Rich and famous folk are notorious for their itchy real estate feet, buying and selling multimillion-dollar homes with the same ease and alacrity as mere financial mortals might, say, buy a new pair of shoes or change out the baking soda box in the fridge. One exception, at least in San Francisco, is Hollywood veteran Winona Ryder, who’s owned the same home in the city’s affluent Cow Hollow neighborhood for 25 years. The “Beetlejuice” and “Heathers” icon, a two-time Oscar nominee (“The Age of Innocence” and “Little Women”) who currently stars on Netflix’s wildly popular science fiction thriller “Stranger Things,” stands to earn a small fortune on the sale of a classically gambrel-roofed Dutch Colonial that she scooped up way back in 1995 for $1.3 million and now has for sale at a whiff under $5 million.
Built in 1902, the three-story home sits on a high spot of the neighborhood that borders the Marina District to the north and posh Pacific Heights to the south. Listed with Nina Hatvany at Compass, the slender, well-maintained home mixes period detailing with modern-day creature comforts. There are three bedrooms and two full and two half bathrooms in a bit more than 3,100 square feet.
A gated courtyard entrance leads around to the side of the house were a cherry-red front door opens to a foyer that showcases original inlaid hardwood floors, leaded glass windows and a decoratively spindled switchback staircase. A street-facing formal sitting room features more leaded glass windows and a rather boring traditional fireplace with fluted pilaster accents, while a second, informal sitting room sports an all-but identical (and, thus, equally dull) fireplace. The adjoining dining area spills out via glass sliders to a spacious deck with a lovely tree-framed view over the bay toward Angel Island State Park, and the not-especially-large but carefully arranged kitchen is expensively outfitted with pale-grey quartz counters and fancy up-to-date designer appliances.
Though there are technically three bedrooms on the upper level, floor plans show one of them includes a spacious vintage-style private bath while the other two easily function as a grand suite that comprises a shared entry vestibule off of which open a sizable walk in closet and another vintage-style bath. The larger of the suite’s two rooms has a fireplace, this one inspired by those you might see in a French chateau, and both sport glass sliders that open to the same narrow balcony from which there are views that sweep over the bay and encompass two of the city’s most famous landmarks, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
In addition to a single-car garage, the basement-like ground floor contains a laundry room and a finished bonus space with powder room. And, dispensing with the idea that city living means not having much outdoor space, the deck outside the dining room has stairs down to a deep backyard that incorporates a large brick terrace and a small deck hidden among trees and foliage.
It’s not clear when Ryder last occupied the house. It popped up for rent last year at $15,000 per month, and it’s been cleared of personal belongings and staged with generic furniture. However, the low-key actor and her long-time boyfriend, sustainable clothing entrepreneur Scott Mackinlay Hahn, certainly seem to have a few bi-coastal options for shacking up; She’s believed to own a prominently sited Mediterranean villa in L.A’s celeb-packed Outpost Estates neighborhood, in the foothills above Hollywood, and a few years ago Architectural Digest featured her homes in New York City, a sophisticated apartment with 18-foot-high ceilings in a landmarked downtown building, and in Beverly Hills, a modestly sized 1920s Mediterranean bungalow she restored to its original state with he savvy help of her good friend, actor/decorator Kevin Haley.