Open House Obsession: A Spectacular Victorian in Lower Haight/Hayes Valley $2.995M

Where: 294 Page Street, Hayes Valley
When: Sunday, May 12, 3 - 5 p.m.
What: The Charles Dietle house, a much-admired Stick/Eastlake Style mansion built in 1878. This landmark house was already a bit out of fashion when 1906 Earthquake refugee and newly-homeless grocer John DeMartini bought it from Dietle for a bag of gold worth about $5,000, and on the market this week for a somewhat larger bag of gold– $2.995M.

Although it's more modest than the contemporaneous Haas-Lillienthal House on Franklin Street, it's "much-admired" as a survivor– so many houses of this period have been demolished or remodeled beyond recognition. A law office for decades, very little had been done since the 1970s. The current owners bought it in 2006 and have done a brilliant job of buffing up the surviving details without changing its essential formal character. A front stairway and an only slightly less-grand back stairs:

Original details in the master bedroom:

We're not crazy about the exterior paint color. Although the quality of the painting is fantastic, we preferred the previous and more traditional grey-olive color, but kudos to the owners for not succumbing to the lure of painting interior in "bright neutrals." Below, the vast ground floor, headquarters for your new start-up or that private ping-pong club you've always wanted. Having been a law office, the building is zoned for commercial use.

There are various dates for this house. The listing agent says 1870, the Landmarks site has 1878, and the city records say 1900. The only dates you need care about are the open house, Check out the listing link at top for dozens more images.
Upside: Once neglected and drug-ridden, the demolition of a notorious housing project and the Central Freeway has changed it beyond recognition, and this is the "dream house" for many people who move to San Francisco. 


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