Two and a half years ago, neighbors in Eureka Valley (21 of them, to be precise) were hopping mad about a proposal to turn a humble, unimpressive two-story circa 1923 house at 4546 19th Street into a 4,600-square-foot contemporary chef d'oeuvre.
Of course, you can’t throw a blueprint in this town without hitting a remodel fight. In this case, the bone of contention was a matter of scale. Critics over the fence alleged that the new design was simply too much house, relative to the unassuming construction already in place.
But planners thought that Medium Plenty architect’s vision for the property grooved just fine with the rest of the street, and the remodel eventually won the day. Now, 32 months after both tempest and teapot departed the scene, the final product is asking $6.2 million for the trouble.
The once unassuming home now features five distinct levels and five baths, including one taking up an entire floor all on its own. It’s also comes with white oak floors and walnut built-ins in the wine cellar. It even boasts a hand-painted mural of blue agate stones covering every wall of one of the bathrooms
But the signature element is clearly the floating staircase, and the Escher-like sense of vertigo it communicates the moment you’re through the front door. (Although that "8-foot-tall glass and wood pivoting door," as the advertising calls it, is quite a handsome piece of work in itself.)
Though the neighborhood fight over the house’s new look was textbook, what happened after city approval was anything but. Not long after the deal was done, former owner Ferolyn T Powell (who struck it rich with her medical company Evalve, developing devices that repaired patients’ defective heart valves) died in a scooter accident in Thailand.
Building plans went into limbo for a few months after that tragic event, eventually passing into a developer’s hands (for $3.5 million), and the project is only now finished.
- 4546 19th Street [Paragon]
- Neighbors Not Happy About Extreme Makeover [Curbed SF]
- Med Device Entrepreneur Dies In Accident [SF Business Times]