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National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco

National Register #73000444: Vollmer House The Vollmer House is on the right, obscured by a tree.
18 May 2010
National Register #73000444: Vollmer House 18 May 2010
National Register #73000444: Vollmer House 25 January 2012
(Click Photos to Zoom)
National Register #73000444: Vollmer House
This photograph, submitted with
the NRHP nomination, was taken
when the building stood at 773
Turk Street unobscured by a tree.

(Click Photos to Zoom)

National Register #73000444
Vollmer House
1735-1737 Webster Street Between Sutter and Bush
Built 1876

The Vollmer House, originally located at 773 Turk Street, barely escaped the 1906 Fire, which was contained at Van Ness Avenue, one block to the east.

Architects Samuel and Joseph Cather Newsom designed this flamboyant Stick-Eastlake residence.

The following is excerpted from the 1973 NRHP Nomination Form :

The San Francisco Water Department records show this building was connected to the water system in 1876. The Junior League of San Francisco's book Here Today puts the date at "late 1880's" and notes that "the crowded ornate façade is crowned with an unusual tower."

Mr. F. Vollerni was the original owner. Mr. J. J. Vollmer was the second owner who resided a few door down Turk Street. Since Mr. Vollerni, there were three owners up until the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency purchased the property in 1967. All of the owners were absentee landlords and used this building as rental property.

773 Turk will be moved to become one in a row of handsome Victorian buildings which are to be rehabilitated. 773 Turk is one of the six most important Victorian structures chosen by the San Francisco Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board as having exceptional merit.

In 1973, some Victorian residences were listed on the National Register of Historic Places and moved to save them from San Francisco Redevelopment Agency slum clearance. These residences were among the first NRHP listings in San Francisco. Prior to 1973, only fourteen San Francisco properties had been listed on the NRHP.

The following is excerpted from the NRHP Nomination Form for 33-35 Beideman Place:

Because of the zoning within the project area, this building has to be either demolished or moved to a more suitable location where it can be rehabilitated and preserved.

This will be one of eight buildings to be moved onto a two block development within the Western Addition. These two city blocks will be intensively developed with projects including scattered public housing, moderately priced private housing, private rehabilitation and rehabilitation for public bidding and resale by the San Francisco Redevelopment agency. A few rehabilitation projects have already been completed within these two blocks.

San Francisco Street Trees

Consider Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey). Lovely building.

Consider the Taj Mahal, the Doge's Palace, the Parthenon, the Lincoln Memorial, the Sagrada Familia, the Winter Palace of the Tsar, the Hagia Sophia, San Francisco's own City Hall and Opera House and Legion of Honor.

Lovely buildings, all. Essential to their appeal is that they stand unobstructed to be admired from any angle and at any distance.

Over the past twenty years or so, many of San Francisco's most distinctive buildings have gone into hiding behind ill-considered street trees. Except for the Spreckels Mansion Spite Hedge which clearly flips the bird to San Francisco, most of these trees were planted in good faith to beautify the streetscape, filter the air, increase property values; but like the cute SPCA puppy who grows up to be a two hundred pound mastiff, many of our street trees would be more at home in the country than the city.

Here is a short list of some striking San Francisco buildings which I wish were more clearly visible. I'm sure the Hop-On Hop-Off tourists would enjoy them too. They can see an ineptly pruned ficus or an ailing plane tree anywhere.

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