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6 Gerke Alley - Telegraph Oasis
A Must-See Home Spotlighting Natural Elegance Inside and Out
Nestled at the end of a tranquil Telegraph Hill cul-de-sac, 6 Gerke Alley represents a rare example of creativity. Loft like in style the award-winning architectural firm of House + House revised the design of the home originally built in 1907 being sensitive to elements of natural light, form, color and movement.
Amazingly, although the house was remodeled in 1992, the awesome design team was able to create a visual perception of what a desirable lifestyle would be in 2022; a one of a kind contemporary home with a versatile floor plan, high ceilings and a strong connection to the outdoors. Sensuous colors compliment the drama of space and garden.
2bd | 2ba | 2195 Sq.ft. | Living room/Dining Area | Open kitchen | Loft office area | Rear South deck and landscaped garden | Deck off primary bedroom | One car garage with interior access
A tiny 1906 earthquake relief home located at the end of a tucked away alley on the western slope of Telegraph Hill was lifted above a garage in the 1930s. Built on the foundation of a church destroyed in the earthquake, the house was remodeled in the 1950s by California architect Gordon Drake.
In 1992 a new owner engaged the award-winning San Francisco architectural firm, House + House, to design an extraordinary dwelling. During the remodel the structure was gutted, and 400 square feet were added to create a dramatic contemporary home with soaring ceilings and uninterrupted space bathed in natural light. In the shadow of the City’s historic landmark, Coit Tower, this home still appears to be a tiny wood bungalow. However, the surprise as you enter is the spectacular 18-foot-high grid of windows framing a majestic Japanese maple tree which can be seen and enjoyed from every room in the house.
The kitchen of this Telegraph Hill treasure boasts Sienna golden marble counter tops and is wrapped by a curved stairway which connects to an open bridge above. The second floor features a primary bedroom, full bath, adjoining sitting area, loft-like office, and a flex room which can be used as a second bedroom. Sculpted walls and precise geometrical shapes enhance the artistry of the home.
Although the property is in a distinctly urban setting, it has a lush landscaped yard surrounded by the gardens of the adjoining neighbors. A fountain table, crafted by Reed Madden Designs, presides over the deck. The richness of the setting gives a sense of being in a quiet oasis, yet you are only a short walk away from the festive ambience of North Beach shops and restaurants.
Telegraph Hill is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, inhabited long before the gold rush by the men who worked on the nearby waterfront. Today Telegraph Hill is home to the largest concentration of pre-1870 buildings in San Francisco, some of which predate the gold rush. The neighborhood still bears witness to those glory days. As ships unloaded their cargo, a quarry at the top of Telegraph Hill supplied the rocks they needed for ballast, and today the exposed cliff face above Broadway remains one of the neighborhood's defining features.
Telegraph Hill is famed for its Italianate homes, Carpenter Gothic, and charming cottages with their steeply pitched roofs and ornate wooden scroll work. Those examples of old San Francisco are joined by newer additions including modernist homes by noted architects Richard Neutra, Gardner Dailey, and William Wurster.
Coit Tower, named after the heiress who donated the funds to honor San Francisco's firefighters, dominates the skyline of this residential community just above Chinatown and North Beach. While steep, the slopes of Telegraph Hill lead to the financial district, Fisherman's Wharf, and the waterfront, making this an extremely walkable neighborhood. The Filbert Street Steps, one of the many wooden walkways that crisscross this community, provides a pathway up the hill from Levi Plaza. Fortified with a meal from Il Fornaio, climbers can take the steps to Coit Tower, past flowering community gardens, and towering trees colonized by rowdy flocks of escaped parrots now gone feral. The view from the top of Coit Tower draws tourists from around the world.