Sneak Peek: Inside That Mod New House at 3407 Folsom

3407 Folsom Street

3407 Folsom Street

3407 Folsom Street

This week, workers are putting the finishing touches on one of Bernalwood’s most high-profile construction projects: 3407 Folsom, that all-new, all-modern house perched at the top of Folsom, just below the north entrance to the park on Bernal Hill. You can’t miss it; it’s the very conspicuous, very last house before you hit the park, and you practically traverse the living room as you scoot down the hill from Bernal Heights Boulevard.


But what’s it like inside this 4BR/3.5 Bath Mod Mansion? Let’s take a look…

Most of the bedrooms are above the garage. This one faces west:

3407 Folsom Street

Here’s an interior view of the stairway that’s visible from the street. It takes you from the bedrooms below to the glamorous living level above…

3407 Folsom Street

At the top of the stairs, there’s a dining zone with a slammin’ view of the hillside:

3407 Folsom Street

The kitchen is just to your right:

3407 Folsom Street

Do a 180, and you’re in the living zone, with gas fireplace and plug-n’- play hookups for a flat-panel TV:

3407 Folsom Street

Wander out the sliding glass doors to find a deck with spiral staircase leading up to the HELIPAD on the roof!

3407 Folsom Street

Actually, it’s not a helipad (though it really wants to be one). Instead, there’s a very schwank roof deck with killer views of The Mission and downtown:

3407 Folsom Street

3407 Folsom Street

Looking back toward Bernal Hill, this is the view you see:

View from 3407 Folsom Street

The sign outside indicates that 3407 Folsom has been sold, though it appears the sale hasn’t closed yet. (Realtor readers, can you confirm?) No word on the sales price, either.

But soon, it seems, this home will be occupied by another new Bernal neighbor. And someday, mmmmmaybe, they might invite you over for cocktails on their rooftop helipad. But if not, rest secure in the knowledge that at least you got to savor the view, albeit vicariously.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

72 thoughts on “Sneak Peek: Inside That Mod New House at 3407 Folsom

  1. I have been eying this house throughout its construction. I wondered whether there was an internal turf battle on this listing at Vanguard since Shelley Trew, according to his mailings, owns BH. How intriguing that someone has already bought it! I think that they and the owner of the house above the mini-park at the corner of Esmeralda/BH Boulevard (on the eastern edge of Bernal Hill Park) should invite us all over for a roofdeck comparison party. In the name of science, of course.

    • i hope someone graffitis those pretty white walls…

      great…another place in san francisco we can’t afford

      this and the house on esmeralda/BH blve (you know…the one that completely blocked out the little house adjacent to it and took over that entire corner/parklette) are eyesores and the people who live there should not live in Bernal Heights.

      I guess we’re just in another snoey valley

      • Seconded. Totally obnoxious. They bought in; they worked hard to get here. They are your neighbors, and (as it happens) both houses are owned by very cool, very community-minded people. If you want class warfare, share it with me via leaflet as I depart from the 24th Street BART.

      • dear tod,
        First let me say: I like your blog.

        forgive me…I forgot that since you run this blog the stories you write should not be met with any criticism. This is where our oppinions depart: Mine is the voice of many of the folks that don’t visit your blog (on a regular basis, if at all). You have probably been here the longest, thus your (and brets) oppinion matters most…Shoot, I just moved here 30 years ago.

        I’m not trying to troll your blog or get you upset, and the Folsom Castle may be everyones dream space machine, but lets be real. Bernal has changed and in most cases its been for the better, BUT huge mansions that block their neighbors views or are so big they don’t blend into the surrounding neighborhood are in my oppinion annoying and shouldn’t be promoted in a place like bernal. If you want a palace you don’t need to live here.

      • Ah, my neighbor, you misunderstand completely…

        You’re entitled to your opinions, and even spicy ones. And you are encouraged to express them here. But having strong opinions is one thing, and encouraging vandalism of another neighbor’s home is quite another. The latter is a major party foul — regardless of whether you’ve lived here all your life, or for 15 minutes.

      • “i hope someone graffitis those pretty white walls…” and ” the people who live there should not live in Bernal Heights” are pretty anti-social comments, and not really opinions.

        If you were to say that you find the glare from the white walls to hurt your eyes, or that the size of the building is too big for the space, or that the style of the building is offensive to the aesthetics you hold for the neighborhood, or that buildings like this one are bad for the neighborhood — those are all opinions we could debate. But when you drop into wishing harm upon people and property, you crossed the line.

