Best known for William Randolph Hearst's endless San Simeon project, architect Julia Morgan (1872-1957) also managed to design some 700 buildings, mostly in the Bay Area with a career that included academic, civic and residential projects. She was the first woman admitted to the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris, urged on by her mentor, Bernard Maybeck, and a lot more. But you probably know all that. Now we learn that Morgan's compound- two houses in Pacific Heights- are on the market. In two pieces, although still joined at the hip, and the modest Morgan probably never would have used the word "compound" to describe them. In mid-March, there was the 1-level, 2-bed, 2-bath house at 2225 Divisadero Street at $1,495,000, and then a week later, the 2-story, 3-unit house at 2229 Divisadero Street for $1,649,000. Originally built in 1874, Morgan acquired and remodeled them between 1923 and 1930, adding a 2-car garage and joining the two front gardens. And although both are modest carpenter-built Italianate houses, Morgan permitted herself one grand Hearstian gesture by demolishing the second story of 2225 and re-orienting the house towards the garden.
The compound is being sold as two properties with reciprocal easements, and as realtor Silvia Damen told us, there's an existing (but currently sealed) connection in a closet between the two buildings, so it's plausible the Planning Department could permit them to be joined on the first floor, plus 2229 comes with a protected tenant in the rear 2nd floor unit. Some of Morgan's possessions were still in the house- including a closet full of prim navy blue suits- when the current owner acquired it in 1958, and that's still Morgan's desk in the bay window of 2225. The two buildings have a "B" classification as "potentially historic." Links to the realtor's dedicated sites below, and you can see the houses for yourself- they will be open on Sunday, April 8 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.
· 2225 Divisadero Street [Redfin]
· 2229 Divisadero Street [Redfin]
· 2225 Divisadero Street [Silvia Damen/CBNorcal]
· 2229 Divisadero Street [Silvia Damen/CBNorcal]
· Where The Stars Lived [SF Gate, 4th item]
· Generic Index of Buildings by Julia Morgan [Bluffton College]