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Historic Cole Valley Mansion Gets Bewildering Renovation, Reappears As $21,500/Month Rental

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Last February, the historic mansion at 199 Carl Street in Cole Valley came on the market sporting dated wall-to-wall carpeting, a kitchen out of the 1950s, and a shabby backyard. It went into contract for $3.15 million after just a few weeks on the market and sold last April. At the time, one commenter pleaded, "Please do not let the interior of this house become yet another sterile, white-painted cardboard condo-mansion that could be in Walnut Creek," which, sadly, seems to have given the new owners some ideas. The mansion definitely needed some updating, but the renovation that it received is bewilderingly bad. Everything—practically everything—is white. It isn't enough of a high-end renovation to be a big fancy flip, and, indeed the manse has not been put back up for sale. Instead, it's being listed on Craigslist as a five-bedroom, $21,500-per-month rental.
The new kitchen is nothing more than a blank white box. The period details—from the mahogany paneling to the decorative ceilings, the built-ins, and the fireplaces—have all been covered in a heavy coat of white paint. The sight of the painted-over mahogany is devastating.

A sad wet bar was constructed in the basement with what look like cheap materials. The home was built around the turn of the century by Swedish architect August Nordin (of Swedish American Hall fame) and undoubtedly used to be luxurious, so it's depressing to see it in such a bleached-out state. The biggest question we have is why? Why would anyone buy a $3 million-plus mansion, give it a cheap, crappy renovation, and then try to rent it out?

· Massive Cole Valley Victorian Hits the Market for a Cool $3.45M [Curbed SF]
· Majestic Mini-Mansion in the Heart of Cole Valley [Craigslist]