340 Chestnut Street

Designed by Herbert Kosovitz in 1971 and the late architect’s residence until last year, behind the unassuming façade at 340 Chestnut is a distinctive interior, finished from the floor to 18-foot ceiling in all-natural wood.

A wall of north facing windows frame the bay and skylights illuminate the upper level loft and below.

And having just been listed for $1,995,000, the Telegraph Hill home which measures 1,150 square feet, not including the garage or lowest level which isn’t as distinctive, is now on the market for the first time.

340 Chestnut Floor Plan

31 thoughts on “Inside A Late Architect’s Distinctive Telegraph Hill Home”
  1. It can’t be cheap to refinish all of those walls — which the buyer will need to do unless he/she plans on hanging exactly the same sized art in exactly the same positions.

    I can appreciate this but can’t say I’d actually want to live in all that wood.

    1. I think if you are buying in Telegraph Hill then you probably can fork out the money. Most likely it will all be gutted and sterilized as the trend seems to be.

  2. Also — I would have guessed this was at least 2000 square feet based on the pictures and floor plans; 1150 is pretty shocking.

    1. 1150 might just be what is on the tax records, before the lower level was developed.

      I normally do not like wood paneled walls but this works, probably due to the light tone, simplicity, and design choices.

  3. jokes aside, you could probably get away with painting over just some of the interior surfaces and only refinishing the floors. But at this price they’ll probably just gut it and rebuild the interior. Or given it’s smaller size, maybe they’ll just tear it all down and start over.

    1. The house next door is one floor higher so likely a floor addition will be approved. The views are from the back and surprisingly underutilized (or the views were blocked by subsequent development). It will very likely be totally rebuilt.

  4. Would’ve loved to see how it was decorated when the architect lived there. Maybe “all that wood” was mitigated by good furnishings, rugs, textiles, and art. Might stlil look better than all white when it’s all said and done.

  5. It’s just a bit sun bleached. A light coat of stain on the walls to even it out, and expanding the kitchen outwards a little bit, and you end up with something nice and also unique for a change.

  6. One of the nicest homes I’ve seen on this website. Appropriately sized and designed by someone with well-defined taste of their own. The floors are a bit hammered in places but would be fine with some expensive Oriental rugs. I would like to have known the person who designed and lived in this home for over 40 years.

    If I ruled the world (or the San Francisco Planning Department), this property would be deed-restricted against white-boxing or demolition.

  7. I looked online and couldn’t easily any more of his work but did find this obituary.

    Seems archetypal of a long-ago SF. Artsy guy moving to Telegraph Hill in the 70’s. It states he was part of a neighborhood preservation group. If his home is replaced by a big white box, it will be pretty representative of the times.

  8. Taking another look at the floorplans, this home is almost Zen-like in its simplicity. Relatively few rooms and each one seems to be carefully thought-out as to its purpose and function. Not at all like (namelink).

  9. That house is not long for this world. It will be gutted, doubled in size (at least) and sold for $3m. Cake.

  10. Wow, I can crank up the heat, run around the whole house naked, and scream, “I have the world’s largest sauna.” This is a truly fantastic piece of architecture at its time. I can imagine the type of parties here where the guests would simply marvel at the sight of so much wood. During the late 70’s, I remember some of the homes up the Oakland hills were also clad in wood and with a nice fire going in the fireplace, it accentuates the warmth of the house.

  11. Came back to this post to look at the photos and each time I look, I like the house even more. What an amazing interior that will make the right buyer incredibly happy. Or will be gutted and sterilized.

  12. All the wood has stains, wear, and severe sun fading. I don’t get what is beautiful about it, but it was probably pretty cool originally.

  13. People sand and refinish hardwood floors all the time so the buyer could arguably spend some money to sand and refinish the wood interior. This house makes me feel transported to another place ie. like a cottage on a secluded Scandanavian coast where I can enjoy the beauty, isolation, clean air and water. All the delicious and fresh fish and local berries one can eat. Healthy eating and lifestyle.

    Grass is always greener on the other side, I suppose.

  14. Something I’ve learned (the hard way) by growing older and wanting to stay where I am…
    Be aware that stairways will be difficult to climb as the years pile on.

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