Buyers looking to own a piece of San Francisco history need look no further: 331 Prentiss Street, a former earthquake shack in Bernal Heights, has recently come to market at $1.15 million. The two-bedroom, two-bath house has undergone some major renovations, including a new foundation, new kitchen and new bathrooms, and is more than twice its original 550 square feet. But it still contains three of four “shack” walls, including its historic facade (though a window and wraparound porch have been added).
The home’s current owners say the structure originally built on the land burned down in the fires caused by the city’s famed 1906 earthquake. The displaced residents had to move into one of the “refugee shacks” built to provide housing in the aftermath of the quake. When the parkland refugee camps began closing in late 1907, the Prentiss property owners hauled two shacks (one of the larger 14′ x 18′ models and one of the smaller 10′ x 14′ cottages) back to their property and combined them together to create one home. As The Chronicle recently reported, almost all of the approximately 5,000 shacks built for quake refugees are now gone, but the largest concentration that remains can be found in Bernal Heights. (A few have also been found in the Sunset, Ocean View, Daly City and even Santa Cruz.)
The current owners of the Prentiss property kept the shape of the combined shacks and added traditional trim work to the new addition to maintain the look and feel of the historic home. A sense of history was also on the owners’ minds when creating their beadboard-backsplashed kitchen and traditional bathrooms with features like a clawfoot tub and subway tile. But the home has definitely been modernized with an open floor plan, overhauled plumbing and electrical systems, and double-paned windows. The backyard also underwent a transformation of its own, with the addition of a patio, eat-in solarium and private hot tub area.
Also transformed: the price. After the quake, refugees typically paid $2 a month toward the $50 cost for their shacks. But more than 100 years—and a major renovation and expansion—later, the $891 per square foot asking price at 331 Prentiss is actually a bargainfor the neighborhood.
From SF GATE,
Emily Landes is a writer and editor who is obsessed with all things real estate. She also has a DIY problem that she blogs about at pritical.com.