The Historic Hellman Mansion in San Francisco For Sale

by hookedonhouses on November 9, 2012

Mansions aren’t really my thing. Most of them leave me kind of cold. But when I see an historic one like this that has been so beautifully restored, I get excited. The Neoclassical Hellman Mansion in San Francisco, built in 1902, is one of them. Gorgeous. It’s on the market for $14.9 million, so take a look!


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According to Homes of the Rich, “It was designed by Julius Kraft and built in 1902 by Wells Fargo Bank President Isaias Hellman as a wedding gift for his daughter.”

“It also served as the makeshift headquarters of Wells Fargo following San Francisco’s great quake and fire in 1906.”

It was the site of both the 1991 and 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

The house has 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms.

The grand staircase is impressive with its gleaming wood, hand-painted mural on the ceiling, and stained glass windows. It even has a window seat:

The views from the house are pretty amazing, too:

The agent says:

“Meticulously restored, integrating modern conveniences with timeless style. A reception hall with double curved staircase announces 4 levels that grace this stunning home. Grand outdoor terraces, main and catering kitchens, 7 fireplaces, au pair suite, wine cellar and iconic views of Alcatraz, Angel Island & beyond.”

Want it? For more photos and information check the listing on Movoto.

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Michele November 9, 2012 at 7:36 am

WOW! The woodwork and windows are gorgeous, as is the front entrance. The two things I don’t like are the brown carpeting on the staircase – they could come up with so many other options – and the wood they painted glossy gunmetal grey. That broke my heart!

Shelley November 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

So agree with you on the brown carpet!!!!

Maria November 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I agree! The carpet on the stairs isn’t great. And, I simply don’t get the grey trend right now. Small doses are ok, but so much? Maybe it will grow on me? Painting the woodwork in an historical home seems backward too.

Marie November 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Totally agree with you, Michele.

Jenn November 9, 2012 at 7:49 am

Gorgeous restoration! The views are incredible! Wedding gifts sure aren’t what they used to be!!

Mary Ellen November 9, 2012 at 8:04 am

The bones of the house are beautiful. I’m not as crazy about the area rugs or carpets, the dining room chairs and the color changing of the chairs in the kitchen dining area. I do love the lighter ceilings. Sometimes when they are left as dark wood, they can seem a little heavy and looming. Am I to assume that the orange-red room is a bedroom used as a home office? Something just threw me off with the decorating. In places it was right on, in others it looked too much like today’s choices at Home Goods. No that there is anything wrong with Home Goods, but not just the look I expected in this mansion. Just my picky opinion.

Alie B November 9, 2012 at 8:17 am

Incredible! The one and only thing I didn’t care for was the berber on the stairs. Otherwise it was perfect.

E. george November 9, 2012 at 8:22 am

Good morning Julia it is midnight over this side of the world I thought I might have another look at your beautiful blog before bed time WOW what beautiful architecture… Love the stained glass and the timber it’s lovely but I would feel so small in this house. Thank you for sharing Regards Esther from Sydney. PS I’ve discovered Saks is it on 5th? I though their Christmas ornaments were gorgeous and the Chocolate goodies look delicious (had to mention chocolate).

Rebecca@MidcenturyModernRemodel November 9, 2012 at 8:30 am

Yeah I want that. The style is not my thing but I could learn to live with it. Those views are to die for.

Parnassus November 9, 2012 at 9:03 am

$15 Million doesn’t seem too bad for this, considering some other properties I’ve seen featured for much more, and considering its size, looks, and location. It seems spacious and open, while apparently retaining many original features. The furnishings are peculiar, but then I would want my own. The only thing that would need immediate correction is that odd glossy gray woodwork.

Lorraine November 9, 2012 at 9:04 am

Overall it’s a beautiful home. The murals, the woodwork, and the views are all incredible. But I found the prominent use of grey paint to be an odd choice for both restoration and sale purposes. Then there’s the decorating. It appears to me to have been professionally staged so as not to distract, with the exception of that orange/brown room. I find the paint job in that room to be especially distracting. Plus the wood color of the furniture clashes with the wood trim. It’s just one room but it seems so out of place to me. Finally, it’s so much fun to be able to critique a $14,900,000 house. Thanks Julia!

Danielle November 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

I could totally see myself living here. Now I just need to find 15 million…What a beautiful view!

Laura November 9, 2012 at 11:41 am

I’d have loved to see that house when it was built. I’ll bet there was some cool wallpaper, oriental rugs, etc. The modern decor leaves me cold, but that view – wowza!

Anne S. November 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I could live here and get used to elements that are not my taste. What a great structure, and such lovely woodwork. And the view! Not digging the commercial-looking brown carpet on the staircase though. A patterned wool carpet would have been so much prettier there. I like the grey in the kitchen. Grey has become my favorite neutral for the last few years now–maybe because I am becoming increasingly grey-haired!

