Grand living room, views 

Between getting his civil engineering degree in 1906 and building his house in 1936, Armenian immigrant Levon Nishkian designed a lot of things that make San Francisco work. As an employee of City Hall and later as a private businessman, he designed the two Gunst buildings, the Furniture Exchange at Market and 10th streets, the Loews Warfield Theater at Market and Taylor streets, the Third Street bridge at Islais Creek and parts of the Hetch Hetchy water system, the waterfront and the Golden Gate and Bay bridges.

His son Byron Nishkian and his grandson Levon Nishkian followed his path as engineers, the youngest now a principal at the Nishkian Menninger firm in The City. The younger Levon Nishkian has built his own house. He and his siblings are selling their grandparents’ house as part of their mother’s estate.

"It is an amazing space," Nishkian said. "The living room is a spectacular room that’s 40 feet wide and has 18-foot-high ceilings, and the view from Twin Peaks is framed perfectly."

The Spanish Mediterranean house sits high up on the peaks, and features wrought-iron chandeliers and a bank vault off the darkroom on the entertainment floor. The vault could be a nod to one of the elder Nishkian’s frequent clients: A.P. Giannini and his Bank of America, for whom Nishkian designed more than 200 branches throughout California.

The house was long a dream for his grandfather, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1890, the younger Levon Nishkian said. After building it in 1936, the grandfather lived in it until he died in 1947.

It was also a home for Byron Nishkian, the elder Levon Nishkian’s only child. Byron was born in 1916 and worked on the Bay Bridge as a rivet catcher as a young man.

Where: San Francisco

Asking price: $3.95 million Property tax: $51,350*

What: 5 bedrooms, 5½ bathrooms, 6,700 square feet

Amenities: Views of downtown, Alcatraz, bridges, Mt. Diablo and Mt. Tamalpais, three fireplaces, chandeliers, wood and ironwork, entertainment floor with bar and game room.

Agent: Robert Cronholm, Hill & Co., (415) 321-4255,

*Estimate based on 1.3 percent of asking price

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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