For sale: San Francisco church converted to home

This 1910 Gothic Revival style church in San Francisco's Mission District has been converted (tastefully, it seems!) into a 3+ bedroom home. The interior photo above is the living room. Asking price? Just under $10 million. See BB pal Koshi's Flickr set of photos inside before it was remodelled! From the listing:
Formerly the Golden Gate Lutheran Church, this stunning Gothic Revival style building is now one of the most extraordinary and largest single family homes in San Francisco. This one-of-a-kind property features an enormous living area that includes the original sanctuary with soaring, coffered and hand-painted ceilings, arched windows framing Dolores Park as well as most of the original stained glass windows, custom mahogany wood finishes, four fireplaces (2 wood-burning & 2 gas), a new chef's kitchen and a spacious dining room. The Master suite level features a marble Roman tub room, dressing room and incredible 360 degree views from the tower meditation room and deck. The home includes an expansive ground floor level that could be used as exhibition space, recording studio, gym and/or home office. There is also a garage that accommodates 4-6 cars.
Castle on the Park (Thanks, Jess Hemerly!)


  1. There was a monastery in the Boston area up for sale two years ago. 24 rooms, beautiful wood paneling, nice neighborhood (though a bit close to a limited-access highway for my taste), only $800K with the restriction that it couldn’t be condoized for at least five years after purchase.

    Downside: By definition, the infrastructure of any church-owned building is mostly held together by prayer — parishioners are much more willing to pay for repair than maintenance.

    I thought about it; my budget would just barely have stretched that far. But I don’t really want or need a mansion.

  2. So, when I get ready to sell my home, can I get a free ad on BoingBoing, too? Not that my house is a converted church or anything, but still.

  3. Souljourner- You beat me to it! lol. *walks off whistling the chorus to Alice’s Restaurant*

  4. Are the bells still up in the tower? You could take after Alice’s husband and ring the bell every time you make it with your old lady.

  5. Jeff – Right, because the average BB reader has the cash set aside to buy a $10 million home.

  6. Wow, it’s a bit pricey, but it looks like JUST THE PLACE to headquarter my plucky and clever group of young undercover officers whose youthful appearance enables them to infiltrate high schools and colleges to rescue [read: bust] teens at risk of harming themselves and others through dangerous and/or illegal behavior!

  7. I failed to match the bid on this property some years ago. I wanted it for my First Church of The Second Law of Thermodynamics (our motto: “Get right with the universe before it runs down.”)

    Never did get a decent building and the church just sort of, well, petered out….

  8. Great place for a metal band to move into. I can only imagine great acoustics in the main hall.

  9. Maybe this is just my ignorance talking, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Gothic Lutheran church. Lutherans always seem to go for modern-style structures.

  10. It is heart warming that a developer has created this beautiful space for some lucky rock star. If there’s one thing sorely needed in urban communities, it is more spacious and luxurious single family homes.

  11. And every day at 4:30 the same bum rings the door bell looking for the soup kitchen.

    There’s a few reclaimed houses of God in my town. They look like they have more room than they can figure out what to do with. Not really a problem for me. The only problem I have with living in a church is that I start to burn from the inside shortly after entering.
    I don’t know what causes this, but I do know that holy water isn’t the answer. I’m never drinking that stuff again.

  12. The following SF Chronicle article (linked to from the photoset) gives the backstory on this great building:

    Personally, this just makes me sad.

    When I was a homeless heroin addict living in the Mission, I came here four days a week for a hot meal, some week-old donuts and the occasional article of clothing. When I couldn’t manage being a junkie anymore, the recovery group meetings held there were absolutely necessary to maintaining sobriety. I cannot conceive of a more honest expression of “Happy Mutants” than the fellowship that attended those meetings.

    I moved out of SF before the property was sold and I’ve only been back a couple of times since then. I know that many of the groups that met there found other homes, but I am still saddened to see that a facility that was so meaningful and helped so many people was so ostentatiously commodified.

    I don’t know why I felt the need to pass that on to this community, but there you go.

