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$1 million San Francisco apartments have random support beams in the kitchen



1488 harrison st san francisco apartment kitchen beams
Above: A street view of
1488 Harrison St. in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood where a
number of apartments have structural support beams running right
through the space.

Google Street

  • A handful of units in a San Francisco apartment complex
    sport a unique interior feature: structural support beams
    running diagonally through the space.
  • All of the units have sold for about $1 million a
  • The kitchens of three units are all interrupted by a
    beam running from a cabinet to the middle of the kitchen floor.
    The beams in two other condos run parallel to the wall, which
    seems more convenient. 
  • Despite the mockery from Twitter,
    there’s a good reason for the beam: converting old industrial
    buildings into apartments requires extra structural

San Francisco’s real estate market is rife with peculiar home
listings. Some homes had their
interiors ravaged by fires
and still sold for $2 million.
Some sell for $1.6 million over the asking price.

Now, these San Francisco apartments are attracting attention —
and ridicule — because they have structural support beams running
straight through their kitchens. 

The apartments are located at1488
Harrison St, 
in the city’s lower SoMa neighborhood. By
looking through listings on Redfin, we found at least four units
in the building where structural support beams run diagonally
through the space.

That obviously didn’t affect sales, though, since the units are
all sold and occupied. Their owners shelled out about $1 million
for each, records show. In the apartment sold most recently, in
June, the unexpected beam runs from the bottom of an overhead
kitchen cabinet to the middle of the kitchen floor.

On Twitter, FOO VR
chief executive Will Smith
claims that he is a previous
occupant of one of these units, and that the beam in the kitchen
is indeed a constant source of pain and frustration. 

The kitchen in a unit two floors down is also interrupted by a
beam. Developers were a little more creative with how they
incorporated it into the floor plan.

on the second floor is in the same boat, and two more in
the complex also sport an out-of-place slanted beam —  only
they’re positioned a bit more conveniently, parallel
to a wall.

Twitter users had some fun speculating on the beam’s puprose:
Some hoped it had a whimsical purpose, like a cat
that the owners’ pets could shimmy through for fun.
The real reason, however, is less outlandish.

Strange structural circumstances like these aren’t uncommon in
San Francisco, when converting old industrial buildings into
lofts. Developers need to comply with
building codes
that require adjustments to be made when
converting old factories into living quarters. This
Reddit thread
provides good context.

Those adjustments can include extra beams for structural support.
Furthermore, they were most likely installed before these
specific floor plans were designed, making the kitchen situation
an unfortunate side effect. 

Nevertheless, San Franciscans can’t always afford to be too picky
with where they sign a lease. The city’s housing market is so
competitive that a random beam running through your kitchen might
not seem so bad.

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