San Francisco Modern Architecture
A guide to interesting homes and commercial buildings.

This Diamond Heights house is in the International style. The owners supplied me this information:

"My partner Patrick McGrew and I built this home in 1995 as our personal residence. Patrick is the architect. He is actually a preservation architect and is quite well known here in San Francisco since he was, for 16 years, president of the city's Landmarks Preservation Board. He is also the author of Landmarks of San Francisco, Landmarks of Los Angeles (both published by Harry N. Abrams, NY) and The Historic Homes of Presidio Terrace. I was co-author and photographer on the Los Angeles book. I write under the name Robert Julian. Patrick and I are both modernists and our home is basically an homage to the work of Le Corbusier. It is designed in the International Style.

Change comes hard in San Francisco residential architecture, and we encountered brutal resistance from the neighbors to our home. Most of them don't know the difference between the International Style and the International House of Pancakes. We expect to have to take them on again since we recently filed a permit to add a third bedroom and bath on the top floor at the rear of the home. If you look at the house from the uphill, east side, you will probably realize that completion of this floor is the logical completion of the design. At the time we built the house, we didn't have the money to do this portion and so deferred it until later.

Architecturally speaking, San Francisco is really constipated. And the great failure of modern architecture is its failure to educate the public. As it stands, the local unwashed masses continue to dictate what is architecturally acceptable and the result is overwhelming mediocrity in both residential and commercial design. There are, of course, exceptions, but his remains the rule in San Francisco."