July 19, 2024
A Landmark Garden Anchors This Mid-Century Modern San Francisco House

Listing of the Day

Location: Richmond, California

Price: $2.699 million

This Mid-Century Modern bayfront home in historic Point Richmond offers open views of San Francisco Bay along with a beloved semi-public garden on an adjacent lot.

“The house has a lot of ‘wow factor’ because of the view and the garden,” said listing agent Melody Hultgren, of Nova Real Estate.

The six-bedroom home on Western Drive and the Wave Garden have been owned by the same family for more than 40 years, she said. The family patriarch, Werner Doellstedt, was the son of German immigrants and a butcher. 

He created a meat and seafood distribution company, Richmond Wholesale Meat Company, that became one of the largest on the West Coast, she said. “He died in 2016 and his children are selling the house.”

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Tucked into a hillside, the 1963 home was designed by Karl Kolbeck, a well-regarded local architect, Hultgren said. “The house itself is so well built. You can just feel it when you walk in.”

At some point, the Doellstedts bought the adjacent empty lot to protect their view and then began creating the garden in 2007, according to the Smithsonian Institution website. “The Wave Garden is unique because while it is a private garden, it also has a section open to the public, which includes an ADA compliant middle pathway.”

The Wave Garden is on an adjacent lot.

Ocean Homes Photography

“The garden was designed as a work of art, inspired by the work of sculptor Douglas Purdy which is featured in the garden,” according to the Smithsonian. “The winding pathways, platforms, and stairs were created out of textured concrete by artist Victor Armador. The curves of the garden reference the waves of nearby San Pablo Bay.”

“He wanted the whole community to enjoy the garden, so they keep it open,” Hultgren said. “The garden is beloved by the community. Some local college courses include this garden and the students come visit it.”

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“The front of the house is very unassuming,” she said. You go through large double doors into the open-plan living room, which has about 50 feet of floor-to-ceiling glass that take in the striking views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. “The views are insane.”

Three bedrooms, including the primary suite, are on the main level. It has open bay and garden views.

The kitchen features single-slab granite countertops and commercial-grade appliances, Hultgren said. “It was renovated about 15 years ago, but it feels timeless.”

“The lower level functions as another house,” with a separate kitchen and living and dining areas along with three bedrooms, she said. The house has an elevator, making it good for multigenerational living.


The 5,027-square-foot house has six bedrooms and three full bathrooms. It sits on a 6,200-square-foot lot, and the garden sits on an adjacent 6,000-square-foot lot.


Along with the gardens and concrete pathways, amenities include a living room fireplace, an elevator, a two-car carport, radiant-heat flooring throughout, and multiple decks and outdoor seating areas.

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Neighborhood Notes 

Point Richmond is a “sleepy little beach town, right on the bay, and it’s very quaint,” Hultgren said. “It’s a bit of a hidden treasure,” with a historic downtown and galleries and shops.

It’s about 30 minutes to San Francisco and 15 to some of the Marin County communities, she said.

Agents: Melody Hultgren and Patrick MacCartee, Nova Real Estate

View the original listing. 

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