Rumor Has It…

…an historic San Francisco mansion at that quietly traded hands in April (2013) for $35,000,000—the highest price ever paid for a single family residence in The City—may not have been bought by Trevor and Alexis Traina as was originally reported by all the Bay Area high society and property gossips but rather by young and generously-compensated Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and her venture capitalist husband Zack Brogue.

As far as as Your Mama knows Mister and Missus Traina were first identified as the buyers of the $35 million mansion by the well-connected property fanatics at Socketsite and it was those wildly industrious kids at Curbed who, yesterday, were the first to suggest that the deep-pocketed buyers may actually be Miz Mayer and Mister Brogue. Here’s what happened…

The august, Tudor style pile, listed in April (2011) for $33,900,000 by Sandra Gale, the founder of a company that supplies food and beverages to the airline industry, was quietly sold by Peter Baumann, a German-born New Age music pioneer turned real estate investor and progressive-minded think tank starter, who acquired the walled and gated hillside property in late 2011 for an unknown amount.

Property records indicate the residence in question was acquired by a corporate entity, Bellihouse, LLC, that obscures the identity of the buyer but curiously links to another large, multi-story house just one block away that per property records reveal is owned by Trevor and Alexis Traina, who had it photographed for the November 2009 issue of Vogue.

It might seem illogical and/or improbable to those who don’t orbit in upper echelon of money and power, but the kids at Curbed snitched yesterday that the high-end Fog City real estate circles are currently aswirl with tongue wagging rumors that Mister and Missus Traina may have sneakily absorbed the house into a trust they control in order to obscure the identity of the property’s real buyers. Certainly, stranger things have occurred.

Listing information that Your Mama dug up on the internets shows the house in question, near the western terminus of Broadway in the historically natty and notoriously nabobish Pacific Heights ‘hood, was designed by preeminent San Francisco architect Frederick H. Meyer and built in 1922. The mansion retains much of its original elegance and architectural grandeur with hardwood floors, leaded glass windows, heavy duty moldings, and hand crafted mill work.

The house occupies a prime, mid-block position on a stretch of Broadway that’s often referred as “Billionaire’s Row” due to the slew of filthy rich and socially connected movers and shakers who own lavish mansions on the street, people such as Gordon Getty, Roger Barnett, Larry Ellison, and Mark Pincus whose newly acquired house is technically on Pacific but backs up to Broadway. Also on Broadway—next door to Mister Pincus, actually—is the the still unfinished mansion and guest house that Phoenix-based billionaire Peter Sperling—his daddy founded the internet-based Phoenix University—picked in 2004 for $32,000,000 and been for sale on and off since early 2010 when he shoved it on the open market with a ridiculously optimistic but publicity generating $65 million price tag. But that’s another tale for another day…

A quick study of listing details, listing photos, and a mouth-watering floor plan included with digital marketing materials that were provided to Your Mama by a kind compadre shows the four floor behemoth that may or may not have been bought by Yahoo!’s lady CEO has about 11,000 square feet with four principal family bedrooms and 4 full and 2 partial bathrooms plus two staff bedrooms and one bathroom on the mansion’s lowest level.

Also noted by Your Mama and/or called out in marketing materials: five fireplaces; two kitchens; two terraces—both on the front side of the house where they don’t benefit from the toe tingling city, bridge and bay views; an underground garage parking for four cars; at least five storage rooms; a 3,000 bottle wine cellar; and a compact, somewhat awkwardly positioned passenger elevator that services all four floors.

The main floor living and entertaining spaces include a marble floored reception hall where there’s a tiny telephone room tucked under the staircase, generously proportioned formal living and dining rooms, and a morning room for casual meals. An extensive, main floor service wing contains a spacious center island kitchen with all the top-quality bells and whistles, a commodious butler’s pantry with silver storage closet, a laundry/catering room with direct street access, a home office, a massage room, and a partial bathroom with toilet and tub…the sink is in the massage room according to listing details.

One of the guest/family bedrooms on the second floor has a fireplace, a walk-in closet, and access to a tight hall bathroom while the other slightly smaller guest/family bedroom has spectacular views and direct access to a Jack ‘n’ Jill bathroom shared with the adjacent wood-paneled library. The master suite stretches the full depth of the house on the second floor with an graceful, semi-circular bank of windows on one end and on the other a wide row of windows that frame the exact sort of panoramic bridge and bay views that many high-brow San Francisco real estate fantasies are woven. The compartmentalized master bathroom does double duty as the closet/dressing room with numerous built-in dressers and wardrobes.

The only bathroom on the uppermost floor opens to the stair landing/hallway and is shared by a ballroom-sized family room and a bedroom suite with private sitting room and walk-in closet.

Lush, terraced gardens step down the steep hillside behind the house. Set well below the house are a heated outdoor swimming pool and spa, both exceedingly rare luxuries for San Francisco that are—we can all be assures—preposterously expensive to heat at any time of year in frequently frigid and foggy San Francisco.

Miz Meyer and Mister Bogue, who may or may not be the actual buyers of the mansion in question, already maintain a posh penthouse atop the Four Seasons Residences in San Francisco where there they installed a colorful and no doubt remarkably expensive 400+ piece Dale Chihuly sculpture n the ceiling. The tech industry bigwigs also keep a Craftsman-style house in the heart of the Silicon Valley, in Palo Alto, where they have installed a two-story soda shop in their backyard that’s a miniature model of Palo Alto’s Peninsula Creamery.

*Missus Traina, in case you don’t know, is a lifestyle blogger and heiress to a significant fast food fortune—her maiden name is Swanson, you do the math—and Mister Traina is the young tech entrepreneur son of philanthropic San Francisco socialite Dede Wilsey and her second husband, shipping magnate John Traina who was later the fourth of romance novelist Danielle Steel’s to-date five husbands. Anyways…

listing photos and floor plan: Pacific Union

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  1. […] can be a difficult essay to write. rumor has it These 3 nicely – composed essays generate a powerful set. The very first article is truly a […]

  2. Anonymous says:

    A bit showy don’t ya think.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was under the impression that peter sperlings house was sold for around 20 million to david sacks sometime in 2012? correct me if im wrong.

  5. Anonymous says:


    san francisco sucks. boring crappy place.


  6. Anonymous says:

    That’s Bogue. Too nice of a house for such a scummy couple.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Outstanding San Francisco home BUT that pool will never be used. Many don’t realize how absolutely cold and foggy it is here most days. Burrr…

  8. lil' gay boy says:

    Anyone else remember Mr. Belli playing an evil angel on Star Trek?

    Lovely house, BTW…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Great house on a great street in the best neighborhood. Whoever is the buyer, they are very lucky to own this gem.

  10. Anonymous says:

    At one time, lawyer Melvin Belli, known as the “King of Torts,” owned this home. He sold it in 1992, a few years before his death, to the businesswoman Mama mentions. The sale price then was about $6.5 million, which was a lot for its day.

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