Magazine article Sunset

Opening Up and "Zoning" an 1880s Victorian

Magazine article Sunset

Opening Up and "Zoning" an 1880s Victorian

Article excerpt

Charming to look at but a challenge to live in-this was the familiar paradox presented by a narrow 1880s fixer-upper on San Francisco's Russian Hill.

Because it had previously been used as a 2-unit apartment house, the 18-foot-wide, two-story structure contained an awkward, disjointed floor plan. The kitchen, two dark bedrooms, and a bathroom occupied the bottom floor; the living room and a third, larger bedroom and bath filled the upper floor. Gloomy, enclosed hallways dominated each level, contributing to the dingy, labyrinthine feeling.

The new owners asked San Francisco architects Toby Levy and Jim Fagler, of Levy Design Partners, for a comprehensive redesign. First, Levy and Fagler zoned the house, assigning all public functions such as entertaining and eating to the upper floor, and all private functions such as working and sleeping- to the lower one. About the only thing to remain essentially unchanged was the position of the living room; it overlooks the garden at

the back of the house. …

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