A quartet of charming, century-old cottages tucked behind a tall fence in the Russian Hill neighborhood could be rehabilitated, expanded and used as homes again.
Plans to rejuvenate the San Francisco landmarks at 1338 Filbert St., between Larkin and Polk streets, are scheduled to be discussed by The City’s Historic Preservation Commission at its 12:30 p.m. meeting today at City Hall.
The project could bring the uninhabitable structures back to their former glory. But it would modify their appearance so severely that planning staff has called for expansion plans to be tempered.
The two-story, wood-framed cottages were built shortly after the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fire. They were constructed in a single row of four cottages separated from each other by 7½ feet.
The off-white cottages are now falling apart and vacant. They are shrouded by trees and dwarfed by towering apartment buildings on a steep hill.
The current owners of the property have proposed removing nonhistoric additions and connecting each of the cottages with a new three-story addition with separate living spaces for each of the four units.
Additionally, parking for eight cars is proposed beneath the cottages, some of which would have their floors raised by up to a foot to make space for the garage.
The aboveground addition and the garage would more than double the amount of space in the units from 5,590 square feet to 11,486 square feet, city documents show.
In an effort to restore historical elements of the city landmarks, architects proposed using old photographs and other archival information to re-create the cottages’ original landscaping and grape-stake fence.
Parties linked to the project declined to comment for this story because the proposal hasn’t been approved by The City’s Planning or Historic Preservation commissions.
City planners have urged commissioners to order the addition set back up to 2 feet from the rear corners of the cottages to help enhance their historical features.
City planners haven’t received any comments from neighbors regarding the proposal, Planning Department documents show.
•Nonhistoric rear additions removed from all cottages
•Three-story addition added behind all cottages to increase living space
•Three cottages raised 6 to 12 inches
•Gates and walls added in spaces between cottages
•Several new window openings in cottage sides
•Nonhistoric windows and doors replaced with historic openings
•Eight-car parking garage excavated beneath cottages
•Historic landscaping and grape-stake fence reintroduced
Source: San Francisco Planning Department