By Maria Marchetti
IN THE DEPTHS of the real estate crisis in 2011, the defaulting owners who had spent millions restoring the Ellinwood mansion at 2799 Pacific were removed and the home was put on the market as bank owned. In the same family for more than a century after it was completed in 1894 — and empty for half that time — the house has a rich and colorful history, with a basement billiard room that hosted at least one world championship and a side garden with a tree that was a gift from Queen Victoria, now replaced by a lap pool. The house sold in June of last year for $11.5 million — not much more than the price of the restoration.
The new owner — producer-writer-director Chris Columbus (“Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Home Alone,” “The Help” and several Harry Potter films) — is now selling his former home overlooking Alta Plaza Park at 2622 Jackson Street. It’s also a neighborhood landmark, designed in 1895 by Willis Polk in the Italian Renaissance style and constructed of sandstone, which is rare in San Francisco. For decades its classical rounded portico welcomed students and guests inside to the Music and Arts Institute. Now it’s a comfortable home with bay views — and a screening room, of course — listed for $13 million.
Maria Marchetti is a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty.