On the market for $20 Million in Pacific Heights is a historical mansion by renowned Bay Area architect Julius E. Krafft. Amidst the city’s High Victorian renaissance, Krafft was commissioned in 1902 by prominent lawyer E.S. Heller, who paid more than 45,000 (ten times the average construction cost at the time and the equivalent of roughly $1.18 million today) to build what is known today as the Heller Mansion on Jefferson St. Of the tidy sum that went into the building of the home, a good deal went towards appealing interior features such as imported exotic woods and the intricate ceiling molding and painted mural in the formal bayside dining room. These features remain intact to this day and, in fact, much of the property has been restored to reflect on and maintain Krafft’s original vision.
A little architectural background: After emigrating to the U.S. from Germany in 1872, Krafft spent two years in Chicago before making his way to San Francisco 1874. He would spend twelve years working for architect T.J. Welsh before opening his own firm. Today, Krafft’s Classical Revival imprint can be seen scattered throughout Pacific Heights and the greater part of San Francisco. His body of work includes the Flood Mansion, Hamlin School mansion, Captain Charles Boudrow House, Allen Hotel, Rosslyn Hotel, Hotel Verona, St. George Apartments at Tenderloin and the St. Paulus Evangelical Lutheran Church, to name just a few.
The Hellman-Heller Mansion, in particular, is one of Krafft’s more interesting designs as it borrows from not only the neoclassical attributes of Louis XVI Style, but also the radical architectural influence of Cesar Daly. The model of the home is simple, yet intricate. There is a meticulous nature and symmetrical balance of Krafft’s that can be seen throughout the property; however, the home’s more finite details add a certain level of Old World charm, such as the terracotta columns that line the entrance way and the exquisite iron work that adorns the second-floor windows.
Inside, the Hellman-Heller Mansion expands to over 11,500-square-feet, spread across four floors. A grand main level includes a lavish reception hall that opens to a living room, dining room, service kitchen and terrace foyer. A double-curved mahogany staircase leads to a third-level master suite, complete with an office, sitting room and his and her baths, and further on to four guest bedrooms, three full baths and a media room located on the fourth floor. The home’s lower level features not only a gourmet kitchen, but also a baking kitchen, along with an au pair suite, wine cellar, family room and garage.