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Classic Victorian Building in Western Addition Asks $4.15M

It has two units, both filled with original details

Unlike the row of Painted Ladies on Steiner Street along Alamo Square, the two-flat Victorian home around the corner at 809-811 Pierce Street isn't famous. But we'd argue that the details of this Queen Anne are just as charming. Of course, allure and original features come at a price; and in this case that's $4.15 million.

Old homes often come with stories. The one attached to this house involves a couple named William and Margaret McCormick who lived in San Francisco in 1894. The listing says that couple built the two-unit home for their daughters, hoping that they would live close to them after marriage.

It must have been an appealing idea. The lower unit (809) has a double parlor, three bedrooms, and two baths. It does something that few Victorians manage to do: preserves the classic details while injecting a modern sensibility. The one room that lacks the new-meets-old aesthetic is the kitchen. It does have cabinets and appliances of an earlier era, but the one we are thinking of is the 1980s. However, the bathroom is done in grand vintage style complete with a black-rimmed bathtub.

The upper unit (811) is a two-level home that has four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. Here, you have a modern kitchen that's been updated in a style that is sensitive to the architecture. You also have a very basic roof deck with a pretty great city view.

What happened to the McCormick daughters is mystery to us. But in this economic climate, it's hard to imagine modern day heirs turning down such a gift. It may not have worked for out for that 19th century family, but kids today are sure to bite.