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Dueling Dead Architects: Who Designed 2950 Vallejo?

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"The site can only redeem a building so far" was the snide comment we found on the city's 1976 evaluation of 2950 Vallejo Street. The freestanding Neo-Tuscan, 8-bed, 5.75-bath mansion in Pacific Heights came on the market last week asking $19,500,000. Actually, we think it looks pretty good, and the views are incredible. The report also attributes the house's design to Angus McSweeney, at the time managing the successor firm of architect Willis Polk, doing houses like this one just uphill on Broadway. As to its origins, the realtor's site says:The original owner of 2950 Vallejo Street was Wm. R. Clark, a successful paving contractor who commissioned the firm of Gottschalk and Rist to design this fine residence in 1927? Subsequent owners of the Vallejo Street residence have hailed from industries in lumber, steel, mining/shipping and politics/government.Gottschalk is probably best known for Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, now an arts center but originally the home of San Francisco Mayor (and later Senator) James D. Phelan. We're not going to speculate on who the architect was, since Sweeney's only an attribution and the reviewer was possibly not having a good day. But we're loving the mostly unstaged images provided by the realtor, revealing some remnants of the house's brief adventure in 2011 as a decorator showcase— beautifully proportioned rooms and crisp plaster details. Not much outdoor space, although what little there is gives great boxwood hedge. Plus the house could use an elevator— if not for the owners, then for staff that's going to have to schlep things up and down. As for future renovations, the house is so close to the Presidio it falls under the city's 2011 Standards for Bird-Safe Buildings.
· Architectural Survey
· Billionaire's Row 1920s Tudor [Curbed SF]
· 2950 Vallejo [SF Properties]
· 2950 Vallejo Street [Redfin]