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Most Beautiful Home in SF, Sold

BY Damion Matthews - September 2, 2011


2840 broadway
John Rosekrans Jr. and Dodie Rosekrans.
Photographed by Jonathan Becker, Town & Country, November 1988.

Described by design expert Diane Dorrans Saeks as “the most beautiful house in San Francisco,” 2840 Broadway closed escrow on August 4, 2011, after national speculation about potential buyers for the property.

Discretion prevents us from naming the price or the buyer (who is well-known to readers of SFluxe.com), but as the wife is a nationally known tastemaker (featured in Vogue), one can expect this already treasured but aged property to again be taken to the highest level of design.

Diane Saeks wrote extensively about the home when it was owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Rosekrans Jr., including it in a beautifully photographed chapter of her book “San Francisco: A Certain Style,” a book you simply have to get for your library if you haven’t yet done so.

The home was built in 1916 by Willis Jefferson Polk for the family of Andrew Welch, Jr., an heir to one of California’s most substantial fortunes, with its origins in shipping. He and wife Julia Welch were often featured in the Chronicle’s society column, and socialized with leading families of San Francisco such as the de Youngs, and the Tobins. Mrs. Welch enjoyed entertaining, and even had a dinner party for 30 in which all the guests were masked. As Diane notes, the couple used “wit and imagination” in their hiring of Polk, and indeed seemed to have had a great sense of style.

Following Mrs. Welch’s passing, the home was willed to the Archdiocese, and was kept as the Archbishop’s mansion for 40 years, until it was purchased by the Rosekrans family in 1979 for $1.6 million.

Following Dodie Rosekrans’ passing last year, the home now welcomes yet another family of impeccable taste and connoisseurship, who will undoubtedly assure that it celebrates its 100th anniversary as gloriously as its first, a landmark of San Francisco design at its finest.



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