George Adrian Applegarth

George Applegarth was one of the most influential architects in post-earthquake San Franicsco. He was born to English parents in Oakland, CA in 1875 and trained in Paris at the École des Beaux-ArtsUpon graduation, he went to work in the workshop of Victor Laloux, and arrived back in San Francisco in 1907. Upon his return to San Francisco, he partnered with fellow school-mate Kenneth MacDonald, Jr. to design numerous commercial and residential properties in San Francisco, including the Presidio Terrace home of prolific San Francisco builder Fernando Nelson. He lived a long and hearty life, dying at the age of 96 in January of 1972.

His work in San Francisco was often of the Beaux-Arts style known for elegant proportions, grand columned entries, coffered ceilings, and symmetry.

2080 Washington

He collaborated with Alma de Bretteville Spreckels for several of his most famous projects, including the design of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. He also designed the Spreckels mansion, which is located at 2080 Washington (pictured above). While the mansion was famous in its own day, it continues to receive plenty of press as the desperately-in-need-of-a-facelift home of Danielle Steele (the home, folks, not her face. I’m pretty sure that work has been done already).

2775 Vallejo

2775 Vallejo in Pacific Heights was his personal residence, which he designed as a wedding gift for his wife, Gwendolyn Powers. 2775 Vallejo was built in the Italian Renaissance style, and is much more subtle than some of his other Beaux Arts buildings. Developed on a wide lot (almost 50 feet, about double the normal lot width), the home features views of the Golden Gate bridge and San Francisco bay and has a lovely garden on the south side of the home. 2775 Vallejo only recently left the Applegarth family, being sold in an off-market transaction to a private individual in March of 2011. According to tax records, 2775 Vallejo has over 4,000 square feet of living space. He also designed the neighboring residence at 2875 Vallejo St.

He also designed numerous homes in the Presidio Heights neighborhood, a few of which are pictured below:

201 Locust

201 Locust is a private residence on a corner lot at Locust & Washington. According to public tax records, the home has over 6,200 feet of living space and last traded hands in 1997.

3730 Washington

3730 Washington is about a block and half to the west of 201 Locust, also in the Presidio Heights neighborhood. 3730 Washington is an enormous home, with over 9,000 square feet of living space. It was last sold in 2007 and underwent extensive renovations after being acquired by a private individual.

Gallery of George Adrian Applegarth properties (click on any image for a larger version and slideshow):

Other George Applegarth properties in San Francisco include:

  • 2206-12 Vallejo (Schilling Place)
  • 1900 Broadway
  • 2160 Pacific
  • 1-11 3rd Avenue
  • 3 Presidio Terrace
  • 4 Presidio Terrace
  • 5 Presidio Terrace
  • 27 Presidio Terrace
  • 30 Presidio Terrace
  • 34 Presidio Terrace

Applegarth is also famous for his work on Clyde, California. Clyde, California was a company town built by the Pacific Coast Shipbuilding Company with a government loan from the US Shipping Board in 1917. Bernard Maybeck was hired as the Supervising Architect, and he designed the hotel and about 200 of the initial homes. George Applegarth was an Acting Architect for the project, drawing many of the town plans.

I’m sure I’ve failed to mention all the Applegarth homes in San Francisco, and I know I’ve left out the parking garages he designed. Feel free to leave other comments!

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