Dental surgeon Nathan Rogers died nearly 20 years ago, buthis wife, Eleanor, continued their tradition of warm hospitality until her own death late last year.
The house of the woman known as the "Grand Dame of Forest Hill" is now being sold by her family, according to neighbor and Barbagelata Co. real estate agent John Balestreri.
The tight-knit neighborhood has high hopes that the new buyer will continue her 62-year legacy of hosting annual events for the 75-year-old Forest Hill Garden Club, he said.
Rogers’ generosity was renowned. At 22 Lopez Ave., she hosted parties for every occasion, from Easter egg hunts to Halloween parties. She also bought decorations for the neighborhood clubhouse’s theme parties, such as French night and Mardi Gras.
"The amount of party goods at the estate sale was overwhelming," Paul Barbagelata said.
Balestreri, who attended garden parties at the house for 18 years, said that despite her elaborate preparations she liked her events to feel simple, without fuss.
She was aided in her entertaining by the build of her home. The 1926 colonial has 4,000 square feet on three levels, with a formal dining room with original built-in cabinets and a formal living room with an ornate fireplace and built-in bookcases. The lot is three parcels, which together comprise nearly one-third of an acre, and has a garden and a gazebo. It can be purchased with an additional, separate lot that may be developable — though it has a large grove of mature fruit trees that are an asset to the main property, Barbagelata said.
Colonials are rare in San Francisco, he added.
"With the skinny lots in San Francisco, you can’t really take advantage of that colonial, wide, perched-on-a-hilltop style," Barbagelata said.
The house was designed by architect Harvey Edgar Harris Jr., who also built other homes in Forest Hill, St. Francis Wood and the Richmond district, as well as the St. James EpiscopalChurch on California Street.
Where: San Francisco
Asking price: $3.249 million combined main property and undeveloped lot, $2.399 million and $850,000 if purchased separately.
Property tax: $42,237*
What: 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, more than 4,000 square feet
Amenities: Outside cottage for use as a play room, office or gym; fireplace with brick hearth, breakfast nook with French doors to the garden, gas stove, two-car side-by-side garage, family/media room, skylights.
Agents: Paul Barbagelata and John Balestreri, The Barbagelata Co., (415) 759-2500, www.22lopez.com
*Estimate based on 1.3% of asking price.