Among the list of people and things easily considered quintessentially American are the illustrious family name of Kellogg and the midcentury modern design concept. This uncommon 1948 home perched near the apex of the northern slope of Potrero Hill in San Francisco exemplifies the iconic aesthetic that has come to typify American design of its era. It was designed by esteemed period architect F.J. McCarthy for the branch of the Kellogg family who had made their way to California. In 2015, Serrao Architecture restored and expanded the home for consummately comfortable modern living.
San Francisco, California | Gregg Lynn, Sotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage
Abundant use of wood contributes a soothing organic essence, and glass is a defining element, forming windows and entire walls that reveal sweeping vistas of the Bay Bridge and the sparkling city—effortlessly gleaned from the home’s rare oversized lot. The open, fluid floor plan makes living and entertaining—and well as an indoor-outdoor flow—effortless. From many vantage points, the dramatic skyline becomes dynamic art, while ingenious rotating vertical shutters help to create privacy in the appropriate moments.
The main level features a kitchen with streamlined wood and white surfaces, stainless-steel appliances, and an island as well as areas for dining, lounging, enjoying movies or television, or simply reveling in the dramatic outlook. A glass-railed staircase with floating treads rises to the primary suite—one of three bedrooms in the home. It occupies an entire level of its own and includes a serene bedroom accompanied by a sitting area with a chic two-sided gas fireplace shared with a private covered deck, a sophisticated contemporary bath with a spacious glass-enclosed shower and a soaking tub, and a walk-in closet with numerous built-ins, a window seat, and a dressing area. Two guest bedrooms and a full bath are secluded on the lower level, which opens directly to their own collection of outdoor spaces. Completing the thoroughly modern picture is a two-car garage with electric-vehicle charging stations.
The home is joined on all levels with terraces—including a discreet grilling patio with thriving plantings and alfresco dining space—decks that seem suspended out over the city, emerald lawns, stands of mature acacia and eucalyptus trees, vibrant landscaping, and succulent gardens. This true urban oasis is augmented by such luxuries as an outdoor shower, a hot tub, and an infrared sauna.
The wooden and louvered motifs reappear in the home’s outermost façade and gating, contributing to its stylish yet discreet street presence. Few would guess that behind these walls lies an iconic piece of midcentury American history.