If you're a fan of "Princess Diaries" (who isn't?!) and you have $6.9 million handy, check out Firehouse No. 44 in San Francisco. The four-bedroom, 6,045-square-foot ode to modernism comes with plenty of history to spare.
Built in 1909, the firehouse for Engine Company No. 44 originally housed cavalry of horses and men. In 1959, artists Mark Adams and Beth Van Housen bought the property. Since then, the home has been revamped and remodeled a few times. However, plenty of vintage firehouse goodness remains.
"I love the combination of old and new," says listing agent Carrie Goodman. Hidden behind the modernist faade are timeless details: original Douglas fir floors, zinc doors, a rusty fire hydrant, fire bells, a spiral staircase, and even a brass pole for midnight emergencies.
The home's centerpiece is the atrium, a four-story angular staircase built from glass and reclaimed wood. Don't fancy trudging up and down the modernist staircase? You can use the Venetian plaster-sheathed elevator.
"The house has an art quality to it," says Goodman. "It's definitely a great house for a collector. The lighting design and walls are designed to hang fabulous art." Designed by Luminae Souter Associates, the home's lighting won the GE Edison Award of Merit for outstanding design.
Although the home has been around for over a century, there's nothing old-fashioned about it.
"It has a very architectural and modern element," Goodman says, noting the geometric lines throughout, the angle of the elevator shaft, and the guest bathroom. Concrete walls collide with stark white walls, heightening the home's drama.
Firehouse No. 44 might be the perfect playground for a tech entrepreneur, but there's another demographic cohort that will find it equally enchanting: children.
"Kids love the house," says Goodman. "It's the best hide-and-seek house ever. The ideal buyer is either a supercool, eclectic family or a young entrepreneur who has a unique sense of style and doesn't want something cookie-cutter."
Located in the heart of the desirable Noe Valley neighborhood, the home is perfect for entertainers: The master suite deck features a custom bench, and a heated garden room sits adjacent to the backyard.
The guest suite won't disappoint a picky mother-in-law. Not only is it outfitted in the same luxurious accents that make the home unique, but visitors can also store their belongings in the firehouse lockers, original to the building.