The Secluded San Francisco Chalet of Ansel Adams, Legend of Landscape Photography, Has Hit the Market for $5 Million
His childhood home was originally built in 1902 as a shining example of Arts and Crafts architecture.
Renowned photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams‘s secluded home in the tony Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco, on the edge of the Presidio, has hit the market for $5.45 million. It’s the first time in more than 50 years that his childhood home has come up for sale.
Built by Adams’s parents in 1902 as an Arts and Crafts chalet on what were then remote dunes, the residence grew to its current form in 1929 when an annex was built by architect Alfred Henry Jacobs under the direction of Adams and his wife. The enlarged home, said Sotheby’s International Realty in the listing, “became the residential seat of America’s most lauded landscape photographer.”
Increased to nearly 4,000 square feet with that 1929 expansion, the space now boasts large overhanging eaves typical of a chalet, a shingled exterior, vaulted 20-foot ceilings, architectural beams, and a wood-burning fireplace. The property also comes with four bedrooms bathed in natural light, many with spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands.
Other perks include an attic-turned-artist’s loft, a front pathway made from repurposed San Francisco City sidewalk curbs, and a terraced garden design by renowned landscape architect Topher Delaney.
When Adams sold the house in 1957 to move the family down the coast to Carmel, it changed hands only once before architect Peter Winkelstein bought it in 1970. It has stayed within the Winkelstein family since then. Now, however, his three children have decided to let go of the historic property.
Adams came to photography as a teenager in 1915, when his parents gave him a Kodak camera. His first photographs were architectural views of San Francisco and natural environments such as Yosemite Valley. He championed straight photography, allowing the vistas and objects in his images to speak for themselves.
Adams is remembered as a lifelong environmental conservationist and mountaineer whose photographs captured the grandeur of the American landscape. His black-and-white images of majestic outdoor scenes have had an enduring effect on American conservationism and the creation of national parks.
In 2020, his best-known work, The Grand Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (1942)—intended to hang in the U.S. Department of the Interior building until World War II canceled those plans—sold at Sotheby’s New York for $988,000 (including fees). The price soared above the high estimate of $600,000, establishing the lasting impact of a great 20th-century American photographer.
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