This massive concrete retaining wall has held up a hillside since who knows when. When the house was built in 1955 they used this as a foundation, and at 14′ high created a lofty first floor/basement. Remarkably dry. It continues through this lot and apparently all the way through the city block – 228′ long! We used this unfinished area to locate a new master bedroom and bathroom:The new ceiling will slope from the bathroom at 9′ up to 12′ at new doors in the side wall, facing a narrow yard. That’s the low point above, ..and the high end. That’s James of JP Builders – great guy to work with! This area will be the new sliding doors to the yard. A rendering in Sketchup showing the concrete wall along 2 sides, and the new rooms. The closet was located partially below the massive terrazzo stairs, and we left the brick supports exposed. Below is a photo of the back corner of the bathroom. The concrete wall was lined in cement board and will be clad in stone tile. I may have opted to leave the concrete exposed but the owner indicated that it was slightly crumbly and might not be as hardy when exposed to bath and shower water daily…Since the back corner is hugged by the giant concrete wall it had no windows, so we put glass around the wall to the bedroom to borrow light from the new doors. From the bath tub you’ll be able to see the stone wall continue through to the master bedroom.Here’s the wall where the bed will go, with the bathroom beyond. The two posts? One was existing / structural, the other hides plumbing. The 11′ high 3-panel sliders are from Fleetwood. The adjacent building is only 12′ away, so luckily we created a soffit for shades : )Out through the sliders will be a low deck and some landscaping. This is looking up toward the in the slot yard street. Just found out that any changes we want to make to the street front of the building will require a historic study….reminder: this was built in 1955…does that say ‘historic’ to you?
Welcome to San Francisco! Not that we’re planning anything major – I love the mid-century lines, but it’s looking tired. Stay tuned!