There are a lot of wooden houses in this town, but few of them are as masterfully composed and detailed as the ones from the Newsom dynasty of architects. Distant relatives of the Lt. Governor, the senior Newsom brothers delivered exuberant Queen Anne houses in Northern California, while after WWI, Samuel Newsom's two sons, Sidney and Noble gave their wealthy clients discreetly elegant and beautifully composed houses all over the Bay Area. Although they worked in a variety of styles, the pair are probably best known for their romantic Arts & Crafts rooflines— witches hats and shallow dormers combined with clinker brick— and Sidney's 3880 Clay Street in Presidio Heights is no exception. The c.1910, 5-bed, 4.5-bath came on the market last Friday, asking $5,150,000, and the current owners haven't screwed it up. Just the opposite, and the complicated plan of nooks and alcoves come off as cozy rather than gloomy. So many Edwardian houses stop being interesting once you get above the main floor, and here, the bedrooms are great small spaces in themselves, along with one of the best attics in town.
· Newsom brothers created homes with a timeless appeal [David Weinstein/SFGate]
· 3880 Clay Street [Redfin]