Something extraordinary happens when repurposed historical clock towers go up for sale as elegant penthouses. A rare occurrence, one has recently come on the market in San Francisco’s South Beach neighborhood. The registered-landmark, four-story-penthouse-loft apartment with conversation-piece furnished room inside the clock is for sale at $6 million.
Constructed in 1907, the large building complex that supported the tower became the West Coast’s largest printing company by 1921. The owner of the business, Max Schmidt, decided to construct a penthouse level in the clock tower where natural light poured in from all four sides of the clock faces so that his lithographers would find it easier to work. In 1930, the plan for the new Bay Bridge was solidified which would require tearing down a portion of the printing buildings including the clock tower. Schmidt would have none of that and used his clout, threatening to move his business to the other side of the bay. The city, unwilling to lose one of their largest employers, gave in and agreed to take the highway around Schmidt’s complex and the tower was saved. In 1992, the old factory was repurposed into 127 contemporary live/work lofts and offices. San Francisco and Oakland commuters on Interstate 80 have come to depend on the clock as they travel to and from work each day.
The sleek contemporary penthouse with postcard city views measures in at a spacious 3,000 square feet of living space, including a room actually inside the clock, and large terraces providing outdoor space for lounging or entertaining. The two-bedroom, two-bath residence has been designed to optimize the loft’s spaciousness with hardwood and polished concrete floors and built-in bookcases that become part of the brick-and-concrete structure following the lines of the beams. Built on four levels, included are a gourmet kitchen with top-end appliances, living and dining rooms with French doors to the terrace, office, game room, library, large master suite and the unique clock room.
Options for entertaining in this unique home are almost unlimited and definitely not boring. Pick a terrace for the view you want for a particular party or a room painted white with sleek modern furnishings or go with a city-loft vibe with brick walls and steel-structural beams – all with breathtaking views of the city. Or, start with cocktails in the clock room and work your way down through all venues. It’s a home that guests aren’t likely to forget.
With historic roots as the original site of the Max Schmidt Lithography Co. and a clock that San Francisco and Oakland commuters have depended on for decades, the clock-tower penthouse is for sale at $6 million. The listing agents are Rob Levy and Eric Turner of Compass, San Francisco.
Photo credit: Open Home Photography