    • You won’t see me blowing back on a modern creation.

      I think the rows of boxy, 40s and later houses in Bernal are all invitations for re-facing in more modern, clean textures. My own house was built in ’45, may have had original front-siding replaced by stucco, but otherwise has only door-frame moldings to indicate they weren’t pure modernists in 1945! If a house is being built 66 years later than that and decides it needs to be clad in some fetish-for-queen-victoria rouge-and-silks, such people are rejecting a century of advances in architecture. Even the Eduardian’s have some simple, modern lines to them.

      In time, the stuff built in modern styles will look far better next to the re-painted Victorians than all the houses built from 1940 through 1985. I can think of a few houses that were re-clad in the past 10 years, notably close to the top of the hill.

      14 Ellsworth is a great example. 6 houses in a row look like they were built around the same time, perhaps early 60s. 14 Ellsworth is the second from the top, so it is surrounded by its peers. Though the other five houses are well maintained, the textures and the lines are dull and dated, and not in a charming way. 14 Ellsworth is simply beautiful and at the same time, does not seem out of place. (Note: I do not know the people on that block, or at least I don’t think I know anyone who lives on that block).

      • Agree that encouraging crime (graffiti) is really not useful. And I don’t blame someone who buys a nice house for sale. I think I agree with Todd.

        I don’t love mini-mansions moving up the hill or taking over places where an in-scale house existed, but the time to complain about that is before permits are issued. If you want to stop that, be aware of planning hearings and proposed buildings, and work on neighborhood preservation. Don’t come along and be all threatening stick-it-to-the-man and trying to be the arbiter of who is worthy of living in Bernal.

  2. Terrific post. I love how Bernal is a mix of old and new houses. I’m going to take a wild guess and say someone paid 1.9 mil for this house.

    • Neat! But I’m guessing it was a bit more than that …

      @pennysworth – my house was built in ’62 and is just the most boring thing I have ever seen. So I think this is pretty cool.

  3. I’ve walked past the house daily on my walk up Folsom since they started building it. I think they did a great job. My only (theoretical) concern if I were to live there would be privacy. A great deal of the house is like a fishbowl (especially the glassed-in wall/staircase that faces south) so the occupant is either going to be investing a great deal in window treatments for privacy or is going to be living “out in the open” so to speak. Regardless, I like the modern architecture, I think the white paint goes a long way towards keeping it out of the “tacky” category.

    • The white color reminds me of the tendency of the International Style (which began in the 1920s) of modern architecture. The house in question here owes something in its DNA to Le Corbusier. I visited the Villa Savoye when I was in France some years back and now that I think about it, this house has a similar mix of interior and exterior space, as well as throwing in a curving element amidst the rectilinear.

  4. Boo! Why is modern architecture so obsessed with boxes? Are the people who pay for these things so strapped for cash that they can’t afford anything that isn’t at right angles to everything else??

  5. I love this house – was even thinking about selling my 1981 Bernal house to upgrade to this and then saw the Pending Sale sign. Thanks so much for the tour – the house is beautiful and the views are fabulous. I love that Bernal is a mix of years, styles. Very ecclectic makes the neighborhood more interesting and personable. (I used to live in boring cookie cutter silicon valley)

  6. All Bernalwood readers are hereby invited over for a beer once keys are in-hand, whether you like the design or not. Testing confirms the helipad and drinks go well together.

    For my part, I like Victorian and Very Boxy in equal measure. Next time you’re about down in the flatlands, you can see our current pad at 1080 Shotwell. Pretty much the opposite of 3407 Folsom.

    In other matters, is it cool if we get a goat?

    • I will be eagerly awaiting my invitation, and my young associates (aged 2.5 and 4) have endorsed your proposed goat measure.

    • Welcome, neighbor! I’ll be happy to share some Thomas Brothers IPA to drink on the helipad. I think it’s the finest beer brewed in Bernal Heights. Please keep the goat away from the blackberry bushes across the street. They’re for us humans.

    • Hey Scott,

      Welcome to the hood, it’s about time you left the flatlands and joined us up here on the hill.


    • Did you know the uber-goat-man of San Francisco himself lives only a few blocks from you? David Gavrich is the go-to guy for all things goat. You can probably look him up online.