  13. I agree with the sentiments of #23 Caesar Female and #29 Mechanic. It’s too bad the city couldn’t have taken it over, or some philanthropic group. It’s an absurd design for a “single family home” but would make a fantastic community center of some kind. Maybe some philanthropic group will buy it instead of a bailed out bank executive.


    If it needs to be taken over by a private individual, …

    I hope he moves in with 50 large crates of dirt from his homeland! =D

  14. Abandoned churches are SUPPOSED to be turned into communal practice spaces and studios for musicians! circuit-benders! synth-builders! Makers!

    … not dolled up like cheap hipster yuppie hwores!

  15. Funny, but my first thought would be to wax the floor, take a good run, and go for a slide in my socks!

  16. JPhilby, accident or no, I dig your spelling of hwores.

    It lets you take a deep breath and a run up, and really bellow out the hw’.

    No comment on prostitutes, just the spelling, and the crotchety vigour one can give a sentence like “cheap hipster yuppie hwores!” :)

  17. It just isn’t the kind of space that could be made to feel comfortable for a single family.

    Case in point, that horrible depressing kitchen that looks like something out of an upscale Winnebago, the hideous lucite staircase and tacky nouveau-riche bathrooms. Who on earth chose those sinks and faucets. The (re)-designer had no aesthetic sense for the scale or history of the place.

    It definitely needs to remain some kind of community space – artists’s studios or a youth recreation or education center…otherwise it is just cold and oppressive.

  18. Looks like a great place to dance in your underpants:

    I was made for loving you, baby…

    It also reminds me of Espedair Street by Iain Banks.

    In The Netherlands, it’s not news when a church is sold because there are too few people to support it.

    It’s a shame that this one used to offer support to less fortunate individuals, and cannot do so anymore now. Good job for getting clean, Former Race Mechanic!

  19. Yuppie status symbol or not, I would jump at the chance to live in a building that beautiful. I’m never going to have the chance at a $10mm home, nor would I take it if I did. But a cool old church makes a beautiful residence.

    Secret Life Of Plants is right, though, that this particular “renovation” is pretty tragic and the design choices are wretched. I don’t know about the kitchen looking like a Winnebago’s, but it definitely isn’t easy on the eye. The bathrooms are eye-searing.

    The only really nice parts appear to be mostly untouched from the church days. So skip this one but I’d love an old church, electrical switching station, firehouse, etc…

  20. My best friend lived next door for nearly about a decade. I can’t imagine that’s what the place really looks like now– it was always so filthy and run down and the ever-changing ownership never cared for the place. The wiring in particular is an external web of jerry-rigged madness.

    I’ve always wanted to buy a church and make it my home, but I’m short the 10 million.

    But from what I have heard about the place, it is overpriced for the condition. $10 million should never be a fixer-upper, I don’t care how actual cathedral the cathedral ceilings are.

  21. The seismic retrofit has been done, so it’s not a fixer-upper unless you count hideous design in need of ‘repair’.

    But the first thing I thought when reading the summary was “San Franciscan author — hmmm, who posted this again?” Sho’ ’nuff, ’tis Cory! We’re onto you, man! You’re just trying to offload your own insane real estate purchases! ;)

  22. Heh, but I’m sure you know that he has lived in California, long enough to purchase a few random churches anyway! =D

  23. Lots of non-conformist churches/chapels up here in NE England have been converted for industrial use- mostly garages.

    My car gets repaired in a building which has a gallery, stained-glass windows, and a filthy oil-stained floor.

    Is that Stmpnk?

  24. @ANTINOUS,

    Actually yes, I’m Canadian too and alternate between feelings of jealousy, admiration, and criticism of Cory, but it was a joke based on his short residence there, the tendency of communities to claim their most fleeting residents if they are famous, and his own taxation lamentation.

    In short, it was a joke I have now ruined through over-explanation. Surely the winky expressed that?

  25. I used to live one house away from that church… never imagined it would turn into a private residence!

  26. Hello,
    Do you have any information as to who the mortgage company is for the building? I have a similar situation in Minnesota

    Thank You

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