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SF Gates features Shana Rohde-Lynch’s storybook brick Belvedere home in On The Block

Historic brick storybook home in the Belvedere hills asks $4.795M

Known as the “Audrey Jones Beck cottage” on the city of Belvedere’s “designated landmark” registry, the home at 423 Belvedere Avenue doesn’t look like any cottage we’ve ever seen.

First of all, the home was built in 1930 by renowned “storybook” architect Carr Jones. The curved brick walls, cathedral wood-beamed ceilings and turrets are more reminiscent of a European castle than a quaint country cottage.

Second, the three-bedroom, three-bath has nearly 4,000 square feet spread out over three levels built into the cliffside overlooking the bay, as well as a huge brick patio, multiple decks and mature gardens—not exactly a cottage-sized footprint.

The lowest level has a family room, bedroom and full bathroom. A “castle-like curved staircase” brings you up to the main entertaining level, according to the marketing site, which has panoramic views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. In fact, according to the site, one of the first residents of the home was Joseph Strauss, the chief engineer for the bridge, drawn to the spot so he could overlook its construction.

But the home is named for its longest-term resident. Audrey Jones Beck was a Houston-based philanthropist who bought the home, along with her husband, in 1960 to escape the Texas heat in the summers. Known as a collector of impressionist paintings, she eventually donated her enviable collection to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

Upon her death in 2003, she also gave the arts institution her Belvedere home, hoping they would keep it as a writers’ retreat, according to the listing site. Unfortunately for writers everywhere, the museum obviously found it too difficult to manage this one-of-a-kind work of art from afar. It is now on the market for $4,795,000.

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