  7. I absolutely adore this house…every time I go down Folsom I eye it. I just wish they would have put a bit of color on the outside of the house…Otherwise, its a beautiful house, outside & in.

  8. Great house! And echo the sentiments by others who love that Bernal is a mix of the old and the new.

  9. Our world wide web says the lot was bought for $490,000 in January, including already designed/permitted plans. Logic follows that a builder/developer bought it in January, jammed on building the house, and now has a sale pending to a new party with house completed.

    So…for those of you expressing distress about the project, it is the original lot owner – the one who had the house designed and permitted before selling to the builder – who is responsible for what now stands on the lot. It seems the new almost-owner just came along and liked the house and its views of our lovely hill, and bought it as they want to be your neighbor. Won’t you be theirs?

  10. “Less is More”: This is proof that Mies van der Rohe’s (sp?) statement said over 50 years ago regarding the “modern Movement”, is true. This home is a foil and makes every home in the neighborhood, better. If I chose to live in suburbia, I’d agree that a modern home doesn’t fit. BUT, we’re all here in San Francisco: Viva La difference!!!

    I’ll bet the owners are very nice, open-minded people and their home and their family will be a great addition to the ‘hood. Maybe I can borrow the goat Saturday mornings to cut my lawn.

  11. Does anyone know how this house came to be built? Who owned the property where this is?

  12. This is hardly a “mansion”, just a great, new, very modern and simple residence. I applaud the architecture and interior layout.

  13. Almostnative is right, it’s only about 2100sf, so it’s hardly gargantuan. The fact they crammed 4 bedrooms into it means they are pretty unmajestic in size. The only part of Grande size is the view, which is the main reason we wanted the place.

  14. Walked by there a few times and really liked how it’s shaped up. Couldn’t ask for a nicer back yard in the City. Also—remember, you need at least two goats.

  15. I am on the “love it” side. Nothing wrong with modern architecture. I would of liked a little more color too, but goats and shrubs may help for sure.

  16. Yes, I love it too. And I sure look forward to seeing the goats. But then I just moved here, so I’m not entitled to an opinion :P.

  17. Welcome, neighbors! Awesome house. Having moved from a (cooler than most) SoMa loft to Bernal in 2005, I appreciate the design, and I ogle every day as I roll by on the 67. We just put a new deck and door in on our South Bernal house, which I am quite proud of, but the “helipad” rocks! Hope you will be active in the neighborhood. Congratulations!

  18. I am curious what the folks in the house on the corner, directly next to this new one, thought of this project.

    Someone else said to voice opinions about new construction going up during the permitting process, etc. How do you even become aware of when that’s happening? When we added on our back deck, we had to send out notices to everyone within… maybe 500 feet. I don’t know exactly how many feet I am away from this new house on Folsom, but I feel slighted that I was not made aware of the proposed construction before it started. I don’t know if I would have said anything or not, but I sure would have liked to have known before hand.

    I, personally, am not a fan of modern architecture. But now that there are suddenly so many buildings of this style in our neighborhood, they definitely, together, tell a story about time and history in bernal heights. I wouldn’t buy any of them, but their presence is starting to grow on me.

    • Good question about the folks next door, but for all we know — and I don’t know if this is in fact the case — they might have sold off the lot that made the new house possible in the first place! Regardless, they were definitely notified before the project was approved.

      As for notification beyond the 500′ (or whatever) city requirement… do we really want to go down that route? Having been down the seemingly endless Planning path myself when I remodeled my own home, the process already affords ample opportunities for community input. Do we really want to turn every construction project into a NIMBY free for all? To extend the notion of “potentially impacted neighbors” to include the entire neighborhood? Not saying all concerns about new construction/remodels are NIMBY per se, but when do notification/input requirements become just plain enough?

      Kudos to the purchasers of this home for just buying the thing, rather than having taken on all that Planning aggravation themselves.

      • We are the neighbors next door, and naturally have followed the discussions and on-again/off-again planning around this site for many years. Around four years ago the previous owners presented construction plans to the East Bernal Design Review Board, a voluntary neighborhood group that I was a member of at the time. This was for a two-unit building that neighbors found pretty objectionable. Planning stalled for awhile, and new plans for a single family home were presented at a public meeting of the Board some two years later. Feedback was provided and incorporated into the current design.

