The Fox residence sits midway up a steep block of Broderick Street in the area of San Francisco known as the Lower Haight. Built in 1893, it’s tall and narrow on a lot twenty-five feet wide by one hundred deep. Three stories over crawlspace, shoulder-to-shoulder with neighboring buildings. It looks east from the upper story at the dawn and San Francisco Bay. A later remodel reworked the entry stairs to accommodate a one-car garage. The rest of the crawlspace became a cramped rental apartment. It was stick-framed out of fir with redwood siding and oak floors. Like many Victorians built into the heart of the industrial revolution it had cutting edge technologies and benefit of the new infrastructure of a fast growing city.
Running water was piped in from Spring Valley Water’s main in the street. Records show it got hooked up in October 1893. Gas chandeliers lit the house. It had indoor plumbing like the nicer hotels and the windows and high ceilings Victorian designers used to create an uplifting space. It had four fireplaces for heat, all of which were removed during the demo in 2008. The foundation was also replaced and the house seismically retrofit and altered from three-story house to a live-work with a fourth story that is office and a basement media room that can double as recreation and guest quarters.
At the mouth of the garage is a wood and steel cover to a vault housing storage tanks for the rainwater catchment system, the boiler for hydronic heating, and storage tanks for the solar domestic hot water.