A Traditional Home and an Impeccable Eye

A Traditional Home and an Impeccable Eye

By Andy Isaacson
Thanks to a contemporary interior that she’s been updating for a decade, modern architect Abigail Turin has learned to love her traditional 1925 San Francisco home.

Architect Abigail Turin does not live in the house that she had imagined. After coming back to San Francisco from London—where she had worked in David Chipperfield’s office—and marrying financial services executive Jonathan Gans, she set out to buy a contemporary house with pretty bay views atop Pacific Heights, the city’s loftiest address. What the pair found instead was a three-story, 1925 Italianate home with Douglas fir crown molding, arched leaded windows, and partial city views. But it had a great floor plan, a lovely silver-dollar eucalyptus enveloping the back facade, and a tranquil backyard designed by landscape architect Topher Delaney. "What tends to happen in San Francisco with renovations is that people divide up an old home’s spaces, no longer needing formal living rooms," Turin says. "There’s a rabbit warren-ing of places—and that didn’t happen here. This house has good bones."

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