        We and a number of others in the neighborhood would have loved for the site to be made part of Bernal Hill Park, and made initial headway with a non-profit interested in helping the Rec and Parks Dept acquire it. For complicated reasons having to do with the fact that the Dept of Public Works and not Rec and Parks owns the public land to the left of the sidewalk going up the hill, this was not to be. The site was sold to a small construction company who built the house and sold it to our new neighbors.

        There are a few things worth mentioning about this whole process. The original owners and developers of the land went out of their way to take into account our perspectives and those of others in the neighborhood. Larry and the crew who bought the project from them and actually built the house over the last eight months worked hard to get the construction over with quickly and with minimal disruption. It’s never easy having a building like this go up over your back fence, but really, everything went much more smoothly than we could have expected, and Larry and his crew (who agreed to make use of our house’s water and electricity so a loud and obnoxious generator wouldn’t be needed) were accommodating and friendly thoughout.

        As for our new neighbors Scott and his family? They want to be part of the chicken raising project we’ve had going for two years now with the other neighbors adjoining our properties. They want to do us all one better (and thrill our kids) with the idea of bringing goats into the mix. They have a young child who is age-perfect for my 14 year old daughter-with-baby-sitting-certificate to take care of while all readers of this excellent blog join them on their heli-deck for cocktails every Friday evening (I think that’s what Scott wrote). And we now have yet another enthusiastic Bernal family joining this great community of ours, in the best neighborhood in San Francisco

        Welcome Scott!

  19. Scott,

    Congrats! I’ve been admiring the house for some time now and trying to imagine all the spectacular vistas you must have from those great windows. I certainly hope you don’t put up any coverings and block those lovely views. There’s nothing I hate more than seeing a house with stunning windows with views that are covered by dumpy curtains. In my little corner of BH I’m surrounded by houses with views of both Twin Peaks and downtown but everyone has tightly closed curtains — a crime! I just don’t see a point to window coverings and have never owned any. If folks find me more interesting than a good book or what’s on tv, I’m flattered. But please give me my view!

  20. @Mark, Thanks so much for filling in the blanks! It is very satisfying to have all that info. I am a huge fan of your house 🙂

    @Todd, Point taken. I suppose I feel like bernal is such a small, relatively tight-knit community that it seems there would be more corner store/coffee shop (vs water cooler) discussions about such projects. Maybe I don’t need to be formally notified by the city or whatever, but I am surprised I didn’t even hear about the proposed construction before it started. Guess I need to join even more neighborhood groups? Like I said before, I don’t think I would have said anything about it, I just would have liked to know. I take the changes on this street very personally!

  21. It looks cold. It has no character and even feels obnoxiuos. I think I will pass on the cocktails.
    “If you need a palace, you probably should not live here.”

  22. Mark and Colleen and BernalDweller (& others), thanks for the nice comments, much appreciated. The history of the site is quite interesting, and Mark’s account fills in a lot we didn’t know. “New house” and “San Francisco” don’t often go together, so we figured it was probably a long and twisted story that explains why a lot sat for so long and only got built up in 2011.

    I can appreciate the polarizing nature of this kind of design. Sometimes I think Modern works best with sprawling lots sporting substantial buffers around them — Palm Springs rectangles & whatnot. But if you think about space-efficiency with severe constraints in all dimensions but up, then a stacked-boxes shape starts seeming logical, and if logic is beauty, then you might find it attractive.

    Taking this kind of thing to its extreme in beach areas with truly tiny lots (50×25, the standard in Mission Beach, San Diego, among others), you see design inevitably/asymptotically assuming the box. This site isn’t that small, but whether or not the lines please you, they do afford a lot of space for big windows, decks/lanais, and reasonable living space (~2100sf), 3 ends you’d have a tougher time achieving with a Victorian.

    anyway, neighborhood cocktail reception tbd, but coming soon!

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  25. I love, love, love Mark’s reply. It really does embody what I love about this neighborhood. I think the house is gorgeaous and I’m so relieved that the next-door neighbors are so happy too.

  26. Update: 3407 Folsom has some furniture now, but no window coverings except a king-sized sheet and an old beach towel (nailed to the walls). Bernalwood exclusive cocktail hour TBA shortly. Shopping for kegorators first.

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  28. Awwww….late to the party. Did the cocktail roof deck event ever happen? As a Peralta Heights dweller my view pales. (But we’re nice and close to the Precita Cafe, which evens things out).

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