Ernest and Esther Born House

Born, Ernest
Born, Esther
Outer Sunset, San Francisco
Building Type:
2020 Great Highway, San Francisco, California
Current Name:
Butler Residence
Current Use:
Single Family Residence
Current Condition:
Very Good

The Born house stands out from the stucco row houses of the Outer Sunset. It features a simple façade with vertical redwood siding, a straight roofline, and two modest windows. After the house was built, neighbors called it “Born’s Barn”. The interior is surprisingly spacious, considering the house is only 25 feet wide. The living room extends over two floors and opens up through a tall window wall to a protected garden on the east side of the property. Also on the ground floor are a photo studio and darkroom, a small garage, and a kitchen with a small patio on the west side of the lot. The upper floor contains two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a study on a balcony open to the living room below. It is from there that the view of the Pacific Ocean can be enjoyed. Ernest Born (1898-1992) was not only known as a prominent Bay Area architect but also as a painter of murals at the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, graphic artist, professor of architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, editor of Architectural Record and Architectural Forum, and co-author of several books. He often worked in association with his wife, Esther, who was also trained as an architect. Esther (1902-1987) was an accomplished photographer and authored with her husband “The New Architecture in Mexico” (1937).



DOCOMOMO US/Northern California

P.O. Box 29226
San Francisco, CA 94129-0226


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