Decorator selling 1883 Victorian for $1.8M 

The Levines, a couple-about-town who have served The City for decades, are hoping to sell their 1883 home to someone who understands the value of history.

Toby Levine is a former San Francisco planning commissioner and founder of San Jose/Guerrero Coalition to Save our Streets,which made headlines this year protesting festish-film company’s purchase of the armory building in the Mission. Her husband, Jerry Levine, is a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency grants facilitator who has worked for The City for 30 years and sits on the the Citizen’s Committee on Community Development, and who previously served in government posts under two U.S. presidents.

For years, they have seen themselves as the "stewards" of 1336 Guerrero St., Droubi Real Estate agent Pete Brannigan said. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places not only for its façade, but also for some of its interiors. The unusual listing reflects the history of the 1800s marble fireplaces, Victorian gilt-wood mirror and the original wallpaper of the parlor walls and ceilings, which was imported from England.

The original owner of the home, Frank Edwards, was a decorator and hanger of wallpaper who also crossed the Atlantic. He emigrated to America in 1845 and followed the Gold Rush to California nine years later — a journey he made as second mate on a clipper ship. He panned the rivers of the Sierra in vain, and came back to San Francisco in 1856 to work as a paperhanger, according to Toby Levine.

Like the Levines decades later, Edwards was civically involved, serving as a board member of the San Francisco SPCA, a fire commissioner and a participant in the notorious Vigilance Committee of 1856.

The house has a historic easement, meaning that the new owners must care for its historic features, including the fireplaces, paper, original mahogany bookcases, the gold leaf molding and other items. That does not mean that nothing can ever be done with the house — the present owners added a solar power array on the roof, and have been using it as a multiunit space, renting a studio and one-bedroom sections to visiting artists, musicians and writers, Brannigan said. It has 10 rooms total

Where: San Francisco
Asking price: $1,789,000
Property tax: $23,257*
What: 3+ bedrooms, 4 baths, 2,904 square feet per tax records
Amenities: Antique wallpaper, mirrors, marble fireplaces and façade; two-car garage; detached office cottage; can be single- or multi-family; remodeled bathrooms; brick patio; landscaped garden; wine cellar.
Agent: Pete Brannigan, Droubi Real Estate, (415) 920-8220,
*Estimate based on 1.3% of asking price.

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