34 Presidio Terrace

San Francisco, CA 94118


5 Bed, 6 Bath,  |  8040 Sq Ft

Property Information


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– Central Reception Hall
– Grand Staircase
– Formal Dining Room
– Formal Living Room with fireplace
– Library with fireplace (gas starter)
– Great Room/Family Room with vaulted skylight
– Fully equipped modern Kitchen & Pantry
– Breakfast/Sitting Area with fireplace (gas starter)
– Five Bedrooms en suite – Four on single level
– Six Baths and Powder Room
– Home Theatre
– Play Room with built-ins & fireplace (covered)
– Gym with Steam and Sauna
– Au Pair Suite
– Wine Vault
– Mud Room
– Extra Storage
– Three Car Garage
– Solar Electric – Updated Systems
– Upper and Lower Level Laundry
– Side Terrace and Yards

Living space approximately 8,040 square feet (per appraiser) on three levels

Lot Size approximately 10,440 square feet, 226 foot frontage

HOA dues $3110/quarter – common services (grounds maintenance and security services)

Walkscore 82: http://www.walkscore.com/score/34-presidio-terrace-san-francisco-ca-94118

A dramatic white marble main reception hall is balanced by the formal living and dining rooms to the left and right of the entry with a grand central double wing, split staircase ascending to the upper gallery. The dramatic step down living room features double crown moldings, hardwood floors, piano alcove, fireplace, built-in speakers and wet bar.  A cozy bird’s-eye maple paneled library with fireplace is accessed from the living room.

Passageways, that may be closed or left open, on either side of the entry hall staircase lead to the rear great room, over lit by a large vaulted skylight with retractable screen. This room currently serves as a spacious family room on the main level.

The gourmet kitchen is adjacent with amenities that include custom cabinetry & pantry, granite countertops and a center island with quartz Caesarstone, six burner professional stove with copper hood, built-in double convection ovens, two warming drawers, built-in Thermador refrigerator/freezer, microwave, compactor, wine steward, main and prep sinks. An open breakfast and sitting area is warmed by a copper clad fireplace with large hearth and accesses the side terrace and western garden for enjoying barbeques and sunsets.

The family bedrooms radiate from the U-shaped upper landing, flooded with light from the vintage leaded glass windows and skylight. The master suite has a fireplace and double closets, a marble bath with radiant heating, clear glass shower, spa tub, twin vanities and separate water closets, including bidet. All four bedrooms on this level are en suite. A spacious laundry room with service sink and built-in cabinetry offers additional storage.

Descend from the great room via a wide main stair or from the kitchen by the back utility stair to the lower level rooms and garage. Enjoy the fully equipped home theatre and separate spacious children’s playroom with hardwood floor and high ceiling. The playroom is outfitted with swings, built-ins, a gaming area, miniature basketball court and play spaces. This level is also equipped with a home gym, complete with wet bar and fridge, plus a 1000 bottle capacity temperature controlled wine vault and a full au pair or guest suite with kitchenette.

The large three car garage includes work spaces and storage plus a utility room which houses the fire & security, audio/visual and phone systems, two furnaces for the lower two levels (with a third furnace upstairs). There are two laundry rooms, one each on the upper level and lower levels.

*Property taxes will be reassessed upon sale to approximately 1.1691% of the purchase price. Prospective purchasers are advised to review the property disclosure packet prior to submission of any offer.

Crown Jewel of Presidio Terrace

34 Presidio Terrace was designed by the firm MacDonald and Applegarth; Kenneth MacDonald, Jr. (1880-1938) and George Applegarth (1877-1972) were both students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.  They each returned to San Francisco after the big quake of 1906 and were partners for some years after before their interests took them in different directions.  Major works of MacDonald include the Francesca Apartments and Campton Place while Applegarth’s include the Spreckels Mansion on Lafayette Park and the Legion of Honor. They were commissioned to design several other homes in Presidio Terrace but 34 Presidio Terrace was the only residence in the Beaux Arts style. It was constructed by the Moses Fisher Company, one of the largest residential building firms in the city at the time. The home underwent a major renovation in 1995 with architect Steven Geizler and maintains most of its historically important architectural details.

This magnificent neo-classic mansion, completed in 1910, is an impressive example of perfection in proportion and symmetry displaying a continuous balustrade on top with an entablature of dentils and garland frieze. A central portico is supported by Ionic columns with tall arched Palladian styled windows to each side anchored by decorative planters below.

Its placement within the Terrace, fully detached on a double lot, ensures an abundance of natural light, with morning sun in the living room, library and master suite plus a south facing great room, kitchen and upstairs bedrooms.  The home has a wonderfully convenient floor plan including large public rooms for gracious formal entertaining on the main level plus four bedroom suites on the upper level, and has been further improved for modern comforts. It is positioned between two side yards, a front lawn and manicured gardens.

The residence is one of the most historic homes in the city, serving as the “Mayor’s Mansion” for Joseph Alioto and maintained by his family from 1950-1993. It was deeded originally from the developer Antoine Borel in 1909 to Michael J. and Rose McCarthy, opera singers from New York who also performed in San Francisco.

History of Presidio Terrace

San Francisco’s own Presidio Terrace is truly a historical showcase of renowned San Francisco architects of the highest regard and the homes, primarily built from 1889-1911, exhibit some of the earliest and most thoughtful suburban development in the city. The cul-de-sac layout in an oval formation with oversized lots follows a residential planning concept that was new around the turn of the century and resulted in homes, within a garden setting in a gated community, like this example which is located on the southern slope of Presidio Heights. Presidio Terrace is adjacent to the Presidio Reservation, itself a 1200 acre national park with hiking and biking trails, the Presidio Golf Course and Julius Kahn Playground nearby.

The various architectural styles include Beaux-Arts, Colonial and Mission Revival, Prairie School, French Rural, Italian Renaissance, Elizabethan and Mediterranean.  An amazing collection made more significant by the importance of the architects who designed the structures in combination with the city leaders who lived in them. Some of the earliest residents included Hartland and Herbert Law, Marshall Hale, Elizabeth Watt, Fernando Nelson, and Francis Keesling, the more recent former occupants were US Senator Dianne Feinstein, US Representative Nancy Pelosi and Mayor Joseph Alioto.

The Terrace developers were banker and Swiss native Antoine Borel together with realtors A.S. Baldwin and J.R Howell whose successes also included Rancho San Miguel (Twin Peaks), St. Francis Wood and many others. Contractor Moses Fisher built ten of the homes in this enclave, having purchased seven of the lots himself.