Stump the Stammtisch: What is an “Edwardian” House?

“Other than ‘a residence built between 1902 and 1910,’ I have found no consistent definition despite asking several RE professionals and ‘googling’ the question for about an hour. Are there are any style elements that all ‘Edwardians’ have in common?”-TC

That’s a good question. I know Janis Stone has been selling homes in San Francisco for quite some time, so maybe she can shed some light on the matter for you.


[2740 Green]

I, personally, prefer this type of Edwardian, but some of you might prefer the taste of a “Stalefish” Edwardian (Started off in October 2006 at $1,495,000 and can now be yours for only $1,349,000, and the “SELLER MAY CONSIDER Installment Sale, or Seller Financing.”), or perhaps a “Prime Inner Richmond Three Unit Edwardian”.

Either way, you have choices, but still no answers. Stammtisch!?

2740 Green St. [Sothebys]

10 Imperial Ave. [MLS]

681-685 7th Ave. [MLS]

14 thoughts on “Stump the Stammtisch: What is an “Edwardian” House?

  1. Good question. Not sure exactly. I think it has to do more with the exterior / facade for the most part. You can generally pick them out pretty easily.

    As for Stalefish…… what’s the deal with the Green St listing? That place has been on the market forever, 2 brokers, a no price change? It’s not even that nice inside (dark) and the views are pretty good; but not as good as you think they would be for that section of town. Maybe if it were on Vallejo itmight be worth over $10M, but i think the market is telling you pretty clearly that its not worth $11.5. At $9.9 you might have some interest.

    I almost feel sorry for Sotherby’s agents who get listings and clients like these…. but not really… :-)

  2. I’m going to leave the “Edwardian” question up to the others to answer. I am not an expert on details of that kind. I’ll be the first to admit that.

    As for Green, Eddy, I’d have to disagree. I LOVED that home. It is priced WAY too high. That much I can agree with you on, but as for the home itself, I loved it. The views are incredible, and the home is just plain sweet, especially the deck/outdoor bbq area on top. I love that part of Cow Hollow, and think they did a great job turning the 3 units into a single family with a unit down below, keeping the facade on the exterior but really adding all the modern amenities and style to the interior. If I had that kind of cash, I’d buy it in a second…for $7.5M ;-)

    As for price, it did change. Originally $13,500,000 with Naomi Glass, now $11,500,000 with Louis Silcox and Joseph Lucier. Technically same Broker (Sothebys), different agents.

    Correction, Naomi is with Coldwell Banker, so there has indeed been a change of brokerage.

  3. Edwardian refers to the ‘period’ which has a certain style. But it is the period that describes the house not the style. After Edwardian is Art Deco.

  4. When did Naomi Glass join Sothebys?

    [Editor’s note: Thanks for the catch…she is with Coldwell Banker.]

  5. 10 Imperial: 1 bath, no parking, in alley, neighbor is an eye sore haunted house… would be better at $1.1 mil. Seller refuses to budge.

  6. On 10 Imperial, If I recall, it also needs some work. The downstairs storage should be developed. Plus, there are some settling and uneven floor issues as well, which I’m sure aren’t helping the property sell at that price. Somebody should try to “steal” it for 15% under. Well, somebody probably already has.

    Here is a nice link on Edwardian style:

  7. Most Bay Area Victorians are mostly either Queen Anne or Edwardian. Edwardians are simpler and typically have flat roofs. Sometimes a facade on the front that makes the building seem taller.

    To quote this site:

    The Queen Anne Style Victorians, popular 1885 – 1905, have a noticeably more baroque appearance, comprised of a wide range of structures and textures. Usually a home of this style has a triangular gable facing the street, and often has a spire or tower. Windows tend to be lower and wider than the earlier styles.

    The Edwardian Style homes, popular 1905 – 1920, generally have simpler trim. The distinguishing feature of this style is the egg-and-dart cornice work. Also, Edwardian homes were constructed of wood, stucco, brick or a combination, while the Victorians built previously were all made of redwood.

    Or try here:

  8. I’ve never been in 2740… Some of the pictures look great, and some, well… I’d make a few changes here and there..

    I assume the owner bought the house for at least 4.5 million based on their property tax statement. (TMI, I know) The contractor was Ryan, so they must’ve spent a close to 5 million rebuilding it. So they have already 9.5 in the house. Minus the 700k in realtor’s fees and various holding costs, they’ll only make about 1 million on the house if they sell it for asking at 11.5. Of course, a huge chunk of the profit is lost to taxes… If they sold the house for 7.5, they’d probably lose close to 3 million.

  9. RE: Edwardian…

    I’d echo what Dave just stated. I own a home built during the Victorian period but remodeled in early 00s to look more Edwardian on the exterior. The exotic moulding on the cornice and windows was stripped off and replaced with a far simpler dentil cornice and trim.

  10. Alex, I agree that the house is very nice. For the $11.5 they are asking, I’d want that deck to be facing the water and not Larry Ellison’s house up the hill. At $7.5, you would have a bloodbath of offers and it would probably sell in a minute for $9M. I didn’t mean to slam the house, just that the owners are out of touch with the value of their asset. The views are nice, but I still content that the house feels a bit dark inside.

  11. Eddy,

    I didn’t think you were slamming the house at all. I agree the sellers are out of touch with their price, and I do agree that if the price was lowered to where I would purchase it ($7.5M), there would be a frenzy.

    I prefer the deck on the south side, as it is much warmer. North facing decks don’t get as much sun, and they’re susceptible to the pesky Northwest winds we have. That’s just me.

  12. They paid $2,150,000 in ’97 from George Shultz and Charlette Mallaird. it was built in 1923, past the Edwardian period.

    [Editor’s note: For Green, MLS actually shows a purchase price of $3,611,310 in December of 1997. Asking price was originally $3,400,000 then bumped to $3,500,000, but who’s counting…that was in 1997, we’re still stuck on an $11,500,000 Stalefish price in 2007. Yes, you are correct, built in 1923…so is it then not Edwardian? Dave?]

  13. back to edwardian.

    An excellent resource on the subject is the magazine “Victorian Homes”.

    After 2+ years of research on the matter, I’d say that the American wirding DOESNT APPLY to san francisco. Architecture in san francisco is quite unique – part of it being the 25/100 type of lot.

    So tomake it very easy, that’s my personal conclusion:

    – all the houses are victorian – and the floor plan of a SFH is similar regardless of the facade.

    – if the house has a triangle facade, front door on one side and bow window on the other side, it’s a standard queen ann (thousands of them in castro/noe). The most amazing queen ann being those with the touret (ashbury)

    – if the house has a square facade, with two over one bow windows, it’s a standard edwardian.

    Now in each type, you have to analyze the wealth of the first owner. Blue collar houses are not at all identical to the mansions in PacHeights. The layers of trim (from 1 layer to 12 or even 18), the flat or rounded windows are the best outdoors hints. The presence or not of laces is NOT an indication. To some extends, those laces were cheap – and added or removed by the owners (same goes for the next-front-door stained glass).

    So how to choose? I sense that most people will have a preference for triangle vs square. The rest is cosmetic and it’s up to the owner to add or remove the make-up…. with my personal preference of always using wood siding, wood windows, and some reasonable wood trims. A nice facade will NOT cost an arm and a leg, and you can probably get 200-400% back on resell.

    And forget about the blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah beige and gray (cf 2740 green which could be … GREEN!! ;-) )

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