Though it's thoroughly Mediterranean from the street, it only takes a peek inside the carved wooden doors of the Marina masterpiece at 3560 Baker Street to confirm that this place is unlike other houses in San Francisco. The entranceway is marked by a twisting staircase, and a chandelier reminiscent of Harry Potter's Hogwarts hangs from the high ceiling. There are arches and pillars and curves and columns that are downright confectionary. The box-beam ceilings in the main room would be a standout feature in many homes, but in this castle-like setting they are secondary to an intricately carved fireplace, an arched set of glass doors, and some sort of metal decorative piece hanging across the room that is unlike anything we've ever seen before. Even the shower has a rounded doorway.
Our mini-castle has as its moat the lake at the Palace of Fine Arts, which sits practically right next door. The views are astounding but—as with that ceiling—are less notable than the home's many quirky design features. The regal theme carries through many of the lighting fixtures and even into the kitchen, while downstairs there is a fireplace framed by what almost look like Mayan symbols.
Onto the practicalities: There are five bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, as well as a rec room with home theater. The garage fits two cars and outdoor space includes many balconies, a garden courtyard, a rear garden and an elevated terrace. The home, which was designed by architect Sidney Colton back in 1929, is asking $6.9 million. It's an exquisite place, but will require a buyer with very specific taste—who probably won't get to keep what looks very like a Clyfford Still hanging in the four-poster bedroom. Will this one get snatched up in no time or languish on the market?
· 3560 Baker Street [Neal Ward Properties]