Dubbed the "Sherman Clay house," after the Sherman Clay pianos the black-and-white exterior resembles, the building probably dates to around 1898, although the catch-all placeholder date of 1900 has been put on it, like most homes that predate the 1906 earthquake (in which records were lost).
Back then it was a single dwelling, but has since been divided into condos, including this two bed and two bath, 1,767-square-foot number now going for $2.3 million. It’s a Pacific Heights (where else?) address, 2943 Washington Street, a block from Alta Plaza Park and immediately across the street from a Waldorf school.
The ads say the house was "originally built for Piano-Maker Sherman Clay," but this is a little confusing, since Sherman Clay was the name of one company but two men. Leander Sherman’s Cow Hollow house still stands on Green Street, so maybe this one once belonged to his partner, Major Clement Clay. When asked, the listing agent wasn’t certain, leaving us with a bit of a mystery, and an icebreaker for the open house.
Or maybe people just took a liking to the color scheme and named it after the city’s most famous pianos. Whatever it is, this place is gorgeous.
And this beauty is on the market for the first time in over 15 years, last selling for $775,000 in 1999 (roughly $1.1 million in today’s currency). The deck off the back is new, and as is often the case in old houses fresh on the market, the kitchen has been remodeled, with some granite counters added for good measure.
But little period details – like the twin fireplaces (one brick, one polished stone), marble flooring in the bathroom (note the gleaming feet on the claw-foot tub in one and the pedestal sink hiding around the corner in the other), and bay windows up front –are what really bring this one to bash.
That and being able to watch envious neighbors turn green over your snazzy black and white pad.