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A Walk by the Greatest Mansions in San Francisco

Now open for RSVPs. The only cost is $3 cash per adult. Kids free. No sack lunches this time as we will eat our lunches in cafes. Our starting point is on the sidewalk on California Street outside of a Whole Foods Market in front of a cafe called "Steep Brew Coffee." About 11:10 AM we will start walking.

I will have clip boards for everyone to sign (print) themselves in, and name tags. Also I may need volunteers to help take roll and carry the clipboards at the first part of the walk.

I advise people to not drive to SF because driving and parking in SF is bad. However, if you have to drive you should not park in the Whole Foods Parking lot as you might get towed. You can likely find free street parking in Pacific Heights if you are prepared to look a long time over a large area. Below is the link to a Trip Planner that gives details on using Bay Area public transportation from one place to another:
http://tripplanner.tr...

The first giant mansion we will see is the great historical Spreckels Mansion where now an incredibly successful woman novelist lives. In Lafayette Square Park we will go inside to use their big restrooms and then walk to the top of the little hill there where I will collect the $3. If not we will go the nearest hospital for our restroom stop.

Then we will walk to Jackson and then West on Jackson to Scott and then take a group photo in Alta Plaza. Then we will walk West on Washington to Spruce and then left to the cafes on California Street and take 50 minutes for lunch. We will split up into small groups and choose among several places to eat. Our rendezvous spot will be in front of the Starbucks at California & Spruce.

Then we go back to Washington and one more block West to Le Petit Trianon which is the greatest mansion in SF. In front of this giant 1904 mansion with interiors of marble and exquisite stain glass is a big double staircase made entirely of marble and brass.

Then we walk East to Billionaires' Row and see things such as a 9' tall robot with a large male sex organ. The robot used to stare across the street at a famous computer pioneer billionaire's mansion that was being renovated. (After the renovation was done the robot turned his torso to the right.) We will see another mansion that was for sale for $65 million. I was inside one of these mansions, but that one was for sale for only $55 million. We will see many strange things, but we will have adequate restroom stops. We will end at our starting point about 4:30 PM.

A big old Hollywood color movie called "Portrait in Black" was filmed on Billionaires' Row in 1959. Many of the big stars of that time appear such as Anthony Quinn, Lana Turner, Sandra Dee, Lloyd Noland, Ray Walston, Richard Basehart, John Saxon and Anna May Wong. We will be walking up the Baker Street Steps which is where Anthony Quinn lands in a fall from a nearby mansion roof. They used a dummy for the fall. If you have Netflix you can watch it like I did. Below is a link to more details:

http://www.imdb.com/t...

Below are links about what we will see on this walk:

The old 1893 fire house turned into a residence with photos inside and the fire truck in the living room:
http://www.socketsite...
http://sf.curbed.com/...

History of Le Petit Trianon:

http://www.sfcityguides.org/public_guidelines.html?article=205&submitted=TRUE&srch_text=&submitted2=&topic=Buildings%20and%20Theaters

Photos of Le Petit Trianon:

http://sfluxe.com/2008/10/02/halsey-minors-grandiose-monstrosity/

Photos inside and out of the mansion previously for sale for $55 million:
http://www.2901broadw...
Photos & story about a robot that Pacific Heights people love & hate:
http://blog.wired.com...
Photos, 04/06/08, Obama visits Billionaires' Row in secret meeting for $:
http://www.zombietime...
Video of the mansion for sale for $65 million:
http://video.aol.com/...

Some legal disclaimers: By joining us for any event you hereby RELEASE and DISCHARGE it's organizers, hosts and participants from any and all liability, claims, demands or causes of action that you now have, or may have in the future, for injuries, damages, death and/or economic loss of any kind or nature, arising in whole or in part out of the activities, advice or information contained herein. You further agree that if you or someone under your supervision uses the information on this website you assume all risks of injury, damage, and economic loss, without limitation, and release providers from all liability therefore. It is advisable to consult a doctor before you begin any strenuous physical activity. The organizer is not trained for emergency medical procedures and no doctors, nurses or ambulances are provided on the walks.

Photo below is Spreckels Mansion viewed from Lafayette Park.

A group photo of us on this walk minus the photographer, me.

Photo of part of the front of the Mary Phelan Mansion

Interesting plantings along our route.

Photo below is in Presidio Heights

 

Join or login to comment.

  • Emily

    This was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed my walking partners, the beautiful houses and flowers, and other sights.

    August 13, 2014

  • Evelyn T.

    Dtrouard, Just remembered when viewing a few photos I took that Bob did not have bag/backpack and that he mentioned when he arrived at the cafe that he had forgotten it on BART. He indicated BART personnel collected items left on the train at the end of the line/run.

    2 · August 10, 2014

  • dtrouard

    Hi, all. Bob left his bag at the cafe today. What was the name of that cafe? I want to call them to see if his bag was turned in. Thanks!!!

    August 9, 2014

    • Howard S.

      That is probably it. Here is the phone number for that cafe (415) 923-4470. A posting on the internet says they open at 10:00 AM on Sunday.

      August 9, 2014

    • dtrouard

      Thanks!

      August 9, 2014

  • Jan

    Thanks for the stroll through Billionaire Row, it was worth it.

    August 9, 2014

  • Holly

    So sorry I lost the group after lunch. I tried to get back on time but Muni had another idea! Anyways, whomever I personally connected with who would like to stay in touch, please feel free to contact me in MeetUps. Many blessings to all!

    August 9, 2014

  • Holly

    Hi David Holly here. We are still at starting point and there is a link to our route. Bet we are up at the park when you get here. I'll check back here before we waddle to a more distant destination.

    August 9, 2014

  • David S.

    Hi everyone, I might be about 10 minutes late today, so hopefully I'll catch up, but if someone is reading this maybe you can wait a bit before starting, thanks.

    August 9, 2014

  • Tanjent

    I had every intention of going, but time got away from me, so I'll have to miss this one. See you all on the next one.

    August 9, 2014

  • Daphne

    Here's an updated link to the Wired article about the controversial robot sculpture. http://archive.wired.com/table_of_malcontents/2007/01/naked_robot_dis/

    August 9, 2014

  • Patrick

    'Looks like I can't make this one. I'll have to wait for the next mansion hike.

    August 9, 2014

  • Kathy I.

    Howard is there a place to park around the area that you know of ?

    August 2, 2014

    • Howard S.

      I do not know of a good place to park in that area. My advice on this subject is in paragraph 3 above. If you arrive early you will probably be able to find free street parking in Pacific Heights, but you will need enough time to find it.

      August 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Yes you did say that. Sorry, I didn't read the whole description properly.

    July 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Where is the final destination of our walk?

    July 30, 2014

    • Howard S.

      Up in the event description above it says, "We will end at our starting point about 4:30 PM."

      July 30, 2014

  • Emily

    What cafe will the lunch be at, Howard?

    July 30, 2014

    • Howard S.

      Thank you for your question. I did not realize before your question that it was not clear. We will not be all eating at the same cafe. Every person or small group will choose the cafe or other eating place for themselves. If we were all to go the same cafe it would overwhelm that cafe and it would take an hour or more for some to get their food. Also, that cafe's restroom would have a gigantic line. Because of your question I added an extra sentence in the above event description to make it more clear.

      July 30, 2014

    • Emily

      Thanks for the clarification, Howard. That seems fun, as does this hike.

      July 30, 2014

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