Much to the chagrin of a number of neighbors and fans of the modernist movement, permits to raze the 1,700-square-foot, Henry Hill designed house at 65 Villa Terrace and construct a contemporary 6,000-square-foot home on the Clarendon Heights lot have been triaged and are making their way through Planning.

65 Villa Terrace

Having traded for $1,620,000 in 2005, the property was purchased for $1,400,000 in 2010 by Alex Fisher of Fisher Development, the nephew of Donald Fisher. Donald was a real estate developer before co-founding the Gap.

Per the application for the building permit, the estimated cost of construction for the new home is $750,000, the basis off which the permit fees will be calculated and collected by the city. And in the words of a tipster a month ago: “Neighbors have tried to stop [the project] but somehow this one seems to be moving along with planning.”

16 thoughts on “The Plans To Raze A Hill And Build A Modern Mansion”
  1. They are going to tear down a 1,700 sq. ft. to build a larger one, one supposes. With a $750,000 budget?

  2. Very sad. Mid-century modern architecture is not appreciated in this city. If it was a sh!tty little Victorian, they wouldn’t get away with this.

  3. 94114: I guess if you appreciate it so much, buy and keep an MCM house. otherwise, let others build and live how they wish. i didnt realize this city was your own personal museum

  4. I too am surpirised that a noted architect like Henry Hill would not get more acknowledgement as a potential architectural resource. Love his work. The man was one of the founders of the Second Bay tradition, European Modernism with the rustic outdoors of NorCal.

  5. 94114 has a good point, stuck. This is over 50 years old, and much more worthy of preservation than many shitty little victorians. The city has made this place it’s “own personal museum”, so don’t fault 94114 for calling the pot kettle black.
    Definitely suspect that planning is turning a blind eye to a Henry hill demo … there isn’t even a resource determination on this property, which should have been the first thing required … and not to mention the front AND rear yard variances for the new home. I guess if your name is fisher you can do whatever you want, well, unless it involves the presidio!

  6. I’m still amazed that Henry Hill was able to make such a contribution to bay area architecture while also having a meaningful role in the Lucchese family’s operations in Vegas. That guy could multitask. Seeing Ray Liotta do the drafting scenes at the top of the Flamingo in the movie was the best part. Overcoming the mixed Irish/Italian bloodlines and the kneejerk opposition to ahistorical horizontalism and flat roofs.
    $750K/6000sf = neat and tidy $125 a foot. To build a house on a downslope in San Francisco. It could happen, right?

  7. Philistines. But then, consider the execrable museum Uncle Donald wanted to ram into the Presidio. Bad taste must run in the family.

  8. It’s outrageous that Planning/DBI accepts these lowball estimates and bases fees and real estate taxes on them. This construction has got to be $500+/sf, maybe a lot more – at least 4x what they are saying. This is at least a $3M project.
    The Fishers and many other building these houses are very wealthy people and shouldn’t be given such a huge tax break. These booms come along only every so often and the City should get every penny of revenue they can while it lasts.
    This is not an isolated case – there are at least four big projects in my neighborhood that have been given sweetheart lowball deals on fees and taxes. One adjacent to me even halved the cost estimate while increasing the cost of the project. No one’s watching the henhouse…

  9. I guess if you appreciate it so much, buy and keep an MCM house. otherwise, let others build and live how they wish.
    I have no beef with them doing what they are doing, and would not prevent them from doing so, but it still is sad to see a nice H. Hill go down the tubes. your personal museum snark doesn’t mean it isn’t still disappointing. and the original comment still remains, were it a Vicky, would it have been possible?
    Ah well.

  10. This is a real problem with the City and something Ed Lee should be held accountable for. It goes on all the time with all types of projects. Maybe there should be a specific tax for all new construction, not only the fee.

  11. They won’t be happy until every old house in San Francisco has been replaced by a 6-8k sf monster mansion. Why do people think they need such big houses now?

  12. The city does not have to be uniformly comprised of 1907-era tract homes. A mix of old and new contributes to a vibrant architectural tableau.
    Did I get that verbiage right?

  13. Let us go then, as we will,
    Where the buildings spread out across the hill
    Like an architect etherized upon a tableau

  14. Looks like Mr. Fisher gave up on his plans and moved on….seems to have sold without hitting MLS in March for $2,000,000

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