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Russian Hill: $7,000,000 and Totally on Fire

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Once Upon a Time, fire was critical to human survival. It kept us warm. The term "keeper of the flame" had serious meaning, and the metaphor continues with monuments that have "eternal" flames. Now, our awareness of air-borne particulates means no more wood-burning fires, but you can still get your pyromaniacal jollies with 1209 Filbert Street, a $7,000,000, 3-bed, 5.25-bath, 2-parking house that hit the MLS last Friday. It's not only LEED Platinum, it can be managed from your iPad. Gas cooktop aside, this house has three gas fireplaces and two gas fire pits, one on the roof deck and one in the garden, all of which are employed for ambient lighting rather than household or ceremonial uses. Not that that's a bad thing. Along with some serious interior detailing plus an underground rainwater collection tank. And an elevator to all floors, the better to get munchies up to the roof during the America's Cup Race.

Although the listing is silent on the architect's identity, researching the building permit history indicates these people were involved early on. Kudos to whatever team put it together, with 5800 square feet tightly and gracefully organized on a small lot that used to be someone's backyard. From the permits, it looks like they have close to $3.5M into the project, but if the lot was severed from the house next door, the cost of land acquisition may have been less. They've also been working on this project since 2007, but at any cost, $7,000,000 seems a bit of a reach on a not-especially thrilling block of Russian Hill often used to bypass the dreaded- and tourist-clogged- Lombard Street nearby. Although the shower in the master bath (#9 in the gallery) looks to be worth about a mil on its own. And toasting marshmallows on the roof? Priceless.
· 1209 Filbert Street [Redfin]
· Russian Hill [John Maniscalco]