California

This historic S.F. Clock Tower penthouse is selling for $6 million

A penthouse loft in the historic and highly visible Clock Tower Building in San Francisco is for sale at $6 million.

The listing calls it “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live and work in San Francisco’s most visible and historic clocktower ... Perched high above South Beach and South Park, San Francisco’s burgeoning epicenter of industry and technology.”

Rob Levy and Eric Turner of Compass are the listing agents.

“The property would be great for a person who wants something iconic or as a trophy,” Levy said, adding that the space is also “functional” and can be used as a “live-work building” and for entertaining.

The detached penthouse at 461 2nd Street has three adjoining tower levels and comes with the famous clock room visible to thousands every day in the city by the bay. It has had only one owner since it became a residence over twenty-five years ago, according to the listing.

The sun-filled two-bedroom, two-bathroom home spans 3,000 square feet and boasts panoramic views in all directions. There’s a huge 1,300-square-foot wrap-around deck for taking in 360-degree views of San Francisco.

The penthouse has an updated kitchen and two spacious living areas. Hardwood and concrete flooring runs throughout the home, which is also decked out with original brick and concrete walls, exposed steel structural beams and automated window shades.

Above the main floor of the penthouse, in the full-functioning clock room, are the three additional floors that can be used as a game room, home office and entertainment space in the full-functioning clock room itself.

Maintenance of the tower and the clocks is performed by the building’s homeowners association.

The Clock Tower Building was the site of the original Max Schmidt Lithography Co., constructed in 1907 at Second and Bryan streets. It was first built without the iconic clock tower. In 1921, the site became headquarters to the Max Schmidt Lithography Co.—the largest printing company on the west coast at the time, according to the listing.

Around 1922, Schmidt added a rooftop-accessible penthouse unit intended as an exclusive light-filled artist’s studio high above the city noise. The clock tower was nearly demolished when the Bay Bridge viaduct was constructed in the 1930s, but city officials redesigned the viaduct plans to preserve the tower, the listing says.

Owners Tom and Carol Burkhart have been leasing the property for the past couple of years, Levy said.

They told SFGate in a 2016 article, when the penthouse was priced on the market at $8.5 million, that they would spend time gazing at the clock tower from where they lived across the street. Then, opportunity struck.

“We’d just sit there in our living room, salivating thinking it would be amazing to live in that tower,” Tom Burkhart told SFGate. “And then it went on the market and then we went to the open house. There were probably 50 people walking around. The place was so wide open. It was amazing.”

The listing went public on Wednesday.

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David Caraccio is a video producer for The Sacramento Bee who was born and raised in Sacramento. He is a graduate of San Diego State University and longtime journalist who has worked for newspapers as a reporter, editor, page designer and digital content producer.
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