Best-selling author Danielle Steel has captivated audiences with more than a hundred books – ranging from romance to children’s stories – since she first published in 1973.
Many of her best books combine the same ingredients: wealth, power, love and scandal – perhaps inspired by some of the history embedded within the home that Steel is now selling for $31.995 million.
The 14,966-square-foot mansion was constructed in 1911 by Adolph Spreckles while he managed the family sugar-refinery business and large fortune his father, Claus Spreckles, had built.
Adolph – who was 50 at the time – gifted the home to his 24-year old wife, Alma, the daughter of two Danish immigrants. Alma quickly traversed the social ladder with her new last name – abandoning her brief career as a nude model to become a socialite.
The residence at 2080 Washington became the scene of Alma’s charity efforts and social soirees, and eventually earned her a new moniker: the Great-Grandmother of San Francisco.
Combined with the large portfolio built by Claus and his son, the Spreckles family became to San Francisco what the Rockefeller family was to New York.
It wasn’t until years after Alma’s death that her two surviving daughters sold the mansion to Steel, the first owner outside of the original Spreckles family.
Steel, who is known for her privacy, has kept the 55-room mansion out of the public eye – quite literally – with a 30-foot hedge around the perimeter. Perhaps with a new owner, we’ll finally be able to see what the inside of the home now looks like.
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