Possibly no properties better represent Russian Hill history than the old Filbert Cottages–today as well as once upon a time when they were built.
These four landmarked homes at 1338 Filbert presaged the coming popularity of the Craftsman style in San Francisco in 1907.
Of course, at the time it was not really a style so much as a simple reality: When it came to rebuilding many devastated neighborhoods, the go-to teams were not always architects but carpenters, workmen, journeymen, and, yes, craftsmen, who built sturdy, reliable, spartan homes quickly to meet surging demand.
The SF historical site Noe Hill notes that elements like “minimal embellishment, informality, modest scale, and sensitivity to the site” later became popular in their own right, and the Craftsman look became trendy and popular for non-utilitarian reasons.
The Filbert Cottages themselves, although originally built out of humble necessity, went on to become some of the most valuable and bickered-over properties in San Francisco; after falling into disrepair at the end of the century, a preservation effort stretched out for over a decade of argument and lawsuits.
When they finally reappeared on the market in 2017, the exteriors were restored and preserved, but on the inside they now resembled most other luxury Russian Hill properties, and came with multi-million price tags to match.
This latest offering of the #B property listed just today for more than $3.89 million.
That’s actually only a few thousand dollars more than it last sold for in 2018–but all the better to excite bidding.
That’s Russian Hill for you: Once a working-class endeavor, now the lap of luxury. And all it took was a disaster, a lot of work, and enough time.
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