Crown Jewel of City's Skyline - Page 2

Penthouses rich with provenance listed for sale at Joe Eichler's 32-story Summit tower
Fridays on the Homefront
Inside penthouse unit #3202 (above and below).

Unit #3202, the south-facing penthouse, lists at $12 million. Offering true understated sophistication, the 4,935-square-foot home features a mezzanine, wood-burning fireplace, wrap-around deck/balcony; with three bedrooms, five baths, full kitchen, formal dining room, laundry, and butler's pantry. Floors are carpet and stone, with radiant floor heating. Electric vehicle charging station.

Chic cafes, shops, restaurants, and theatres abound in charming Russian Hill, home of world-famous Lombard Street, 'the crookedest street in the world.' Popular destinations like Nob Hill, North Beach, and Fisherman's Wharf are all within walking distance of the Summit, though there are some steep climbs.

Built between 1963-'65, the Summit project was developed by Eichler Homes, and designed by architect Tibor Fecskes for the office of Neill Smith & Associates, based in San Francisco. Interiors were designed by Kinji Imada of Claude Oakland & Associates.

Fridays on the Homefront

On the property was a house designed by Julia Morgan (which still stands), the first woman architect licensed in California, and the architect of Hearst Castle. The home was owned by architect Neill Smith, and was sold to Eichler with the understanding that Smith's firm would do the design.

Since Russian Hill is an historic district that was mostly populated by small-scale apartment buildings and single-family residences, at the time of construction there was debate among residents who were opposed to the Summit's height. Eventually, a reduction of height limits was enacted, allowing the project to move forward.

In a 1963 photo of the Summit groundbreaking photographed by Morley Baer, Joe Eichler, wearing a hard hat, proudly stands on the site next to a sign that reads: 'Eichler Summit - 596 feet above sea level.'

Fridays on the Homefront

Originally built as a high-rise apartment building, the Summit was converted into condos in 1974 by Gerson Bakar and Al Wilsey. Since that time, owners have purchased condos and combined them, resulting in ever-decreasing numbers of available units. Interiors have been updated and redesigned over the years, but for the most part, Eichler's signature open-plan design, window walls, skylights, and radiant heating have survived.

Owning a Summit penthouse presents a rare opportunity, and one that comes with an additional Eichler perk. In his 2006 CA-Modern article 'Summit on High,' features editor Dave Weinstein explains that, "for Eichler, the Summit was more than another real estate venture. It was a dream. And when it was done, he dubbed it the 'Eichler Summit' and moved into one of its two-story penthouses."

"The kind of people who live here are people of standing in the community," stated Don Reid, president of the Summit Homeowners Association, in the article.

Fridays on the Homefront

Most recently the Summit penthouses were the longtime home of former Secretary of State George Schultz and his wife, socialite Charlotte Mailliard Schultz. Among the other notable residents who have lived at the Summit are actor Michael Douglas, who resided there while filming the television show 'The Streets of San Francisco'; and DJ/funnyman Don Sherwood, considered by many to have been the greatest disk jockey in San Francisco history.

Eichler Homes built several other towers: the Laguna Eichler (1963) at Cleary Court; Central Towers (1964) at 350 Turk Street; and Geneva Towers (1964, demolished in 1998) in Visitacion Valley.

Keep in touch with the Eichler Network. SUBSCRIBE to our free e-newsletter