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Bernard Maybeck’s Roos House in Presidio Heights asks $16 million

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Landmark home hopes for landmark deal

A black and red Tudor home. Courtesy Nina Hatavny, Pacific Union

The spectacular red and black Roos House at 3500 Jackson, designed by Bernard Maybeck, architect of such San Francisco treasures as the Palace of Fine Arts, listed today asking a princely $16 million to match its dramatic Tudor style.

Realtor Nina Hatvany calls it a “stunning example of Maybeck’s architectural work,” singling out “the Great Room with 20-foot ceilings opening into a formal dining room” in particular.

Hatvany dubs the opulent listing a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” which, salesmanship aside, is almost certainly true.

Built in 1909 (although city records inaccurately date it to 1906) for clothing magnate Leon Roos, the 1992 book Bernard Maybeck: Visionary Architect lays out the power and the glory of the house’s lavish half-timbered design:

Panels of mauve plush edged with gold gimp harmonize with redwood walls. Redwood battens and moldings have Gothic profiles. Indirect lighting and diffused light from wall fixtures softly illuminate surfaces and details, while hanging chandeliers sparkle against the dark heights of the roof timbering.

[...] Wall coverings, light fixtures, and furniture - even the heraldic crest of the owner's initial ornamenting the entrance door - were fashioned from designs by Maybeck.

According to the house’s 2008 application to the National Register of Historic Places (which officially added the Roos House to the rolls the following year), it has changed little since its 1909 days:

Since its construction, the property has undergone very few alterations, all of which were designed by the original architect, Bernard Maybeck.

Alterations occurred in 1913, when a balcony on the first story at the rear of the house was enclosed to become the sitting room off the living room alcove. A garage, constructed in 1916, was later demolished in 1982 and rebuilt in the same style and materials as the house.

A dressing room was added to the second floor in 1919. In 1926, the “Morning Room” was added onto the second story at the rear of the house. In 1926, the “Morning Room” was added onto the second story at the rear of the house.

The owner sold the rear garden plot (also designed by Maybeck) after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake to raise funds for repairing the rest of the house.

Owner and seller Dr. Jane Schaefer Roos married local lawyer and Leon Roos son Leslie Roos (who was actually named after his mother, Elizabeth Leslie Roos, for whom the elder Roos originally commissioned the house) back in 1962.

Dr Roos inherited the house from her in-laws in the 1970s (already a widow by that time) and kept the property up ever since.