It's nice that real estate agents are getting better about recognizing Bay Area architects. And so, voila! we have a William Wurster-inspired house on the Presidio Wall. The 4-bed, 3-bath house, built in 1948, asking $2,995,000, having been sold to the current owners for $2,900,000 in July, 2009. Maybe they bought it thinking it was a William Wurster? A first glance it does look like the houses Wurster was doing in the 1930's, but post-war he was too busy being Dean at UC Berkeley's new architecture school for small projects like this. On close inspection: the massing is all wrong, the interior details aren't expensive enough, the ceilings aren't high enough. Even after some digging, we can't figure out who designed this house, though it was most likely for an interesting client- urban planning stalwart Robert Lilienthal, and his wife Frances.
Mr. Lilienthal was on the planning commission, a founder and former president of SPUR and instrumental in the development of the Presidio as a national park. As his obituary stated " he consistently fought against the "Manhattanization" of the city's skyline" with an amazing CV of public service. All of which is more interesting than who designed the house. Robert and Frances married in 1938. It's charming to think they built a house that looks (almost) like a Wurster from the previous decade. [Update: kind commenters tell us the house is by Campbell & Wong]
· 1 Spruce Street, San Francisco, CA [Redfin]
· Robert Lilienthal Obituary [SFGate]