A Brief History of Presidio Terrace and the House*
Presidio Terrace was the vision of an enterprising Swiss banker émigré, Antoine Borel, in partnership with Realtors Baldwin & Howell who created a master plan and marketing strategy for a nine-acre tract subdivided into an unusual park-like setting of 36 parcels arranged around an oval island and four smaller islands. The collection of the initial 20 custom built homes was designed by noted architects of the time representing works of Period Revival architects, including MacDonald & Applegarth, Bakewell & Brown, Bliss & Faville, and Albert Farr.
Among the “proto-modernist” architects, Charles Whittlesey designed Nos. 10, 11, 19 and 24. In House No. 24, he integrated subtle Japanese motifs—e.g., the delicately stacked/exposed end beams of the second floor and gentle concave roof of the top floor—with the Prairie School aesthetic as represented by the horizontal flow of the expansive main floor rooms with wide doorways and multiple windows looking out to verdant setting of Presidio Terrace.
The home changed hands four times in the first half of the 20th Century.
Its last and longest owners were Stephen and Merla Zellerbach, notable business and cultural leaders of San Francisco who acquired the home in 1952.
*The Historic Houses of Presidio Terrace and the People Who Built Them, written and photographed by Patrick McGrew, AIA, 1995, privately published by friends of the Presidio Terrace Association.
The brick walkway along the landscaped front garden leads to the recessed front entrance. The polished marble FOYER introduces wide doorways and high ceilings of the public rooms.
The expansive LIVING ROOM with an impressive floor to ceiling marble clad fireplace enjoys abundant natural light from both the north and south. The large rounded bay window with built-in sofa seating looks out to the Presidio Terrace landscape. At the other end, French doors with wide sidelights open to the SOUTH TERRACE making for a perfect space for outdoor dining or evening cocktails and views to Twin Peaks in the distance.
The step-up formal DINING ROOM features a cove ceiling with indirect lighting and can seat a large dinner party. The adjoining sunny BREAKFAST ROOM is ideal for daily dining. A marble WET BAR with bar refrigerator located off the Entry Hall conveniently serves both the living and dining rooms.
The beautifully remodeled and very spacious KITCHEN will please both the home cook and caterer alike. Features include:
The POWDER ROOM is located off the Service Hall which also accesses the rear staircase to the upper and lower levels
THE MASTER SUITE.
The luxurious MASTER BEDROOM enjoys the lovely outlook to the Presidio Terrace landscape with two palm trees and colorful blooms in the island foreground. Built-in features include a make-up vanity with custom accessories drawers and several wardrobe closets. The tiled MASTER BATH with tub and separate shower is located between the bedroom and the MASTER STUDY which may also be used as a BEDROOM (No. 2.)
Two additional “Jack & Jill” BEDROOMS (No. 3) & (No. 4) with an OFFICE share a tiled BATH. On the third level are two BEDROOMS (Nos. 5 & 6) and a BATH.
The large FAMILY/MEDIA ROOM features a brick fireplace and drop-down screen. The semi-finished MULTI-USE ROOM is ideal for a combination exercise, play and billiards game room.
The LAUNDRY ROOM has a washer/dryer, ample ironing/folding counter top and sink. A BATH with shower, utility room and several storerooms adjoin.
There is inside access from the large two car side-by-side GARAGE with
spacious driveway turn-around at the rear of the home.
Notes of Interest: