A Grand San Diego Victorian Looks Dapper After 134 Years

A uncommon Victorian-era dwelling―its gas-lit heyday marked by white-glove soirees―has come to market in San Diego’s Bankers Hill district.

The 1889 Queen Anne-style dwelling, with its dome-topped tower, wraparound gingerbread porch, carriage home and impeccably maintained inside is priced at $6.485 million.

“That is one in every of San Diego’s finest,” says Bruce Coons, an structure historian and Govt Director of San Diego-based Save Our Heritage Organisation. “It’s one of many prime 10 Victorian-era houses within the metropolis.”

Whereas quite a few different San Diego Victorians have been disfigured, the four-bedroom Lengthy-Waterman dwelling, named for its first two homeowners, has been graced by preservation-oriented consumers. That features eight consecutive a long time of household possession, from 1897 to 1977.

Constructed for John and Kate Lengthy, the 6,180-square-foot house is listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations.

Set on a distinguished nook that’s a 7-minute stroll from Balboa Park, the stately three-story house is drenched in ornamental extra. Attic eyebrow dormers flank gables confronted with ornamented bargeboard, their peaks inset with a fan design. Elegant finials rise from the crests. The tower’s dome is roofed with a diamond-shaped terne plate.

The wraparound entrance porch is a mélange of fretting and turned spindles, their blocky shapes inset with rosettes. Spandrels are lower with a sunburst design. That assortment is fronted by sawn balusters lined with a round cutout sample.

Three chimneys servicing 4 fireplaces rise from the construction that’s anchored with a large magnolia tree within the entrance yard, planted in 1906. Within the dwelling’s yard, there’s a camphor tree reported to be amongst California’s largest.

The house’s sample on sample redwood cladding (there are 4 motifs) has lately been painted greige and accented with white trim, retaining with custom.

Maybe most telling―and it’s a tiny element simply missed in a construction chock-full of them―is the house’s authentic weathervane rising from the dome’s finial. An ornamented coronary heart is about on the base of the vane––an emblem of the loving care that’s been lavished on the construction and its luxurious inside for 134 years.

“We’ve at all times had a deep emotional connection to the property,” says Allegra Ernst, who, together with her husband John Ernst, bought the house in 1993 and, given their retirement, are promoting. Provides John Ernst: “We’ve accomplished our greatest by no means to take it without any consideration―it’s such a masterpiece.”

Coming into by the house’s richly carved redwood door into the lobby, a good-looking staircase lies straight forward, a showpiece of Anglo-Japanese design, an aesthetic popularized in the UK in the course of the Victorian period.

Turned spindles are oriented at horizontal and vertical angles beneath the banister. They’re positioned simply above cutout Japanese followers with handles that edge every step. Embellished wainscoting, discovered all through the house, adorns the bottom of the huge redwood construction.

The lobby’s diamond sample ground is completed in three colours of slate. The room’s hearth and high-mirrored mantel are set with fluted columns topped by scrolled capitals. The mantel’s base is carved with an egg-and-dart design.

The house’s 4 fireplaces, carved from numerous sorts of wooden, have authentic glazed tiles and forged iron gates. The tiles had been almost definitely created by the American Encaustic Tiling Firm, based in 1875, in response to Coons.

The Ernsts brightened the house upon buy by swapping out darkish foil wallpaper for off-white wall coverings with a diamond sample. They additional banished somber Victorian sensibilities by putting in a brand new ivory carpet swirled with a floral motif, which stays in glorious situation. A brand new composite shingle roof―a significant funding costing $75,000―was put in over the unique cedar shingles a few decade in the past, amongst different enhancements.

A lot of the dwelling’s 7-foot tall home windows are authentic and are predominately double-hung sashes. Others are leaded or stained glass adorned with scroll, flute and floral designs. Coronary heart redwood is used extensively all through the construction, for doorways, paneling, molding, trim and for different makes use of.

Previous the lobby, the house’s genteel parlor (actually a fantastic room) is anchored by two mahogany pillars and an ornate transom. The fireside has a brass display inset with beveled glass squares that lend it a refined polish. Ash elimination doorways are embellished with hummingbirds and flowers.

Past the parlor is a sunroom and, to the correct, a eating room set with an Nineties oak tambour desk, bought by a earlier proprietor from the Milton S. Hershey Mansion in Pennsylvania. That and different furnishings can be found for buy in negotiation with the gross sales worth.

The eclectic dwelling’s second ground has a visitor and a full lavatory, and there’s a visitor lavatory on the primary ground.

The Ernsts bought among the dwelling’s chandeliers in vintage retailers, including to the present assortment, a few of which had been sourced from Austria.

The Lengthy-Waterman home was designed by Irishman Domenick P. Benson, who immigrated to america round age 20. He created a convent and several other different public buildings within the space, together with quite a few Victorian-style houses. “Benson’s buildings had been famous for his or her elaborate inside woodwork furnishings,” in response to a historic file.

The house’s final resident after 80 years of unbroken household possession was Florence Hart Gilbert, who died in 1975. She was the daughter of the third proprietor, Fred Root Hart, who purchased the property in 1897.

John Parker, who owned San Diego’s KYKY Radio, purchased the house in 1977, paying about $400,000. He launched a four-year renovation undertaking that concluded in 1981. It included a brand new basis for the house and one other one below the carriage home, which lacked one. The house’s paint was stripped to the unique wooden and its wallpaper was eliminated. All the inside woodwork was stripped and restained. The kitchen was modernized, chimney stacks had been repaired, mechanical techniques had been up to date and new landscaping was put in―that’s the shortlist.

9 years earlier than the Ernsts purchased the house, they started leasing the property’s 1,530-square-foot carriage home for his or her monetary companies firm, which they offered final 12 months. As with Parker, they moved their enterprise into the house, which is zoned for residential and business use.

The property is below a Mills Act contract, which provides preservation-minded homeowners a tax break. The Ernsts went a step additional, acquiring a historic constructing facade easement―an settlement struck with the Metropolis of San Diego that grants town curiosity and rights to the facade, however not possession, to guard its look.

There are about 50 Victorian houses in Bankers Hill, in response to Coons. Allegra Ernst cites some close by, repurposed authorized places of work which have been desecrated with alterations and additions.

“They give the impression of being terrible,” she says. “The best and finest use of this property is served by its present state––as a murals.”

The itemizing for the Lengthy-Waterman Home, 2408 First Avenue, San Diego, is held by Christine Baker and Cornelia Siem of Willis Allen Actual Property.


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