Haas-Lilienthal House

Haas-Lilienthal House at twilight

Teevan was selected to work on the repairs, restoration and repainting of the Haas-Lilienthal House, a 129-year-old Queen Anne-style Victorian in Alamo Square, San Francisco. It is the only remaining public example of Victorian architecture as well as the only “national treasure” in San Francisco.

The house was built in 1886 for Bertha and William Haas, a German-Jewish family and became home for several generations of the Haas family. The Haas and Lilienthal families joined through marriage, and the last family member to live in the house was Alice Lilienthal Haas, who lived there until her death in 1972.

Upon her death, she willed the home to San Francisco Heritage, an organization dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of the city’s architecture, which turned it into a museum. Some years ago, the Haas-Lilienthal house was picked to be number 64 National Treasures in America, by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Historical Restoration of the House

Over time, the home began to show its age, so in 2015, with a generous grant from American Express, San Francisco Heritage began repairing and repainting the three-story national treasure. Dunn-Edwards was proud to donate the paint for this unique project, helping return the home to its original, 1886 colors.

Haas-Lilienthal House Fence | Before and AfterAs part of the restoration, San Francisco Heritage commissioned a historical paint color study by Architectural Conservation, Inc., to determine the original colors, patterns and sheens so that the finished home coloring was as authentic as possible. During the Victorian era, many San Francisco homes were painted in muted colors such as brown, green or gray.

Restoring the exterior of the Haas-Lilienthal House

Twenty layers of old paint and primer were removed to reveal the last layer, which showed a dark gray. Extensive damage was also repaired and reconstructed to restore the home to its original beauty.

In addition, the home was originally painted using linseed oil and mineral spirits or turpentine, which have been removed from the American market. To achieve a high-quality look while maintaining authenticity, Dunn-Edwards EVERSHIELD® exterior paint in semi-gloss was used for the body colors, while a gloss finish for the window trim re-created the historic appearance.

Nov. 18, 2015 marked the completion of phase one, and a celebration was held to showcase and re-open this refreshed Victorian to the city. The future for this jewel includes more exterior renovation as well as an extensive interior renovation. In the meantime, the Haas-Lilienthal House remains the only public example of Victorian architecture in San Francisco, so it is a must-see for architects and designers to view.

Haas-Lilienthal House Lamp

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