House Crazy Sarah November 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm

This place is amazing! The best part are those views out the windows – it’s nice to see that the old house’s VIEWS have survived all these years!

Sheryl November 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I love the look of the house but hate cleaning so deffenutly not the home for me. (not that I could afford it) I wouldn’t mind touring it thogh. Loved the wood work and the Kitchen the best but like I said I deffenutly wouldn’t want to be responsible for keeping it clean.

Brandy November 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm

The bones for the house are amazing! Not sure at all about some of the furnishings and finishing choices (grey/black mouldings? ugh) Thanks for sharing, Julia.

Brandy November 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Oh and does anyone else think that is a robot vacuum on the stairs?

Shannon November 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

It looks like a robot vacuum from one angle, and a stool from another.

The glossy gray paint is all wrong, I think. It’s distracting. I think when you try to modernize elements of a house that is so profoundly of a certain era it just looks jarring and out of place. Hardly any of the furniture works, and that sad runner on those gorgeous stairs needs to be changed. Of course if you stayed entirely in an Edwardian palette it would look like a museum, but there are ways to put comfortable and welcoming furnishings into a house of this era and have it feel right.
I love this house, the views are priceless, and I love that it survived ’06 intact. If I had the money for, you know, a little place in the city, I would buy it.

me November 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Ditto on the bad industrial carpeting on the stairs and the odd black moldings.

Am I the only one who is disliking the exposed brick in the bath and kitchen (whitewashed)? A grand house like this one would NEVER have had exposed brick when it was built — the layers of plaster are there to insulate the house and provide color and finish. It looks very odd to me!

Laura November 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

You’re right. I’m all for exposed brick but in this house it doesn’t look right at all.

Maria November 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I love in the SF Bay Area and was excited to see that the art in one of the living rooms (the brightly colored circle one), is a piece I chose for our office when I was picking out art for our new space! Most be a local artist!

Kim November 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I love all of the details of this home especially that gorgeous stained woodwork. I don’t however, like all of that grey. It doesn’t go with the rest of the house. Other than that, this home is stunning.

Billy November 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm

The house was a showcase house in the spring of 2012: it explains 1) some of the decor looks like the current inventory at Home Goods (2 months to copy, 3 on a container ship); 2) the industrial carpet on the stairs; 3) the hideous gloss gray painted woodwork (that decorator is going to a suckie part of hell).
It should fetch about $12,000k

Nita November 10, 2012 at 12:54 am

Can you just imagine it when the daughter first decorated it and how it must have looked then?

melita November 10, 2012 at 7:47 am

I think the house is beautiful with the exception on those pillows on the window seat at the top ofe the stairs.I would also remove the brown carpet on the stairs as others have sugested.

classic • casual • home November 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I’d like to go there for a party… :)

john in nc November 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

if you take out the staircase in the grand foyer, you couldput my whole house in there

Eric at EricEstate.com November 11, 2012 at 9:17 am

That’s one of my favorite places in all of SF. My grandmother used to tell me stories about the parties at that house. I love the art deco features around all the front windows, and the rest of the place isn’t too bad either!

Vilya November 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

Oh, that staircase! It’s just scrumptious. I don’t normally go for giant houses like this, but I could get used to this one. Now let’s see, where did I put that extra $15 million…? ;)

nicbarbara November 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm

If I had a wedding gift like that as incentive, I might be willing to consider getting married.

Rebecca C. November 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm

They did modernize the house a bit, but nothing that cannot be changed if you like it that way. I really do like the house. The woodwork is terrific. I do agree with others that the attempt to modernize went a little overboard in places. I wonder if the house wasn’t in great shape when it was redone? I always love the story about how a house was taken care of over the years. That view though? As they say, a million(s) dollar view!

Shabby Chick November 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Hi Julia! Just a quick note to say I just found/followed you on Pinterest….here’s the link to me if you’d like to check out my boards. I’m addicted to Pinterest!
http://pinterest.com/missgulfsouth/
~Angela (ShabbyChick) ;)

Jodi November 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Something doesn’t look right about that view from the office. I suspect it may have been enhanced in some way.

Josanne November 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm

LOVE the stairway and the picture above the couch! The woodwork is beautiful as well!

David Eichler November 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Jodi, I did the photo of the Hellman Mansion office for this real estate listing and I can assure you that I did not alter the view itself. It is the photographic convention for twilight architectural and interior photography to let exteriors go a bit bluer than the eye sees them, so I suppose that is a sort of enhancement; however, in terms of the subject matter and perspective of the view, the photo represents what one sees in real life.

Jo December 30, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I’ve dealt with the terrible rude man that used to own this house. It was actually foreclosed and auctioned on a few years back and the family managed to keep it… who knows how. Nice to see the interior of the house though. It may be the most beautiful home in San Francisco. I hope someone good and kind buys it and gives it the love a house like this deserves

tequesta country club homes for sale July 21, 2013 at 5:36 am

I appreciate, result in I found exactly what I used to be taking a look for.
You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

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