Preserved piece of living history

When Margaret Gorman’s husband died in the mid-1860s, she supported her family as a seamstress. Eventually, each of her five children found work, allowing the family the luxury of a large home.

Rather than buy an existing place, the Gormans hired Mahoney Brothers construction to build a new one, at the rear of a lot already occupied by an 1877 Italianate Victorian. Adding to their monthly income, the Gormans rented out the front house, preferring the seclusion of their new home in back at 823 Grove St.

From 1890 until 1956 there were Gormans at 823 Grove, renting out the front and living in the back. With the death of 93-year-old Catherine Gorman, the property was sold to a nephew, Richard, who then sold it to the Del Camp Investment Company.

Del Camp eventually divided the lot, leaving 823 Grove with an interesting, narrow panhandle reaching the street.

By the time the home’s present owner bought the property in 1991, it was in a desperate state. The original details were intact, but the house was rundown and tired. So the then-new owner spent several years restoring the home. Today, on the market for the first time in 17 years, 823 Grove shines with his care and attention.

To begin, the owner updated wiring and plumbing, refinished the original hardwood floors and painted the exterior before even moving in. He continued his work after move-in, eventually bringing back to life original details— moldings, ceiling medallions, doors and the embossed Lincrusta-Walton in the hallways.

While preserving so much of the home’s details, the owner did have the foresight to update the kitchen and bathrooms. He also configured the second level to include two bedrooms, including a master bedroom with an adjoining dressing room and a library. The library has downtown views.

For $1.25 million, whoever buys 823 Grove St. gets a polished gem of San Francisco history, the hard work of the home’s most recent owner and perhaps the ghosts of a Gorman or two.

lrosen@examiner.com

Where: San Francisco

Asking Price: $1,250,000

Property Tax: $16,250*

The Property: Classic 1890 Victorian with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, 1,794 square feet; kitchen and baths remodeled; in-law apartment.

Notable: Original Western Addition Victorian built for and owned by the Gorman family from 1890 to 1956; period details intact.

Agent: Ian Berke, Ian Berke Real Estate, (415) 921-7300.

*Estimate based on 1.3% of asking price.

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