Having collapsed last month, what little remains of the original home at 125 Crown Terrace has been jacked, hoisted, and craned back up the hill a bit.

According to a plugged-in tipster, the remains will be surrounded by new construction and become part of the garage, a supposed city mandate to allow Mel Murphy, the well-connected local developer who once served as president of San Francisco’s Building Inspection Commission and was denied a permit to demolish the original structure on the site in order to build an all-new home, to continue with his “remodeling” project.

Once “remodeled,” the Twin Peaks home at 125 Crown Terrace will measure 5,139 square feet. As the then closer to 1,000-square-foot home looked a little before its collapse:


Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by SFJohn

    And that, folks, is a classic example of San Francisco corruption at it’s finest

  2. Posted by Mark

    well connected = self serving
    Hmmn, let’s see…5000 sq ft…I’m sure it will get slapped a “green” sticker on it because the owner is well connected, of course. That square footage sure would look good if it involved 5 units instead of a McMansion. Ed Lee where are you on this?

  3. Posted by Brid

    Ahh, good to see the Murphia still has sway in parts of City Hall…

  4. Posted by Jimmy the House Flipper

    How dare any of you criticize him for building out HIS property as HE sees fit? The project conforms to zoning for the site and has been approved by planning. There is simply nothing to discuss.

  5. Posted by Sierrajeff

    I tend to agree that if it’s being built within existing zoning guidelines, then he should have a right to do what he wants. I think part of the umbrage here is over the preservation of a mere couple walls making it a “remodel” (just like that hanging facade in Pacific Heights).

  6. Posted by helmut

    He has the right to do what he wants? The house fell down the hill, he is lucky nobody was killed. Are you guys serious?

  7. Posted by Sierrajeff

    So, his right to develop his property goes away if there’s an accident?
    Even if it was a deliberate “accident”, it’s *private* property. Unless you want to take his development rights by eminent domain, believe it or not he has a right to build within the scope of the zoning code.

  8. Posted by lol

    I find it deeply ironical that our over-reaching rules were designed precisely to ensure safety as well as making sure you would fit into your surroundings. But because these rules exist, people have to pull incredible stunts to achieve what they want to do, including dangling buildings, hanging facade, buildings that are left to rot or burn to force the hand of the city.
    These are precisely the threats to public safety the building code was supposed to prevent! And the neighborhood has a temporary eyesore that looks more like a third world slum than a first world construction site!

  9. Posted by anon

    It always helps to know well the rules of the game! This guy knows the rules, he figured out how to use the rules when a stupid decision when against him, and he got what he wanted. All perfectly legal. This was not a case of corruption, just stupid bureaucracy at work, and a clever way to navigate it. Kudos to him. Shame on the City.
    I understand the criticisms about the risks to life/property he created. But he appears to have known what he was doing and engineered this “accident” to be safe and confined.

  10. Posted by Mark

    Honestly, I couldn’t care less what the guy wants to do with his property…I was merely making a snarky comment about how the city cries that not enough units are being built, and then we come upon someone who’s building a single family mansion.

  11. Posted by FixThis

    @anon…I don’t get it, why the implication that this was an intended “accident” when end result is that he has to waste enormous resources to save the fallen structure and thus continue with the project? If he knows the rules of the game, and had already spent multiple years to get his permitted remodel, why stall it with an “accident” that he then has to fix at great expense??

  12. Posted by yellap

    The funniest thing about this ‘remodel’ is the owner claiming he is building it for his family. I wonder how fast the “for Sale” sign will go up. Of course he has a right to sell the property. But I am so amused when developers insist they are going to ‘live there’, presumably to evoke some empathy.

  13. Posted by Michael

    I don’t know if it was an accident or “accident” that the house collapsed but an “accident” would make sense if betting that an emergency demolition permit would be issued following the collapse.
    This whole thing stinks.

  14. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    ^^^ maybe he had hoped to get away with out much notice. I’m sure that the city officials have some degree if discretion when reviewing such “accidents”.

  15. Posted by no_ vally

    Is there an official Vegas over/under for whether the ‘recovered’ structure survives the first meaningful rainfall/foul weather of the next few days? I think the developer has used the exact same Jenga logs as before in his attempt to hold up the remnants of that ill-fated structure. What tragic irony if the ‘storm’ were to destroy it once and for all…and by tragic irony I do mean blissful release.

  16. Posted by eddy

    There should be no problem salvaging the remaining portions of this and tasetfully incorporating it into a new dwelling. Once they remove the studs, plaster, floor, sub-floor, upgrade the existing rafters and put new drywall, new electric / plumb to code and new flooring you will hardly even be able to find anything from existing project.

  17. Posted by Jake

    only Mel Murphy’s grin will remain
    namelink warning: once you look you can’t unlook.

  18. Posted by no_ vally

    Not sure links are allowed on SS, but I’m sure plenty of Monte Python fans already had a flashback to the swamp castle scene…”they told me not to build a castle in a swamp but I built it anyway. And it sank into the swamp. So I built another, and it sank into the swamp. Then I built a third; it fell over, burned down, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth…” Surely a distant ancestor of Mel??

  19. Posted by wordbird

    someone should check how many times this guy has “underquoted” a remodel for permit process. Or how many times his “remodels” have become complete teardowns and rebuilt.
    Hell, he knows the game and plays it well – but is that ethically correct?

Comments are closed.

Recent Articles