In 1978, David and Virginia Keller couldn't help but notice the ornate building as they were stopped in traffic on Waller Street right in front of the home.
It was the debut weekend of the Haight Ashbury Street Fair, and the couple, in the market for a renovation project, happened to be driving around the bohemian neighborhood in their Mustang convertible.
"They looked up and saw a 'For Sale' sign," daughter Dawn Kidd recalls. "The next day they met [the Realtor] there and they bought it that day." The price: $130,000.
"It was a wreck," Kidd told us. Now living in North Carolina, she was 14 when her family bought the place. She remembers the fun she and her two brothers had helping with the demolition to restore the home to its current glory.
We can see the allure, as well as the challenge, of the four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 2,855-square-foot row house, one of four built in 1896. The cluster of homes, constructed by ship builder John Whelan, represent the seasons: The one for sale is winter. Spring is next door, summer after that, and fall is the farthest west, painted red.
The "winter" home is highlighted by a carved blue and white snowflake centerpiece on the second floor.
For those not familiar with the Victorian style, it includes intricate wood carvings and detailed designs that decorate the facade of the house and the interior, including architectural flourishes on the walls, ceilings, and stairs. The living room and dining room include plaster ceiling rosettes, low wainscoting, and picture rail moldings. There's also an oak mantel and bay windows.
Notable in the three-level home is the "vivid" paint scheme, with gold and silver accents, as well as the grand marble staircase leading to the front door and a rear brick patio with greenery. The property also includes a garage, a workshop, and storage.
Not only did David Keller meticulously update the home, as well as lovingly paint it and wallpaper it with designs from the era, the aerospace engineer also lent a helping hand to his neighbors. He re-created the medallion for the neighboring "spring" house with a flower carving to match his home's winter snowflake design.
"You can really tell how much love has gone into the house," listing agent John DiDomenico says. "It's a really special home with an owner [who] was a wonderful steward of the house for the last 40 years."
Kidd says her dad, who lived in the close-knit community for some 40 years, was known as "the mayor of Waller Street." The mayor has finally decided to retire, and will move in with his daughter.
The home has been dramatically improved since the 1970s. But despite the turn of many seasons, some things are timeless: With June comes the Haight Ashbury Street fair and, very likely, a new buyer.