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A fantastical fantasy home that “embodies the grandeur of a bygone era.”

A stunning Bay Area home steeped in history has graced the San Francisco real estate market $13.85 million.

It’s called the Tobin House, and while its half-house unusualness is eye-catching, it’s the backstory of its existence and the man who designed it that’s breathtaking.

“The Tobin House, located at 1969 California Street, is the last remnant of the estate of Michael H. de Young, founder of the San Francisco Chronicle and a leading voice in the city’s politics, culture and urban development,” the listing reads. Sotheby’s International Realty says.

“Designed by the brilliant architect Willis Polk in 1915, this magnificent five-bedroom Pacific Heights residence embodies the grandeur of a bygone era when the sophistication and patronage of the city’s elite created San Francisco’s architectural legacy.”

According to SF Gate, an elegant residence was designed for de Young in his later years, after he bought two adjacent plots so he could build twin houses for his daughters, Constance and Helen.

De Young hired Polk, a famous architect who “created an extraordinary variety of architectural form, space, scale and imagery”, including designing the Chronicle Building in 1889 and the Mill Building in 1890 to design what would be the sisters’ estate.

00813048_1_.jpg
Exterior Jacob Elliott for Sotheby’s International Realty

“Polk’s ambitious plan for the Tobin house and its neighbor was for them to mirror each other and share an archway that would act as a very early shed and lead to Michael’s gigantic mansion,” reports SF Gate. “It’s not going to go according to plan.”

Constance went on live in the first completed housebut Helen refused to move into the other, so its counterpart was never built, according to Atlas Obscura.

The Tudor Gothic-style home spans more than 8,990 square feet and has many timeless features that complement Polk’s vision, even though its perfect archway was only half finished.

Features include:

  • 11′ ceiling

  • Grand living room

  • “Five diamond leaded glass windows”

  • Terraces

  • Garden

  • Kitchen for gourmets

  • Fireplace

  • “Barrel Staircase”

  • Library

  • “Canopy for tandem for three cars”

Joseph Lussier and Stacey Kahn of Sotheby’s International Realty are handling the listing.

TJ Macías is a real-time national sports reporter for McClatchy based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. TJ previously covered the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers for numerous media outlets, including 24/7 Sports and Mavs Maven (Sports Illustrated). Twitter: @TayloredSiren



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A fantastical fantasy home that “embodies the grandeur of a bygone era.”

A stunning Bay Area home steeped in history has graced the San Francisco real estate market $13.85 million.

It’s called the Tobin House, and while its half-house unusualness is eye-catching, it’s the backstory of its existence and the man who designed it that’s breathtaking.

“The Tobin House, located at 1969 California Street, is the last remnant of the estate of Michael H. de Young, founder of the San Francisco Chronicle and a leading voice in the city’s politics, culture and urban development,” the listing reads. Sotheby’s International Realty says.

“Designed by the brilliant architect Willis Polk in 1915, this magnificent five-bedroom Pacific Heights residence embodies the grandeur of a bygone era when the sophistication and patronage of the city’s elite created San Francisco’s architectural legacy.”

According to SF Gate, an elegant residence was designed for de Young in his later years, after he bought two adjacent plots so he could build twin houses for his daughters, Constance and Helen.

De Young hired Polk, a famous architect who “created an extraordinary variety of architectural form, space, scale and imagery”, including designing the Chronicle Building in 1889 and the Mill Building in 1890 to design what would be the sisters’ estate.

00813048_1_.jpg
Exterior Jacob Elliott for Sotheby’s International Realty

“Polk’s ambitious plan for the Tobin house and its neighbor was for them to mirror each other and share an archway that would act as a very early shed and lead to Michael’s gigantic mansion,” reports SF Gate. “It’s not going to go according to plan.”

Constance went on live in the first completed housebut Helen refused to move into the other, so its counterpart was never built, according to Atlas Obscura.

The Tudor Gothic-style home spans more than 8,990 square feet and has many timeless features that complement Polk’s vision, even though its perfect archway was only half finished.

Features include:

  • 11′ ceiling

  • Grand living room

  • “Five diamond leaded glass windows”

  • Terraces

  • Garden

  • Kitchen for gourmets

  • Fireplace

  • “Barrel Staircase”

  • Library

  • “Canopy for tandem for three cars”

Joseph Lussier and Stacey Kahn of Sotheby’s International Realty are handling the listing.

TJ Macías is a real-time national sports reporter for McClatchy based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. TJ previously covered the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers for numerous media outlets, including 24/7 Sports and Mavs Maven (Sports Illustrated). Twitter: @TayloredSiren



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