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Sea Cliff beachfront mansion asks $18.9 million in first offer since 1973

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96-year-old Albert Farr house selling for first time in four decades

For $18.9 million, you need to offer more than just a cute living room view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

But do note that the six-bed, six-bath beachfront house circa 1920 at 164 Sea Cliff Avenue does indeed feature a prime angle on the famed span from right in the middle of the almost intimidatingly huge living room. As far as opening plays go, that’s hard to beat.

The facade of this place is so studded with French doors and glasswork that there’s more window than wall to speak of, opening up onto a half-circle terrace bigger than many apartments, all overlooking Baker Beach and the Marin Headlands beyond.

Albert Farr, the eclectic, Nebraska-born, Yokohama Japan-raised architect (his father helped design the Japanese postal system) put this one together 96 years ago. Farr, who moved to Oakland but kept an office on Post Street in San Francisco, was one of the first Californians ever to obtain an architect’s license from the state.

As far as style goes, he’s noted for his Georgian and Tudor style homes and his love of shingles. Most of which he threw right out of the Sea Cliff houses many, many windows when putting it together. Although there are some clear Georgia-style elements here, they’re joined to what the ad calls a "French Renaissance" style instead.

This place hasn’t been on the market since 1973. Back then it sold for (are you sitting down?) $183,000. No, we didn’t accidentally drop a zero, that was the entire sale price.

Of course, applying the standard Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation formula reveals that that’s more like $991,000 today, which is still barely anything at all when you look at what you’re getting for it. Life’s not fair.

[Update: Nope! City records actually indicate a sale for $5.82 million back in 2002. Quite a far cry from its present price point. This doesn't make us any happier about that '73 price, though.]