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San Anselmo home, built for a sea captain, comes with conversation pit

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The circa-1912 house also comes with a five-story water tower

Photos courtesy of Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Realty

There’s a lot to love about this home in Marin County. A lot.

From the wood-shingled exterior to the restored water tower, this San Anselmo abode, built in 1912, is a blast of fresh air in a sea of Victorian renovations and modernized midcentury overload.

It was designed for an Alaskan sea captain by San Francisco architect Matthew Bugbee, who had previously created homes for the Crockers and the Floods. The seafaring owner reportedly yearned to bring Inuit art to the Bay Area, beginning with this home.

One example of this effort is the living room‘s conversation pit, flanked on each side by Inuit totem poles and carvings, featuring a redwood header beam engraved with the the words sitkum nika piah six, which, according to the realtor, translates to “share my fire, friend” in Chinook jargon.

In keeping with the nautical theme, the 4,320-square-foot home features vaulted ceilings that give off the appearance of an overturned ship.

Other highlights include exposed beams, wrought-iron windows, a pool, and a renovated five-story water tower (now defunct) that’s on the city’s Historic Register. The property’s former owner, Marylin Gump (namesake of San Francisco’s exclusive design and home decor store), restored the tapered structure sometime in the 1970s.

Coming in at five bedrooms and four bathrooms, 100 Alder Avenue asks $3,295,000.

ICYMI: Harry Potter lived in the cupboard under the stairs in the Dursley household.
  • 100 Alder Avenue [Michael Fanelli • Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Realty]