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Julia Morgan home in Vallejo asks $979,000

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Noted architect’s vision returns to market after two years

Shingled facade of home. Photos courtesy of Lyndy Pickens/Tour Factory

Last time the Julia Morgan-designed Wilson House, located at 728 Capitol in Vallejo, hit the market in 2015 Curbed SF called it a perfect example of the noted architect’s “rustic, nature-inspired First Bay Tradition style,” praising its butterfly layout, “dark and moody” rooms, and “divine” grounds.

Two years later the grounds are still there, the moodiness remains, and Morgan’s style is only that much more rich with age as the five-bed, three-and-a-half-bath home (perhaps surprisingly) returns to the market this week, asking $979,000.

According to the plaque fixed to the porch, Morgan designed the Vallejo vision in 1909 for banker George Wilson.

In a 2007 Morgan biography, author Mark Anthony Wilson praised the Bay Area’s architect adept for blending “Swiss Chalet style with neoclassical Beaux-Arts” and singled out the low-gabled roof and its hanging eaves for particular attention.

Whereas the historical marker just refers to the Wilson House as “a magnificent example of craftsman style.”

However observers want to label it, a century-plus of appreciation has only improved the abode’s style, particularly its many stained glass windows, box-beam ceilings, the gleaming woodwork, and the bristling brilliance of those eaves.

Two years ago this property asked $1.2 million before dropping the price to a hair less than one million. It soon dropped out of sight altogether. Now this latest listing, which went live this week, offers an even lower asking price.

Of the 2015 venture, realtor Lyndy Pickens tells Curbed SF that a sale almost went down but “those buyers didn’t want to pay the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price.”

She adds, “With a property like this you’re buying the best of the best and you really do need a special buyer.”

Instead the would-be 2015 purchasers (a Texas couple) leased the historic space. Previously, Judith Hilburg, art collector and champion of the rare books collection at Vallejo’s John F Kennedy Library, lived in the Wilson House from the mid 1970s until her death in 2014.

Pickens also notes that this is the last of three original Morgan houses in Vallejo, one of the others destroyed in a fire and the other demolished decades ago.