3D Virtual Tour
Welcome to 418 45th Ave!
Immaculately preserved pre-1900 Queen Anne Victorian. Experience the Timeless Features and Modern Improvements of this Wonderful San Francisco Home! Elegant main level floor plan includes formal living room, formal dining room, full bath, remodeled kitchen with outdoor seating and access to the lush English garden suitable for entertaining. Up the beautiful period staircase are three sunny bedrooms and one bath, including an incredibly spacious master bedroom with spare room for a nursery or luxurious walk in closet. Enjoy ocean and garden views from this level. In garage find one car parking, laundry and abundant storage space. Full driveway space in front with landscaped planters and amazing curb appeal complete this traditional San Francisco Home.
- Custom Period Lighting Throughout
- Kitchen: Shaws English clay ceramic sink. Italian Carrera marble counter tops, Italian porcelain tile flooring, French hand-made ceramic tile back splash, custom lighting, under-counter lighting, Sub-zero new refrigerator, Viking stove/oven, Miele dishwasher, 19th century bead-board wainscoting, English burnished Nickel faucets
- Main Level: Down stairs: all old growth redwood, original 1880's parlor doors, lathe and plaster walls, custom beadwork on ceiling and walls, original ceiling medallions in living room, dining room and bedrooms, 1800's stained glass window and custom transom, hard wood floors throughout, custom high-end period lighting
- Upstairs: enlarged master bedroom with attached extra room for nursery or walk-in closet. Ocean views, hardwood flooring
- Back yard: English garden with large entertainment areas, shed, brick patios, and irrigation.
- Improvements: Copper drain pipes and plumbing, 50-year tile roof. New System Pavers in front along with new waste sewer pipe from garage door to street. Sprinklers front and back.
House History and Architectural Description
The house at 418 45th Avenue was connected to water service in July 1891 (under the address 410 45th Avenue). Water service often denotes the construction date of a house, although it is possible – especially in the outer extents of the Richmond District – that the house may have been built earlier and gone without running water for some time before being connected to municipal infrastructure. It was later re-tapped in 1904, when water main improvements appear to have been undertaken in the neighborhood. Robert and Catherine Fawcett were the owners of the property from at least 1891 through 1906, and applied for both water connections, but city directories never list them as residents of 418 45th Avenue. The only Robert Fawcett listed in directories worked as a paper carrier and was always shown at a different address.
Whether built in 1891 or earlier, the house would have been one of very few houses scattered on the lonely wind-swept sand dunes of San Francisco's Outer Richmond District. Most of the neighborhood developed decades later in the 1920s and wasn't built out until the 1950s. Even then, empty lots remained, density was low, and the neighborhood was very quiet. Around the turn-of-the-century it would have taken hours by buggy to travel from downtown San Francisco to Ocean Beach along what was called Point Lobos Avenue. Today, that road is called Geary Boulevard (although a small extension bearing the original name runs just south of the house). 418 45th Avenue was well situated to be near that thoroughfare to downtown, as well as sitting just south of the scenic-but-restricted grounds of the Fort Miley military reservation and an adjacent city cemetery. The cemetery was later removed, but in the late 1800s and early 1900s would have been considered a pleasant place to picnic and a popular day-trip destination for many San Franciscans.
The 1906 earthquake and fires that decimated much of downtown San Francisco forced many residents of Downtown, South of Market, and the Mission to relocate to less-damaged neighborhoods farther from the heart of the city. Few moved as far west as the Outer Richmond District, but a few did. In fact, the house's subsequent owner, Sarah E. England, had lived in the Nob Hill/Chinatown neighborhood in 1905 and was likely burnt out of her home there, which sat within the fire zone. After relocating twice, she settled at 418 45th Avenue in 1908. The 1910 census shows that Mrs. England was a 32-year-old widow with three children; Gladys, Gertrude, and Newton. She had been born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States in 1893. In 1920, she still resided at 418 45th Avenue, along with Newton, who worked as an auto mechanic, and Gertrude, who had married a dentist named Jackson Stevens, who also lived at the house. Sometime in the early 1920s, Sarah and by-then-divorced Gertrude sold 418 45th Avenue and moved to Fillmore Street, perhaps to be near Newton and his wife, Margaret, who they lived next door to.
The next known owner of the house was Dean S. Arnold, a salesman for W.D. McCann, an insurance brokerage. He lived at the house around 1940. By the 1950s, the house was occupied by James E. and Marion Harris. Dr. Harris was a physician who worked at St. Luke's Hospital in Bernal Heights. From the mid-1950s through the 1960s, the house was occupied by Bert H. and Virginia Sorber. A musical couple, Bert Sorber was a salesman for the Capitol Radio Engineer Institute and his wife was a teacher at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Robert D. and Marjorie Gray lived in the house in the early 1970s, but their occupations are unknown. The house appears to have stood vacant for some time during the late 1970s, then by 1982 was owned and occupied by Paul W. Chilcote, who also had no listed occupation.
