PHOTO: Leah Culver in front of the Pink Painted Lady in February 2020.
One of the famed Postcard Row homes on San Francisco’s Alamo Square is back on the market. Available for $3.55 million, the Pink Painted Lady has been featured in millions of photographs.
Leah Culver, a senior engineer at Twitter, purchased the historic house in January 2020 with hopes of returning the grande dame to her former glory. But now, she’s decided to sell rather than go forward with a multiyear, multimillion-dollar construction project.
“It is with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to sell the Pink Painted Lady,” Culver posted on social media. “This was an extremely difficult decision that I have been considering for several months. I’ve come to realize that I do not have enough time or resources to dedicate to truly restoring this home with the care and attention to detail that it deserves.
“I would love to transition to a new owner who cares as much as I do (or more!) about this special home,” she said. “That’s why I am listing it for sale for the same price I purchased it for and am including the current building plans, permits, and social media accounts with the sale (if desired).”
The listing photos show the home presents a formidable renovation project. In fact, the enthusiastic owner told us at the time of her purchase that this project would be her first-ever renovation.
Culver landed the famed residence after an intense bidding process that involved multiple offers. Property records show she paid $3.55 million three weeks after the home came on the market for $2.75 million.
Then reality set in. Built in the 1890s, the three-floor residence had been owned by the same family for decades. Rot and neglect had taken root.
But the next owner will have an advantage. The sale includes plans and approved permits by David Armour Architecture to restore the building.
The planned offering features two units. The upper-level unit will measure 2,996 square feet and have five bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The lower-level guest unit will have two bedrooms with a separate entrance.
Culver shared part of the massive project on social media. Over the months, incredible details of the home were highlighted, including a stained-glass window, decorative ceiling plaster, cornices, as well as ornate hinges and doorknobs.
But she also showed the challenge of peeling paint, ancient fixtures, and cracks in the ceiling.
Recently, a running faucet leaked into a downstairs bathroom. It caused the ceiling to cave, a cautionary example of renovating an older home.
The iconic abode is part of a famous block of homes in San Francisco known as the Seven Sisters. The street is one of the most photographed in the city, attracting folks who want a peek at the picturesque “painted ladies.”
The photogenic street has appeared in movies and TV shows, most notably the sitcom “Full House.”
The block’s charming group of Victorian-style homes was built in the 1890s by the developer Matthew Kavanaugh, who also lived in the place on the corner, 722 Steiner St.
Culver says her favorite part of the property are the views.
“The views from both the front and rear windows are spectacular,” she says. “Out the front, there’s a beautiful view of Alamo Square and the Golden Gate Bridge, and in the back you can see City Hall and the downtown skyline. The location is just perfect.”
Culver hopes the new owner will be someone who “loves this home as much as I do and is excited about its restoration.”
So do we, and we hope the next owner takes over the @pinkpaintedlady Instagram account so we can follow along.
“This house is incredibly special to San Francisco and recognizable worldwide,” says Culver. “My only advice [to the new owner] would be to keep it looking beautiful and colorful
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