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Gothic Hayes Valley Church With Stunning Pipe Organ Asks $3.2 Million

It's a miraculous listing, a truly historic San Francisco cathedral with all of the trimmings

The Greater Grace Temple Church at 240 Page Street, also known as the Greater Gethsemane Church, is yours to own for $3.2 million. It's hard to know if that's a good price, because how often does anyone go church shopping? The present tenant is leaving voluntarily; there's not enough parking to satisfy the size of the congregation anymore.

This 5,500-square-foot, Gothic-style 1909 house of worship with the butter-yellow exterior last sold in 1999 for a mere $600,000. That's $861,000 after inflation, meaning that sanctuary appreciates at 17 percent a year in this economy.

The building is zoned RTO, which allows mostly just for residential uses, plus a small number of commercial uses on certain blocks. It's also a Category A historic resource (under its old name, the St. Paul's German Methodist Church), meaning that although some changes to the interior may be permitted, you have to go through a lot of red tape.

Given all that, it's hard to know what anybody would do with a place like this. Unless of course they want to start a church, in which case this building is perfect, with its pointed arches, wonderful vaulted ceiling, and, of course, elaborate stained glass windows. The pews and the organ come included in the $3.2 million fee.

In fact, that organ is quite a find in its own right. A product of the Hinners Organ Company in Illinois, it's as old as the building and has never been moved, the gorgeous baroque pipes and builder's nameplate still intact after all these years.