Illustrations by Kit Haskell
This beautiful residence was designed by architect Peter R. Schmidt for Mr. William Haas. Mr. Haas was born in Reckendorf, Bavaria, Germany, in 1849 and came to the United States in the 1860s with an older brother Abraham, who went into business in Los Angeles. Mr. Haas joined his cousin’s firm of Loupe & Haas, wholesale grocers in San Francisco which eventually became Haas Brothers. The company incorporated in 1897 and Mr. William Haas was its first President.
In 1880 Mr. Haas married Bertha Greenebaum of San Francisco and they had three children. Florine, their first daughter, married Edward Brandenstein (spelling later changed to Bransten). Their son, Charles William, who married Fannie Stern, entered his father’s business and upon his father’s death in 1916, succeeded him as president. Alice, the youngest, married Samuel Lilienthal. After Charles’ death in 1927, the presidency of the firm passed to Samuel Lilienthal.
The Lilienthals established residency at 2007 Franklin Street in 1917. They had three children, Ernest, Elizabeth and Frances. Following the death of Mrs. Lilienthal’s brother Charles Haas, his two children, Madeleine and William, were welcomed into the Lilienthal household, and in 1927 a wing to accommodate the enlarged family was commissioned of Gardner Daley.
This two-story (plus basement and attic) frame mansion was designed in an early Queen Anne style, at its San Francisco best. The original house of 1886 was basically rectangular in plan with a narrow side yard to the south. Sometime after construction, the property to the south was purchased, creating a wider yard to the rear of which a two-story addition by Gardner Daley was erected in 1927, giving the house its L-shape of today.
The most prominent feature of the exterior is the tower at the southeast corner of the building. The tower windows, as elsewhere, are double-hung and those at the main floor level are capped by an uninterrupted reverse curve pediment above a cornice. Below their sills, there is a floral frieze. The tower is sheathed in shingles above the third or attic floor and continues upward through the gables. At a level above the ridge of the gables, the tower features another deep floral frieze and a simple cornice which are interrupted by two projecting windows, each supported by brackets and capped by a triangular pediment, facing east and south. The tower itself is topped by a conical roof terminating in a pinnacle.
The facade of the house faces east and entry to the home is made from Franklin Street via a short, wide flight of marble steps set into a low, granite retaining wall surmounted by an ornate wrought-iron fence.
Inside 2007 Franklin Street we find oak floors throughout the house. This same material is used throughout the hall for the staircase, the high dado and other trim. Above the dado, the walls are surfaced in dark stenciled imitation leather. Inside the front parlor you will find the low dado, the mantelpiece in the south wall, and the door and window trim made of fine grained mahogany. Sienna marble surrounds the opening of the firebox. A deep plaster cornice featuring egg and dart, dentils, and bound gatherings of foliage joins the walls and ceiling.
Lighting fixtures throughout appear to be original and in all probability were gas or combined gas and electricity. An 1887 account of the dwelling states “electricity flies at the command of the slightest touch. The gas fixtures present different effects in bronze, hammered copper and combinations of oxidized silver and brass.”
Alice Lilienthal continued to live in the house until her death in 1972. The property was donated by the heirs (Ernest, Elizabeth, Frances and Madeleine) to San Francisco Architectural Heritage (“SF Heritage”) in May, 1973.
Source: edited from Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board
— taken from the Victorian Alliance‘s 2006 “Grande Dame Victorians... Along the Fireline in Pacific Heights” catalog