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Video Tour


Features

Introduction

Beautiful light-filled Mediterranean Revival home in pristine condition with an excellent floor plan, upgraded finishes, ocean views, large rooms, huge garage with significant expansion potential, and peaceful and private garden backyard with patio. This lovingly maintained home with its significant improvements features hardwood floors throughout, sunny east facing formal living room with gas fireplace, large formal dining room, sunny south-facing kitchen, w/access to bright airy porch and stairs to tradesman entrance. The hallway provides access to the updated split bathroom, two generous west facing bedrooms and large sunroom with closet. Enjoy gorgeous ocean views from the bedrooms and sunroom! Interior stairs descend to the huge 2-car+ garage with significant expansion potential, updated systems, extra storage, laundry, and access to the manicured backyard! Situated in the serene and vibrant Richmond District, known for excellent schools, this home is just blocks away from neighborhood shops, playgrounds and restaurants, Golden Gate Park, Land's End, Lincoln Park Golf Course, the Legion of Honor, and Ocean Beach

House History and Architectural Significance

As San Francisco boomed with prosperity in the decade following World War I, the Outer Richmond neighborhood blossomed with block upon block of speculative tract houses. Small groups of houses with similar forms and designs were erected and quickly sold to San Franciscans who wanted the latest in modern suburban housing. Professional architects were not often involved, but a number of well-known and prolific builders dominated the area, using their extensive on-the-job experience and pattern-based plans to build the Richmond District.

 

In 1924, the property at 655 41st Avenue was purchased by Dr. George K. Herzog and his wife, Rae Herzog. Dr. Herzog was a member of a pioneering San Rafael family. His primary occupation was as a gynecologist and obstetrician, but he apparently dabbled in real estate development, as the subject property and a number of neighboring parcels were all owned and developed by him. He hired contractor and carpenter Henry S. Nelson to build the houses at a cost of $3,400 each. He then sold each house to individual buyers.

 

The first owner/occupants of the house at 655 41st Avenue were William C. and Lena V. Hall. William was born in California in 1872 to Scottish parents. He worked as a purchasing agent in the shipbuilding industry and, later, as a hardware salesman. Lena was born in California in 1882. The couple had two children; a son, Robert, born in 1902, who worked as an automobile machinist; and a daughter, Helena, who was born much later, in 1924.

 

In 1931, the Halls sold the house to Alice A. Van Damme. Vital records list Alice Van Damme as a housewife living in Sonoma and the real estate transaction appears to have been an investment. The house may have been rented, although tenants are unknown. With the involvement of a couple title insurance companies, the property was sold within a few years to E.F. Ramey in March 1934. Biographical information about Ramey is unknown, but they only owned the property for a few days before selling it to Dossie C. Woodson.

 

Dossie Clay Woodson, a descendant of statesman and politician Henry Clay, was married to Marshall Wheeler Woodson, who was a prominent Bay Area real estate lawyer and broker. The Woodsons only owned the property for a very short time, but did live in the house. In December 1935, it was sold to Kieth and Evelyn Z. Deemer.

 

Keith Deemer was a house painter. He and Evelyn appear to have lived elsewhere and only owned the property for about a month. They sold it in January 1936 to Bertram J. and Marie F. Dutil. Bertram and Marie were both born in California in 1913. In 1950, when they lived at 655 41st Avenue, Bertram worked as a warehouseman and, later, a teamster. The couple had two teenage daughters, Laverne and Barbara. The Dutits owned the property for 26 years, selling it in 1962 to Thomas Tetsuji Machida and Teruko Machida.

 

Thomas Machida was born in California in 1926 to Japanese-immigrant parents, who farmed near Sacramento. The Machida family, including seven children, was uprooted and interned at Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona during World War II. Teruko was also born in Sacramento County in 1926. Her father died when she was young and her mother worked in a cannery. She and her mother and brother were interned at Tule Lake in Northern California during World War II. After the war, Thomas and Teruko both returned to Sacramento, where they married in 1951. Thomas served in the Korean War and the couple eventually settled in San Francisco and had two children. Thomas' occupation in later years is unknown. In 1993, the property was placed into the Machida family trust. Teruko died in 2003 and Thomas died in 2012, prompting sale of the house to Elinor Grady and Jonathan White.

 

Although a number of the houses along 41st Avenue were built by Henry Nelson for George and Rae Herzog, their facade treatments vary widely so that the street is characterized by great visual variety. Nevertheless, the subject house and neighbors, exhibit a facade organization that is a hallmark of urban houses in San Francisco. That is: a basement level garage topped by a bay window, with entry stairs and small elevated entry porch to one side, and a decorative roofline treatment.

 

At 655 41st Avenue, the basement level entrance is deeply recessed and features a vehicular opening and a tradesman's door to one side. Common in the 1920s, tradesman's entrances enabled household servants and workers to enter the utilitarian parts of the property, like the basement and rear yard, without using the formal front entry. The garage door was probably originally an un-mechanized hinged double-door. Personal automobiles were just becoming common in the 1920s, so the family car would have had pride of place in this modern house's basement garage.

