This five bed, three and a half bath Atherton estate at 197 Glenwood Avenue was built as a summer house for San Francisco millionaires in 1906. Which was a particularly good year to have a second home somewhere out of town.
The 5,470-square-foot Tudor mansion is partly furnished with the remains of silver baron James Flood’s absurdly opulent Linden Towers estate, dubbed the "White Castle" in its day. The White Castle was demolished in 1926 (Flood was dead by then), its various parts sold at auction, some of which ended up in this neighboring home, including a little genuine Comstock Lode silver.
In fact, this place has absorbed elements from a few different robber baron homes, including a fence from the Huntington Mansion, one of the many Nob Hill mansions destroyed in the Great Earthquake, making it a pastiche of palaces in some regards.
Depending on which direction the wind is blowing, Atheron is either the most expensive zip code in the country or floating somewhere around the top ten at any given time, which makes this $5.49 million a somewhat modest proposal. Indeed, that price is either right around the city median or well below it, depending on who you ask.
The estate first went on the market a year ago asking a much more robust $6.85 million, along with photos and staging that played up its opulence and grandeur. After seven months without a sale, the ads were yanked, and it reappeared last Friday with well over a million knocked off of the price and a much breezier, more contemporary look. Time will tell if it’s the right move.
Unbelievably, this place last sold in 1993 for only (wait for it) $750,000. That’s $1.2 million after inflation, a sum that came by way of its previous foreclosure. Some people have all the luck.