Hard-Edged Aerie on Telegraph Hill, $16M


San Francisco is a city of hills (also legends and anecdotes) and Telegraph Hill is among its most evocative. Once covered in shacks (because no one else wanted to climb the steep hill) the construction of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill Boulevard in 1933 began a transformation of the neighborhood into an accessible one of luxury dwellings.

Originally designed by the late Lewis W. Butler of Butler Armsden and completed this year under the guidance of his firm, this 4-level residence is a sublimely simple perch on one of Telegraph Hill’s highest points, with three unobstructed exposures, opening to views from Downtown and the Bay Bridge to the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Like WIlliam Wurster, whom Lewis greatly admired, understanding the clients (and the lives they aspired to) was critical to success. And while Wurster’s austere but luxurious homes always included small staff rooms and unattractive kitchens (because his clients didn’t cook) Butler loved open entertaining spaces and once said “…the future of the formal dining room is up for grabs”. Both architects prized interior volumes that were elegantly proportioned and visually uncluttered, values that remain embedded in his firm’s design DNA.

What We Love: In addition to the bridge-to-bridge views and outstanding construction values, there’s an elevator connecting all four levels– one thoughtful element absent in many new multi-level San Francisco homes.

The lower level family/media room opens to a terrace that appears to float over San Francisco. There’s also a bedroom suite and laundry room on this level.

The primary bedroom suite (at top and below) occupies the entire top floor. A wall of glass opens to the Western view; the spa bath and adjoining dressing room look into the ancient cypresses surrounding Coit Tower.

More: Go to the listing for additional images, floor plans and details, as well as a video that tells the story best. A unique opportunity to own a superb work of architecture in a matchless setting, represented by veteran luxury specialist Mary Lou Castellanos at Sotheby’s International Realty.

Photo Credit: Open Homes Photography for Sotheby’s international Realty