It’s easy to leave your heart in San Francisco: the city has beautiful architecture, historic charm, memorable eateries, culture galore, magnificent views and enough atmosphere to convince even the most cold-hearted among us that this place is truly special. The city is also famous for its high-end real estate, which seems to rise further into the stratosphere every day.
A brilliant example of beautiful architecture as well as a piece of San Francisco history is for sale: the Burr Mansion. On the National Register of Historic places and a San Francisco Landmark, the home was commissioned by Ephraim Willard Burr, the eighth mayor of San Francisco, as a wedding present for his son Edmond and his bride, Anna Barnard. Designed by Edmund M. Wharf and built in 1875, it is a completely detached Italianate house with a Second Empire mansard roof.
The 7,077 square foot house has six bedrooms and four and one-half baths. Inhabited by the family and their two daughters until 1968, it is set on a lot of over a quarter of an acre, one of the largest parcels in the city, which includes lush gardens and a one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage in addition to the main house.
The house underwent a major restoration from 2000 to 2003, resulting in a well-preserved historic building with modern systems and function. Double front doors that once belonged to the New York Public Library lead into a foyer distinguished by the home’s remarkable design details, including crown moldings, chandeliers and inlaid hardwood floors. The curved staircase is illuminated by a stained-glass skylight overhead. A triple parlor has high ceilings and mahogany built-in cabinets framing a marble fireplace.
The living room also has an original carved marble mantel, while the dining room is marked by a bay window. The kitchen, which benefitted from the restoration, has a Viking six-burner stove with a grill top and commercial ventilator, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer. A Thermador dishwasher, a KitchenAid warming oven and a GE Monogram compactor. There are also two pantries.
The second floor houses the private quarters. Overlooking the back garden, the primary suite has an original fireplace, a dressing room, and a marble-clad bathroom with dual sink vanities, custom cabinets by Smallbone, a spa tub and shower. Two more bedrooms complete this floor.
The top floor is home to a lovely family room with original redwood paneling and an abundance of storage for objects and books. This space can easily be used for entertaining or lounging, with a wet bar area equipped with a refrigerator and dishwasher. A fifth bedroom with en suite bath can host overnight guests.
The bottom level houses the sixth bedroom with a quaint fireplace and full bathroom, which can serve as another guest room or an au pair suite. Exercise buffs will appreciate the mirrored workout room, which has views of the gardens, while oenophiles can be found sipping and swirling in the temperature-controlled wine cellar with capacity for 2,000 bottles. Additional amenities include a laundry or mud room, utility room and storage closets.
There is a separate two-car garage with ample space in the driveway to park another five or more cars. Delightful gardens surround the home to create a magnificent, historic city estate. Another plus, especially given San Francisco’s reputation for expense: the property has significant property tax savings resulting from the Mills Act.