 

To the right, entry stairs ascend from the sidewalk to a porch sheltered within an opening with a decoratively shaped arch. The front door opens into the main living level, elevated above the street. A sitting room at the front of the house corresponds to the angled bay window that is the centerpiece of the front facade. It has windows with molded trim in each facet, which have recessed arch panels above. A molded plaster rosette medallion is situated in the center arch, under a rounded parapet tab that crowns the bay window. This Mediterranean Revival style ornament continues at the roofline, where there are spindled wall panels flanking the coped edge of the bay window, under a peaked parapet with red clay tile pent roofs on either side. The plaster ornament, red clay tile roofing, and light colored stucco cladding are indicative of the Mediterranean Revival style that was wildly popular in the 1920s and is seen throughout the neighborhood.

 

List of Improvements

  • New Windows: In the fall of 2022, we replaced the windows on the street facing/front, in both bathrooms, the dining room and the primary bedroom with energy efficient/compliant windows, purchased and installed with permits by American Home Renewal. The front windows are upgraded aluminum-clad wood, premium pocket Weather Shield brand windows that meet the specifications required by San Francisco regulations on street facing windows for this kind/age of house. The dining room, bathrooms and primary bedroom windows are energy efficient Milgard.
  • Small sub-roof only over the front bay windows: New-sub-roof installed on September 2023 by CKG Construction and Roofing
    • Removed the existing granular roof from over the bay windows
    • Cut 5-inch stucco and refill stucco after M/B membrane installed
    • Torched down one layer of modified bitumen base, and a second layer of GTA modified bitumen granular.
    • Installed new galvanized roof flashing
  • Main roof: New drainage “scupper” outlet box installed in 2020, resealed area around scupper box. 2021: A new downspout pipe installed with new larger leader header box Patched roof areas in front of roof outlet, around the drain in lightwell, on lightwell roof, and the small sub-roof over the front street-facing windows.
  • Lightwell: Lightwell floor/roof area resealed with roofing tar and gravel by CKG Construction and Roofing.
  • New Energy Efficient Furnace and Ductwork: Installed new fuel-efficient furnace and all new HVAC ductwork throughout house in 2016 by Airflow Pros. Previous furnace was an old gravity furnace connected to asbestos wrapped ductwork in garage. All new system installed, and all asbestos wrapped ductwork removed and abated professionally with permits and replaced with new insulated ductwork.
  • Seismic retrofit/upgrade: Bolted down the entire foundation perimeter, installed shear wall rated thick plywood on perimeter walls in garage, bolted and tied all 6x6 support beams at both the top and bottom, bolted sunroom to house on ceiling area in garage, and added diagonal structural support on sunroom posts. All work done with permits by “Seismic Retrofitters”.
  • Gas insert Fireplace: Installed a gas insert stove and gas line into the living room fireplace in 2019. Purchased from and installed by Okell’s Fireplace
  • New hot water heater installed in 2016
  • Electrical Outlets: Electrician installed 8 new electrical outlets with new lines to the panel in the house: in living room, dining room, primary bedroom, sunroom, and garage.
  • Installed sink waste disposal, undercounter switch and new electrical outlet under the kitchen sink
  • Installed a new security gate in 2012 (Gomez Iron Works)
  • Installed a night light/security light installed outside of the front gate (comes on automatically at dusk)

Neighborhood

If you are looking for a beautiful neighborhood in San Francisco surrounded by the most popular parks in the Bay Area, the Outer Richmond District is a great place to call home. The community is filled with gorgeous row houses that hug the sloped streets of the Richmond District. With its variety of ethnically diverse communities throughout the neighborhood, living in the Richmond District is a true cultural experience.

While the westernmost park of Geary Road can be heavily trafficked, there are plenty of great restaurants and shops to explore on nearby Balboa Street. Enjoy your morning coffee along with a tasty breakfast sandwich at the highly-rated La Promenade Cafe, or stop by the long-standing Simple Pleasures Cafe if you’re craving a bagel or muffin. The Outer Richmond neighborhood is a great place to explore a variety of cuisines around the world, including the Al-Masri Egyptian Restaurant and the local Vietnamese favorite Mr. Banh Mi.

One of the best features of the Outer Richmond District is it’s within walking distance of Golden Gate Park. The park is home to a wide variety of different activities and festivals, including a free bluegrass festival, as well as the Outside Lands Music Festival. Golden Gate park also features several bike and jogging paths, botanical and Japanese gardens, and since the park is closed to car traffic on Sundays, it provides a peaceful escape from the constant bustle of San Francisco.

The Outer Richmond District is also just a mile away from the scenic Ocean Beach. Known for its high winds and strong currents, Ocean Beach is perfect for surfing, biking along the coast, or simply hanging out. Plus, the beach is dog-friendly and as long as your pooch is well-trained, they can enjoy the beach off leash!

Outer Richmond District residents can explore one of the Bay Area’s most popular tourist attractions found at Sutro Baths. What originally began as a bathhouse in the late 19th Century, Sutro Baths suffered through a variety of economic hardships and ultimately succumbed to a fire in the mid-60s.

After a day of exploring the ruins, most tourists and locals enjoy a fantastic meal with unrivaled ocean views at the Cliff House, which is another amazing Bay Area landmark. The Cliff House has been dazzling its guests with their amazing fare for over 150 years, and if you live in the Outer Richmond District, this restaurant can be enjoyed any time of the week.

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Contact Robert Moffatt
(415) 722-4038
[email protected]

Contact


Robert Moffatt

#1 Listing Agent Richmond DistrictSotheby's International RealtyDRE# 01786315415.722.4038 mobilewww.robertmoffatt.com

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