In the words of the daughter of the original owner of 685 Marina Boulevard, [85 years] “...since the construction of the house, the classic beauty of the interior and exterior remain original and awe-inspiring, a stunning testimony to the craftsmanship and artistry of years past.”
--Gloria Zietich-Craib, The Countess: a True Story of Love, War and Politics,
California Publishing Company, 2004, pp. 25-26.
Thirteen years after the 1916 Panama Pacific Exposition closed, the landfill upon which it was built lay dormant in private hands until the parcels were offered for sale. She writes:
“….my father [proprietor of a food and wine store on Union Street] with his keen discernment, discovered a rocky promontory called ‘Strawberry Island’ among these parcels which was soon to be the sturdy site of our new home. His decision proved to be a wise choice since the destructive earthquake of 1989 did only cosmetic rather than structural damage to the home and the three homes close by.”
Her father invited a friend to build his house on the east half of the adjoining parcels. Serendipitously both the architect and the contractor they selected extended their talent and passion into the interior finishes as well as the exterior design and construction.
From across the street on the Marina Green, the façades exhibit a discrete Mediterranean elegance with Moorish influences: classic red tile roofs, ornamented parapets, arched windows, brackets, fanciful iron work, with subtle differences in their varied planes. Gracious clay tiled steps with artisan tile inlay lead to the common patio past the lush greenery to the highly articulated entries, exquisitely decorated with mosaic tile work which frame the massive solid wood carved doors.
The present owner (only the second family to occupy this splendid home over its 85 year history) has merged capital improvements and modern amenities with the meticulous restoration of the home for the best of City living and entertaining in the 21st Century.
The FOYER introduces the exquisite proportions and handsome arched doorways of the public rooms. Impeccable craftsmanship is evident in the patterned clay tile floor and handsome ironwork found in the railings and period lighting.
The step down LIVING ROOM features an articulated archway to the gracious barrel vault ceiling with arched triptych picture window that looks out to the Marina Green and harbor. A massive stone fireplace, decorative spiral columns and niches add rich architectural detail.
The formal DINING ROOM seats a large dinner party. It looks out to the landscaped front patio and features a beamed ceiling with hanging wrought iron chandelier, sconces and a pair of leaded glass-front display niches.
The spacious custom KITCHEN/FAMILY ROOM will please both the home cook and caterer. The beamed ceiling and plank flooring provide a warm rustic ambience. Features include:
The sunny BREAKFAST ROOM overlooks the verdant Patio/Garden and neighboring greenery.
The POWDER ROOM and guest closet off the foyer complete this level.
Ascend the gracious curved staircase with colorful tiled inlay risers, heavy rope railing, gorgeous arched art glass sidelight, period sconces and suspended wrought iron chandelier.
The cozy STUDY with massive stone fireplace and hip beamed ceiling opens to the open air LOGGIA and splendid view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marina Green, St. Francis Yacht Club and sailboats berthed in the yacht harbor. French doors open to the balcony overlooking the courtyard.
The adjoining STUDY/PANTRY provides a convenient refreshment center for the second floor.
The very private MASTER BEDROOM with bay window looks out to the sunny Patio/Garden and neighboring greenery.
The luxurious MASTER BATH features a marble vanity with sconce lighting, spa tub, tiled separate shower with port window, WC and heated floor tiling in a basket weave pattern.
Two BEDROOMS (Nos. 2 & 3) look out to the Marina Green and patio/garden, respectively. They share a BATH with shower.
A staircase leads to the ROOF DECK for glorious views of the bay and
the Golden Gate Bridge.
The wide Gallery Hall with clay pavers and beamed ceiling leads to the expansive sunny SOUTH PATIO/GARDEN. Verdant greenery, colorful blooms, in particular, a very large bougainvillea bush provide a lush setting for outdoor entertaining and dining on a large scale.
Off the Gallery Hall are: the WINE CELLAR, cozy GUEST ROOM (NO. 4), MEDIA ROOM with bay window, tiled BATH with shower and heated tile floor.
Completing the lower level are: the LAUNDRY ROOM with washer/dryer, Utility & Store Rooms and the spacious two car tandem GARAGE with driveway parking.