One of Marin’s newest real estate rentals offers mind-blowing views of the Golden Gate and the opportunity to live in a national park.
And it’s not cheap.
The landlords, the National Park Service, are asking at least $6,500 a month for the 2,100-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom homethat rests on a bluff between Point Bonita and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Once used for employees of the U.S. Life Saving Service and built in 1964, it has since been used by park employees who are charged below market rate. When a long-time resident left in 2014, park service officials decided to work on the home — one of three on the bluff — and put it on the open market. Bidding starts Tuesday.
“One of our mandates is to keep and maintain these historic buildings,” said Alex Picavet, spokeswoman for the park service, as she stood in the front yard of the home, which overlooks a mass expanse of sea. “The rent on this home helps us do that. This is unique, to open it to the public for rent.”
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area has many historic buildings to maintain, but with limited resources from Congress it is looking to be creative in how its finances upkeep and repairs. Offering the home to the public is one way to do that.
“We didn’t make a lot changes,” said Katharine Arrow, a park official who helped oversee the project. “But it has been refreshed.”
The home maintains its mid-1960s feel. Louvers have been saved, green Heath tiles have been set masterfully into the kitchen and ceiling light shades harken back to a simpler time. Because the home is part of a historic district, many of the elements had to be maintained, including a 50-year old sink in a washroom.
“Anything that we did to the house was defined by historic values and was in keeping with preservation,” said Melissa Bleier, realty specialist for the park service.
BAY TO OCEAN VISTA
The airy home’s bathrooms are brand new, as are the appliances and kitchen, but they all become secondary to the view. To the east is the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco and to the west is the entrance to the Gate and an endless sight line — at least when the fog is away.
“The sunsets are amazing from here, and it’s all outside of these windows,” Picavet said, as she gazed out.
The home’s existence can be traced back to the U.S. Life Saving Service, which was established at Point Bonita in response to a plethora of shipwrecks in the later 1800s.
The service put a life saving station at Point Bonita in the Marin Headlands at the turn of the century. There, rescuers used slow heavy boats, which were launched directly into the water, along a set of rails, which still exist in a rusted state.
Quarters for the life savers were first located in a Victorian higher on the bluff. Eventually it was torn down and the three homes were constructed in the 1960s.
“It’s history and that’s why we want to preserve these buildings,” Picavet said.