Haven't I Seen This Before? 3 Famous Old Houses Currently For Sale

Mary Butler

Have you ever seen a photo of a place and thought, "I feel like I've been there before, but I don't know why?" It's kind of like seeing a minor celebrity out in public. You recognize him or her, but you can't quite put a finger on why. The same is true for some of the nation's most famous houses. They've been widely photographed for everything from major advertising campaigns to movie backdrops.

Here are a handful of the most notable and--depending on your pay grade--attainable houses. As of Sept. 6, each was up for sale:

  • The Bourn Mansion, 2550 Webster Street. Who wouldn't want to live where the Rolling Stones have partied? This house sits at San Francisco's highest point in its most exclusive neighborhood, Pacific Heights. The 27-room, 9,700-square-foot mansion built in 1896 by Richard Bourn is on the market for about $3 million. Bourn, who, thanks to the California Gold Rush and a subsequent career as the founder of what would become Pacific Gas & Electric, was the richest man in San Francisco. While the Bourn mansion might sound like a bargain, SFCurbed.com reports that it could take as much as $10 million to renovate the long-neglected historic property.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House. Featured in numerous ads, music videos, and movies, including Blade Runner, this recently renovated, 6,000-square foot home is in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Loz Feliz. It is the largest of Wright's concrete textile-block designs and is on the National Register of Historic Places and was declared a California State Landmark and a Cultural Heritage Monument. But the $15 million price tag is a bit staggering, which is perhaps why after two months on the market, the 85-year-old home has yet to sell.
  • New York City's "narrowest house." Some people might say it's just a curiosity, but with a swanky Greenwich Village address, it has been home to anthropologist Margaret Mead and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Only 9.5 feet wide and 42 feet long, the historic brick home is estimated to have been built in 1873 and is currently listed for a cool $2.75 million.

It's fun to imagine what life might be like in one of these famous houses--and to think about the people who lived in them over the years. And if you've got the money, why not take it a step further and turn fantasy into reality?


About the Author
Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colorado based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time remodeling an old house.

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