601 Dolores

A plugged-in tipster delivers the news that 601 Dolores, a.k.a. the “Castle on the Park,” is now in contract with an accepted offer of $6,600,000 for the 17,000 square foot property which was last officially listed for $7,490,000.

Born the Mission Park Congregational Church in 1909, 601 Dolores was purchased in 2007 and transformed into a single-family home. And as we first reported, the property returned to the market in 2008 listed for $9,950,000.

601 Dolores Bedroom

And no, it’s not a high flying tech exec nor newly minted millionaire that’s in contract to buy the Castle, but rather Children’s Day School which plans to use the space for classrooms, a large community gathering and performance space, and offices.

The big challenge now, an “upcoming heroic and unprecedented fundraising effort this spring to close the deal.” We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

14 thoughts on “Castle On The Park (601 Dolores) In Contract For $6,600,000”
  1. CDS is a lovely private school. If only our public schools were on par with private schools like CDS, we would not have “baby flight” to marin.
    Its not dogs on parks its the rot in public schools.

  2. A school makes much more sense than a residential property, especially considering that you can’t modify parts of the interior that much due to being landmarked, if I remember correctly. Now you just have to convince secular San Franciscans to buy you a church!

  3. Is the 17,000 SF number accurate? If so $388 psf plus the work that will have to be put into the building is steep for commercial space. CDS must not have had a someone representing the schools interest. Does the zoning allow for a school use? I heard CDS converted a residential building on 16th street but not sure if it was permitted for their use.

  4. Seems a much better use for the property, I never really saw this space as a home. I can think of a few schools – particularly in the Northeast – that have converted buildings like this.
    @Bill – that depends on the finish of the commercial space. Private schools are at least a little bit about prestige, makes sense for them. And of course the location is great, as nobody wants to send their kids to public school in that area and it’s convenient for all of the Potrero Hill and Noe Valley families.

  5. Damn! One of favorite houses in the city. I was almost ready to put in an offer too – I was only like $6.6m short.

  6. I was just thinking about this place over the weekend. It was a shame that the developer put so much work into rehabbing this place while preserving its architectural integrity … and then missed the target market.
    Not that great as a SFH but much better suited for institutional use like a school. Best of luck on the fund raising and rezoning efforts and I hope this becomes a win-win.

  7. Wasn’t this sitting forever as a single family home because that’s the only kind of building that’s exempt from the requirement to reinforce masonry buildings? Will the school be doing the seismic work in order to convert it?

  8. Conversation happening late this spring:
    CDS: “Our fundraising effort was heroic, but we came up a little short. Would you take $5.25 million?”
    Seller: “Um, ok.”

  9. Seismic work is done according to previous coverage. I’m sure those “Modern” kitchen, marble baths and arched mahogany windows will make a warm and loving school. Too bad the kids probably don’t care.

  10. Being a lover of institutional architecture, I’d have bought it myself but last year we bought a home up on the top of Liberty Street, we can see the church from our new place.

  11. I hope this deal works out.
    It’s too bad that many of these great publc spaces become private homes and are never seen again (unless the residents are the rare civic breed that host concerts & community events). Even then , it is better than demolition – so this deal sounds like a win-win-win (for buyer-seller-community).

  12. I think this is a fabulous use for the “castle,” way better than as a residence. I’ve heard about Children’s Day School and their sliding scale tuition that is proof of their commitment to diversity. I have seen their friendly and bright middle schoolers out registering people to vote and to sign petitions to help the people of Sudan. And I’ve seen their younger kids doing community clean-ups. It’s a very community-minded school and their increased presence in the Mission will be a vast improvement. We should all say Hurrah! and help make it happen.

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