Built in 1904, the mansion is a close replica of the small chateau that Louis XV built for his mistress Madame de Pompadour on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. If you want to claim this regal residence, you’ll need a king’s ransom: It’s on the market for $30 million.
At the current price, it’s at the top of the market for the city.
It was built for the Francophiles Marcus and Cora Koshland, a prominent San Francisco couple who made their fortune in wool and textiles. It sits atop a hill, and a grand, curved, marble staircase leads to a front terrace that greets visitors from the street.
Inside is … eye-popping. And this year, rather than use conventional (read: bland and neutral!) staging, the San Francisco Decorator Showcase was held here in its extraordinary 18,000 square feet of interiors.
To coincide with the offering, the home’s splendid spaces were transformed into a fanciful wonderland inspired by the architecture. Each room wound up more lavish than the next. “It’s the dazzling reincarnation of a legend,” says listing agent Joel Goodrich.
For the project, designers remade 33 spaces, including some of the nine bedrooms and eight bathrooms, public entertaining rooms, gardens, the marble three-story atrium, and a lower-level ballroom.
The most recent owner, Ron Jankov, reportedly purchased the historic building in 2016 for $12 million. The previous owner, who picked it up in 2007 for $18 million, had filed for bankruptcy in 2013 while attempting to restore the structure.
Jankov embarked on a pricey multiyear facelift for the aging grande dame. But according to Goodrich, he never moved in. He owns multiple residences, and he’s elected to place the San Francisco landmark on the market once again.
For the showcase, 36 of the top interior and landscape designers on the West Coast descended on the home, paying homage to its history while also creating lavish modern takes on the space. And we toured the results.
While the structure speaks for itself, the decor put it positively over the top and made us swoon. If we had to nitpick, though, there are a few things that didn’t quite do it for us.
Here are three things we adored and three we could live without.
1. Astonishing atrium
Inside the front door, the ravishing marble entryway is the heart of the residence and sets the tone and the layout of the home. Soaring three stories up, the marble staircase wraps around it, and it’s topped off with a colorful stained-glass skylight. It’s an open space that allows light to pour in at every level. (The image seen here includes a rendering of a chandelier, to give a sense of the space.)
Even though the home’s layout is so formal, the central atrium, which can be viewed from all three levels, helps pull everything together. It also creates a dramatic space for parties, and performances have been staged on the landings. And those solid marble columns and the greenhouse on the third level? We die.
2. Rockin’ recital room
A round of applause for the recital room, please. The choice of a fierce black-and-white color scheme—dark walls, along with moldings and matching wall hangings, was nothing short of inspired. But it’s the standout barrel-vaulted ceiling that truly sings.
Two-toned, silk-inset window coverings complement the wild geometric treatment overhead, and the contrast with the huge, ornate fireplace creates harmonious balance. Take a bow.
3. Not your great-grandmother’s ballroom
The lower level takes it up a notch. First of all, we love a ballroom, and this one already had us at “Bonjour.” The Hall of Mirrors-inspired space with original three-dimensional moldings has been completely reimagined as a private, Euro-style night club on steroids.
Take a look around. The jaw-dropping space features a marble bar, back-lit wine display, inset mirrors, and sculptural pieces hanging from the ceiling.
Plush couches and bar seating add to the lounge atmosphere. The pièce de résistance, a raised stage, could play host to a DJ, band, or karaoke night. Alternatively, throw a flat-screen TV in there and show movies. The after-hours club is truly dressed to impress.
As you can see, this place is palatially perfect. But, everyone has their own tastes. So if we had the great fortune to live here, we’d probably tweak just a few things. Trust us, these are relatively minor snits. We truly think the home is magnifique!
1. Stairs, stairs, stairs
Wow, this home has a lot of stairs. And yes, there is a small elevator in the house. But still, if you’re not taking advantage of that, lugging packages or running up and down all those steps could get a little old. Perhaps the next owners could add a ramp or three.
2. Cut-off kitchen
We’re sure that the family who built the place never set foot in a kitchen, except to deliver instructions to staff.
It’s become au courant to keep the kitchen open to the rest of the dwelling, but this cooking space seems closed off from the cool spaces it adjoins. We could see the benefits of taking down the wall between the kitchen and formal dining room, and creating a lovely family-oriented space that opens out to the French-style gardens.
3. Wallpaper designs that bugged us
In many of the rooms, wallpaper rules, adding a chic print, a fun color, or another layer of texture. And we dug most of the prints on the walls.
Except for one that we didn’t. The room with the gold bugs. Bugs give us the creeps any day of the week. Seeing them immortalized on the wall didn’t endear us to the creepy crawlers. And yes, this room, called the Fleurs et Orangerie atrium, is meant for floral arranging and is otherwise quite pleasing, in hues of blue. As for the bug theme, we’d squash it.