Italianate-Style Marina Villa with Iconic Palace of Fine Arts Views
3520 Baker Street, San Francisco, California 94123
World-Class Views of One of the City’s Most Extraordinary Landmarks. Wonderful Indoor/ Outdoor Living & Entertaining. Graciously Proportioned Entertaining Spaces with Elegant Architectural Detailing.
This stately Marina home is situated directly across from one of San Francisco’s most beautiful landmarks, the Palace of Fine Arts, with breathtaking views of this Renaissance-style masterpiece- reminiscent of being in ancient Rome.
Featuring a gracious entertaining level, beautifully landscaped garden and a one-of-a-kind waterfront location on the lagoon of the Palace, this gracious Italianate-style residence works wonderfully for a contemporary lifestyle in one of the City’s most sought-after neighborhoods.
Situated on of the Marina’s premiere blocks, this home also enjoys easy access to the popular dining, shopping and entertainment attractions of Chestnut Street, as well as the St. Francis Yacht Club, Marina Green, Presidio Park and Golden Gate Bridge.
ENJOY THE ONLINE BROCHURE
– Four bed
rooms 3.5 baths, 1 fireplace, formal dining room, large kitchen with breakfast/ family area stepping out to the deck with outdoor barbecue, built-in surround sound speaker system, and a charming landscaped back patio/ garden.
"Graciously Proportioned Entertaining Spaces with Elegant Architectural Detailing."
– Integrative Nest home functions. Cameras, thermostats, smoke & CO alarms .
– LG energy star washer & LG gas dryer.
– 3,049 square foot lot as per City of San Francisco Tax records.
– Three Levels of living space with two-car tandem parking, one in the garage, and one in the driveway.
– Built in 1928.
– Premiere waterfront location on the lagoon of San Francisco’s world- renowned Renaissance masterpiece, the Palace of Fine Arts.
– Framed by arches and pilaster-style columns, parquetry flooring, trompe-l’oeil stone wall, high ceilings and original moldings, the large-scale, bright and airy entrance foyer provides a warm welcome to the home, and opens up beautifully to the living and dining rooms- creating a great flow for the main level of the residence.A beautiful architectural curved staircase crowned with a skylight leads to the upper level of this gracious residence and complete the timeless elegance of the foyer.
– The elegantly proportioned living room features beautiful parquet flooring with walnut inlay, wood-burning fireplace, built-in and dramatic postcard-like views of Palace of Fine Arts framed by a bank of Bay windows.
– An elegant dining room features beamed ceilings, beautiful molding and lovely outlooks from the Palace in front of the home to the landscaped rear terrace- wonderful for both casual as well as more formal entertaining.
– The large gourmet chef’s kitchen features a large cooking island, rich mahogany-stained cabinetry, butcher-block counters, Sub-Zero refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher, as well as Thermador gas range and dual ovens with rustic Tuscan-style tiling over the stove. The adjoining breakfast / family area enjoys lovely views of the surrounding lush greenery perfectly framed by banks of windows and glass French doors -- perfect for casual dining and indoor/ outdoor living.
– A large terrace off the kitchen/ family room spans the entire width of the residence and is a wonderfully seamless outdoor extension of living and entertaining space, with a gas grill and outdoor seating and lounging areas, as well as steps down to the enchanting garden.
– A chic powder room completes this level of the home.
– The luxurious master suite enjoys incredibly romantic views of the Palace, as the as the surrounding park and lagoon with it’s ducks and swans framed by elegantly arched Bay windows- one of the City’s most eminent landmarks and reminiscent of being in 16th Century Italy. Two step-out terraces, one with glimpses of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, and a beautifully appointed bath with dual vanities complete this wonderful retreat.
– Two wonderful bright guest or family bedrooms are graciously proportioned with with built-in cabinetry and ample closet space share a remodeled bath.
– A carpeted staircase leads down to the 4th bedroom that also works well as a family/ media room or den. Office. With French doors opening up to the patio and generous built-ins as well as an adjoining bath with shower, this makes for wonderful guest or family quarters.
– The magical garden with accent lighting and a drip irrigation system was designed by renowned landscaped designer Penney Magrane and has been featured on the San Francisco Garden Tour. It’s mature magnolia, lush plantings, fountain and brick patio make this a delightfully serene oasis evocative of Tales of the City, with a private brick path leading to the lovely water feature and a hidden Jacuzzi. And night-time designer lighting, as well as an outdoor speaker system also make this yet another fabulous outdoor extension of the living and entertaining areas.
– A large garage with additional storage, wine closet, mudroom and laundry room with LG energy star washer & LG gas dryer complete the ground level.
THE PALACE OF FINE ARTS was one of ten palaces at the heart of the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, which also included the exhibit palaces of Education, Liberal Arts, Manufactures, Varied Industries, Agriculture, Food Products, Transportation, Mines and Metallurgy and the Palace of Machinery. The Palace of Fine Arts was designed by Bernard Maybeck, who took his inspiration from Roman and Ancient Greek architecture in designing what was essentially a fictional ruin from another time.
The structure bears a striking resemblance to the Château d’eau at the Promenade du Peyrou in Montpellier, France, designed by Jean-Antoine Giral (1766). Both of these polygonal architectural follies feature monumental arches flanked by pairs of Corinthian columns and other neoclassical characteristics, and both appear to “float” on the shallow reflecting pool in front of each.
While most of the exposition was demolished when the exposition ended, the Palace was so beloved that a Palace Preservation League, founded by Phoebe Apperson Hearst, was founded while the fair was still in progress.
For a time the Palace housed a continuous art exhibit, and during the Great Depression, W.P.A. artists were commissioned to replace the decayed Robert Reid murals on the ceiling of the rotunda. From 1934 to 1942 the exhibition hall was home to eighteen lighted tennis courts. During World War II, it was requisitioned by the military for storage of trucks and jeeps. At the end of the war, when the United Nations was created in San Francisco, limousines used by the world’s statesmen came from a motor pool there. From 1947 on the hall was put to various uses: as a city Park Department warehouse; as a telephone book distribution center; as a flag and tent storage depot; and even as temporary Fire Department headquarters.
While the Palace had been saved from demolition, its structure was not stable. Originally intended to only stand for the duration of the Exhibition, the colonnade and rotunda were not built of durable materials, and thus framed in wood and then covered with staff, a mixture of plaster and burlap-type fiber. As a result of the construction and vandalism, by the 1950s the simulated ruin was in fact a crumbling ruin.
In 1964, the original Palace was completely demolished, with only the steel structure of the exhibit hall left standing. The buildings were then reconstructed in permanent, light-weight, poured-in-place concrete, and steel I-beams were hoisted into place for the dome of the rotunda. All the decorations and sculpture were constructed anew. The only changes were the absence of the murals in the dome, two end pylons of the colonnade, and the original ornamentation of the exhibit hall.
In 1969, the former Exhibit Hall became home to the Exploratorium interactive museum, and, in 1970, also became the home of the 966-seat Palace of Fine Arts Theater. In 2003, the City of San Francisco along with the Maybeck Foundation created a public-private partnership to restore the Palace and by 2010 work was done to restore and seismically retrofit the dome, rotunda, colonnades and lagoon. In January 2013, the Exploratorium closed in preparation for its permanent move to the Embarcadero.
Today, Australian eucalyptus trees fringe the eastern shore of the lagoon. Many forms of wildlife have made their home there including swans, ducks (particularly migrating fowl), geese, turtles, frogs, and raccoons.
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