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Nicolas Cage’s onetime Pac Heights mansion chops price again

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You don’t say?

Photos: Courtesy of Joel Goodrich

A five-bed, seven-and-a-half bath Victorian, built in 1898 and located at 1945 Franklin, returned to the market this month asking $5.99 million (less than half its former 2018 asking price). But this isn’t even close to the most unusual thing that has happened to this beautiful yet oddball Pac Heights property.

As realtor Joel Goodrich notes in his latest listing, this “grandly proportioned mansion” enjoyed “a fascinating 20th century string of celebrity owners [including] Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage.”

Yes, Cage bought the place in 1998, although now it’s a Cage-free property, as he sold it just seven years later for $3 million. But he stuck around and bought an even bigger and more expensive house on Francisco Street; evidently he likes the city, which we guess you might call his Mecca.

According to Planning Department records, the next buyer was none other than the rockstar-esque SF investment banker John Lee Hudson. Hallelujah.

Berg Properties writes that Werner Erhard, a self-improvement guru, previously lived here in the 1970s. And in 2010 Socket Site credited Patricia Arquette (another Oscar winner) and Howard Grossman, an internist famous for his work in HIV treatments, as past owners as well.

The blog Real Clear Life even reports that “in 1981 Stephen Hawking gave his famous black hole presentation in the attic.” That space is now another bedroom, so anyone wanting to recreate the lecture will just have to wing it.

Foyer and staircase.
Living room.

Perhaps it was the home’s star-studded history that led the current owners (an anonymous LLC who picked it up after the bank seized the place in 2013) to push it onto the market in August 2018 asking an incredible $12 million.

Was it all just wishful thinking? Well, they did put a lot into renovating it. Maybe they thought it’s the wrong time, it’s the wrong place.

Goodrich writes that these days the house sports “exotically-themed stained-glass panels, stunning architectural reliefs, wainscoting as well as boxed-beamed and coved ceilings,” as well as, presumably, plenty of room for iguanas on the coffee tables.

But fame, acclaim, and redesigns evidently don’t always add up to eight figures, because the price has tumbled since then. The market has a tendency to overreact.

When the listing disappeared in December, it was down to $7.5 million. Picking up again a few weeks later, the current asking price is a comparative bargain at more than $5.99 million.

Sometimes it’s not exactly mai tais and Yahtzee when it comes to historic big-ticket homes in Pac Heights. But it’s not all too late for a big sale yet.

Dining room.
Master bedroom.