The seven Victorian homes on the 700 block of Steiner Street, a number of which were nearly demolished in the 1970s, were developed by Matthew Kavanaugh between 1892 and 1896 and are now recognized the wold over as San Francisco’s iconic Postcard Row.

While one of the most photographed homes in San Francisco, the nearly 3,000-square-foot Painted Lady in the middle of the row at 714 Steiner Street has seen better days.

But having just sold with a contract price of $3.55 million, having been listed with a $2.75 million price tag earlier this year, the home’s condition, which includes a myriad of its original detailing, is about to change. Keep in mind that the currently quoted square footage for the home doesn’t include the majority of its underdeveloped ground floor.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by MDG399

    WOW

    so much for ‘housing dollar value’

    now add another $800,000 to fix it up…(Or probably more than that…)

  2. Posted by john

    can’t they just make it a tourist attraction, let people go in to see the house, and make a killing with it.

    • Posted by kbbl

      The killing would quickly be gobbled up like carrion by neighbors and the parts of the city that enforce zoning. For the new owner’s sake I hope you’re joking.

    • Posted by anon2.5

      Let’s please not turn this city into any more of an adult amusement park than it already is.

      • Posted by Jake T

        The people who are criticized for being around for adult amusement would never go to this — it’d be for San Francisco tourists and preservationists, a constituency that’s been around for decades.

  3. Posted by Notcom

    OMG ….it’s ALREADY all white !! (at least the kitchen, anyway)

    Does anyone know – or can they make an informed guess -as to why there’s a newell post half-buried in the wall ??
    (my guess would be there is – or was – a stairway to the basement, but I’m not familiar enough w/ the floorplan to know if that makes sense.)

    • Posted by redseca2

      You can also see the outline of a step (in white) at the base of the other newell post. Also note how the baseboard on the portion of the wall is unnaturally high. I believe there was a square landing once that was just one step up from the entry floor level, provided to give a bit of importance to heading up the stairs. It probably disappeared when the sad VCT tile arrived.

      • Posted by Goober

        This is correct. I recently toured a different one of these houses (712 Steiner) and the single step landing is still in place.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Yes, thank you: as you can see (below) ‘sf_historian’ won the race, but a fine crop of Columbo’s have turned up!!

  4. Posted by Mark F.

    Congrats to the new owner(s). Still needs at least a million dollars worth of work, however.

  5. Posted by sf_historian

    Notcom: An old MLS photo of another Painted Lady shows there was originally a landing at the base of the stair that served as a sort of screen. They left the newel post in the wall, but removed the rest of the landing.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Perfect…thanks!!

      I can see an outline (on the whole post) presumably from the removed landing (tho one would expect a similar outline on the half post, and I seen none…maybe they were sloppy and just didn’t stain the other one)

  6. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    Are those, uh, pile of rodent droppings everywhere?

  7. Posted by ok

    Do you have an article of how these houses were almost demolished in the 70s? I’m curious what they were going to replace them with.

    • Posted by Notcom

      It does seem rather apocryphal, doesn’t it? A newspaper search for the 70’s (utilizing “Steiner” and “demolish”) didn’t turn up anything, either for the six (or seven, counting 722) properties, either individually or collectively. Neither does the ASNA website mention anything like that (indeed, the Assoc was founded in 1963, and certainly would have fought what was suggested…rabidly).

      There WAS, apparently, a ballot measure in 1963 that would have redeveloped the park, perhaps that’s what was referred to.

  8. Posted by Karl

    Naturally it goes for $3.55 M, because, of course, they did so much to increase its value.

    The only reason that such a decrepit property is fetching this ridiculous amount of money is because we have continually thwarted the creation of adequate amounts of housing over the course of the last 4+ decades and now prices are skyrocketing thru the roof.

    Way to go California State Senate by failing to pass SB-50!

    Guess, just like inaction on the climate crisis, we’ll continue kicking the can down the road instead of actually attempting to solve the problem

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      Yes, it appears that San Francisco’s own Don Quixote has failed for the the third time since 2018 in delivering increased exploitation opportunities for the flippers, developers and others in the “real estate game” who fork over the money to fund his election campaigns.

      Don’t see what that has to do with this home, however. The value in this property is as an SFH that matches the rest on the block, not as a tear-down so that some complete philistine can build something like a Stanley Saitowitz cast concrete monstrosity with more “units” (the new owner probably will “white box” it, however).

      • Posted by Richard

        Agree, and I do wonder how much of Wiener’s legislative… um… “personality” played into the bill’s defeat. If Atkins or even Ting had carried the bill, would the outcome be different? My guess is yes.

        • Posted by Notcom

          He does have a knack for attracting controversy, doesn’t he? But this bill – the general concept of moving control of development from the local level to the state, really – generated massive opposition (gee! you’d have thunk?) Is he persistent, or just doesn’t understand “no”? I guess that’s a matter of opinion.

          And he HAS had some legislative successes – a bill to put more drunks on our streets and one to reduce transparency in government – even if we were later saved form his efforts by adults in the Governor’s office.

          • Posted by Richard

            Those are fair points. I don’t mean to diminish him personally. But a less”persistent” legislator may have made some additional, common sense compromises that would have gotten this bill over the finish line. It’s not like Gav wouldn’t have signed it.

      • Posted by Jake T

        The mere fact that rundown old buildings like this do not get turned into 20 apartment units is an exploitation of renters. Maybe this location in particular is worth preserving, but sad shacks like this one get renovated into 4K sqft monstrosities in Noe every month.

    • Posted by Captain Obvious

      No, it’s going for a ridiculous amount because it’s in a world-famous strip of homes (google “Painted Ladies”).

      And no, adding more homes wouldn’t change the fact that SF is a hot market, and hot markets always have high prices. Even if they double the number of units in SF, nice Victorians will still go for $1+ million.

  9. Posted by Invented

    What’s surprising?

    Renovated 1164 Fulton sold for $7.3M in ‘17.

    Alamo Square rising…..

  10. Posted by scurvy

    Bought by Leah Culver, according to her Twitter account.

  11. Posted by Hobart Smedley

    Yeah, right — as if a hundred Scott Wiener condos catering to cubicle drones would affect the value of a landmark house like this one.

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