but overall it just smells musty, not like pets or animal urine. I’m sure a lot of the odors have been captured in the carpets and fabric wallpaper. As I expected, there are amenities such as a safe, dumbwaiter and elevator (the dumbwaiter does not work and I was not going to try the elevator).
Good judgment (and excellent tip). As others have noted, this is not a project for the faint of heart wallet.