Harry’s House of Secrets

‘Harry Potter’ director Chris Columbus sells up in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights

 

Harry Potter director Chris Columbus is selling his £8,128,000 ($12,995,000) Italianate style San Francisco home.

 

Director turned novelist Chris Columbus (© Jeff Rayner/Coleman-Rayner)
Director turned novelist Chris Columbus (© Jeff Rayner/Coleman-Rayner)

2622 Jackson Street, San Francisco, California, USA, CA 94115
2622 Jackson Street, San Francisco, California, USA, CA 94115

Aerial views of the house from the front and rear show both San Francisco's Bay and Alta Plaza Park
Aerial views of the house from the front and rear show both San Francisco’s Bay and Alta Plaza Park

2622 Jackson Street is a house designed for entertaining on a grand scale
2622 Jackson Street is a house designed for entertaining on a grand scale

The paneled dining room comfortably seats twelve
The paneled dining room comfortably seats twelve

The grand staircase includes a feature stained glass window
The grand staircase includes a feature stained glass window

Original plasterwork is apparent throughout the building
Original plasterwork is apparent throughout the building

One of seven bedrooms
One of seven bedrooms

Situated on a 127-foot by 103-foot plot, 2622 Jackson Street was built to the designs of the architect Willis Polk – who went on to design the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts – in 1895 for an industrialist named George W. Gibbs. It was constructed in Oregon gray sandstone with a roof of glazed tiles and features a semi-circular portico “based on the round the round temples of ancient Rome”.

 

Originally intended as a “country home” for Gibbs, a large terraced garden was planned to surround the house. By the time of its completion, however, the surrounding area was already engulfed into the city due to the area’s building boom. The building subsequently became the headquarters of the San Francisco Institute of Music and Arts in 1947.

 

2622 Jackson Street was subject to a full renovation by Ryan Construction, including a complete seismic retrofit, in 1994 and now provides 11,450 square foot of accommodation. As well as 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and 4 reception rooms, there is, naturally given the building’s owner, a media room and a large loft room designed as an additional entertaining space.

 

The kitchen includes a large central island cooker
The kitchen includes a large central island cooker

Given 2622 Jackson Street is owned by a film director there is of course an obligatory cinema screening room
Given 2622 Jackson Street is owned by a film director there is of course an obligatory cinema screening room

The top floor loft room is designed as an additional entertaining space and makes maximum effect of the view with a large arched window
The top floor loft room is designed as an additional entertaining space and makes maximum effect of the view with a large arched window

On a good day one can look across the Bay to Alcatraz and Tiburon beyond
On a good day one can look across the Bay to Alcatraz and Tiburon beyond

The gardens include a number of terraced seating areas
The gardens include a number of terraced seating areas

Situated across the street from Alta Plaza Park, this Pacific Heights residence enjoys “panoramic views” of the Golden Gate Bridge from the top floor and a “lovely walk-out garden” according to agent Neal Ward. The property, described as “San Francisco’s first classical residence” by the San Francisco Examiner and as having “unpretentious solidity” according to Wave, is undoubtedly one of the city’s finest buildings and has plainly been a happy home for the Columbus family.

 

Pennsylvania born Columbus, whose credits number Mrs Doubtfire, Gremlins, The Goonies and Home Alone, directed the first two Harry Potter films and produced the third out of the series of eight. In an interview in April this year, the director told The Telegraph’s Anna Tyzack that he and his family have enjoyed a “pretty normal existence” living at 2622 Jackson Street but given his first novel, House of Secrets, is based on “three siblings who are forced to move to a mysterious new house in San Francisco [that] once belonged to a crazed writer whose stories have come to life”, one has to wonder what the next chapter for this fine classical mansion will be.

 

Update October 2014: The house sold for a price of £8,265,000 ($13,300,000).

 

 

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The house stands on a 0.3 acre plot that includes a 5 car motor court
The house stands on a 0.3 acre plot that includes a 5 car motor court

The ground and first floor plans illustrate the well designed accommodation architect Willis Polk created
The ground and first floor plans illustrate the well designed accommodation architect Willis Polk created

The basement and second floor level plans llustrate how the building has been adapted for 21st century living
The basement and second floor level plans llustrate how the building has been adapted for 21st century living

5 COMMENTS

      • Actually, Mr. Columbus’ success predates the Harry Potter series by over 2 decades. He made it big with other box-office hits like Home Alone, Goonies, Mrs. Doubtfire, Gremlins, etc…SO, it is incorrect to assume that Mr. Columbus made his fortune off the Harry Potter series alone.

  1. A shame about the proximity to the house next door on the right. What a pity it doesn’t have the same sized garden on that size. The balance would then have been perfect.

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