The house is designed in a simplified Queen Anne style and dates to before automobiles were common, meaning that the current basement level garage was inserted at a later date; however, it was done sensitively and the paneled door with windows at the top evokes a historic look. Entry stairs to the left ascend to an open porch, which according to historic Sanborn Fire Insurance maps was originally covered; likely with a small shed or gable roof that may have been adorned with turned posts or decorative brackets. The original front door, with paneling and Queen Anne style window (a large pane surrounded by a border of smaller stained glass panes), remains and is topped by an art glass transom. The house has also kept its horizontal wood siding with corner boards on the first story and wood shingle siding above, a textural mix characteristic of Victorian architecture. The right side of the first story is dominated by a rounded bay window, with art glass in the upper sash of the central window. Bay windows are a San Francisco hallmark stemming from the Victorian era. A flare at the base of the second story wall and square shingle siding characterize the upper story. Queen Anne influences are also found in the fish scale shingled gable end, with its wide bargeboards and scrolled eave brackets.
The house welcomes visitors through a foyer and long hall that leads to the interior of the house. The floors are finished with wood parquet and the lower walls feature paneled wood wainscotting. Molded wood trim with bulls-eye corner blocks frame door and window openings and high baseboards are found throughout the house. Original paneled wood doors with brass hardware are still intact. These warmly toned wood accents contrast with the bright plaster upper walls and ceiling.
In keeping with formal Victorian interior arrangements, a parlor is the first room to open off the hallway. The bay window on the front of the house provides the room with ample natural light, while a fireplace surrounded by a wood and slate mantel piece warms the room from its position in one corner. Although the light fixtures are now electrified, they maintain the appearance of early gas fixtures and a plaster medallion is present; now ornamental, but originally intended to protect the ceiling from soot stains.
Through pocket doors, guests could be ushered from the parlor into the adjoining dining room for meals. Complete with the typical trim, this room also has a delicate plaster border around the ceiling and a smaller but more defined medallion above the gas-like light fixture.
A downstairs bathroom features an eye-catching three-part window set high on the wall and glazed with colorful art glass. Molded trim and bulls-eye corner blocks continue around openings in this room, and although it is a more utilitarian space, parquet flooring, high baseboards, and a molded chair rail refine it.
At the rear of the first story, past the stairs, is the spacious kitchen. It features modern tile floors in tones that meld nicely with the rich woodwork found in baseboards, vertical board wainscotting, and window and door trim. The ceiling is spanned by narrow box beams that lend a casual, but visually interesting, atmosphere to this working room, while modern cabinetry, marble counter tops, and a farmhouse sink continue that feeling.
The stair to the second floor boasts champfered newel posts with acorn newel caps, paneled stringers surrounded by bead-and-reel moldings, molded handrails, and turned balusters. The upper stairs land on a small hall off which a number of bedrooms are located. Despite being considered private space by Victorian standards, the second floor continues to be adorned with the decorative wood trim and ceiling medallions found in the more visible public rooms downstairs. Hardwood floors are visible in some rooms and may continue under the present carpet.
Each bedroom features paneled wood doors, molded baseboards, window and door trim with bulls-eye corner blocks, and plaster ornament on the ceiling (both borders and medallions), as well as authentic light fixtures. One particularly large room – perhaps intended for the master of the house – also features Classical square pilasters supporting a ceiling beam. Off this room is a large brightly lit secondary room with built-in shelving, ready for use as a walk-in closet.
The upstairs bathroom has a vintage hexagonal tile floor and bead board wainscotting that also surrounds the tub. The medicine cabinet, linen cabinet, and sink plumbing are all built in and accessed by paneled doors and hatches.
Stairs with turned balustrades descend from the first floor into the back yard, where lush vegetation surrounds a brick patio. The yard is backdropped by the rear facade of the house, which is clad with horizontal channel drop wood siding and punctuated by tall, narrow, double-hung wood windows. A paneled wood door, overhung by a scroll bracketed hood, provides access to the unfinished basement garage space.
Outer Richmond + Sutro Heights
Families and singles alike seek out the Outer Richmond for its laid back, beach-town quality. Residents find a great outdoor adventure, taking in the relaxing sun, or bundling up for walks on a foggy day.
At the western edge you’ll find Ocean Beach, and to the south Golden Gate Park, both within easy reach. A relatively flat terrain in all directions, biking and hiking are a central means of transport. San Francisco’s Muni is also an option, conveniently delivering residents to the Civic Center and Financial District.
Ocean lovers are in their element in the Outer Richmond. Ocean view walks, forested trails and several beaches, make for magical afternoons. China Beach is a small but breathtaking destination, popular for sunbathing, and one of the only places in the city safe enough for swimming. Baker Beach, and its mile of waterfront, delivers magnificent views of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. The most famous of the beaches is Ocean Beach, famous for its weekends of kite flying, wake boarding and good-old-fashioned picnics.
Lands End Trail is a favorite journey for hikers, as it meanders along the rocky cliffs over the sea - passing the historic Sutro Baths and the Legion of Honor. And of course there is the majestic Golden Gate Park, with numerous crisscrossing paths, easily accessible. If golfing is your game, there’s the private Lincoln Park Golf Club where you’ll risk missing your putt due to the tremendous ocean views from every hole.
After a memorable day by the sea, you’ll wander down the main drag, Geary Boulevard, which is lined with restaurants of every ethnicity, from Mexican, Russian, French and Italian to an array of establishments serving food from every corner of Asia.
You’ll never be short on cultural opportunities in this neighborhood. Art from around the world is regularly featured at The Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park. The movie art-house Balboa Theatre makes its mainstay second-and third-run Euro and independent flicks. And it takes but a short drive or Muni ride to find the new and old treasures made available at Golden Gate Park’s world-class museums.