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Crocker Mansion, San Francisco

Built in the late 1870s for Charles Crocker, a railroad robber baron on Nob Hill, the house was not the prettiest sight in San Francisco and even got criticized by Ambrose Pierce: "There are uglier buildings in America than the Crocker House on Nob Hill, but they were built with public money for a public purpose; among architectural triumphs of private fortune and personal taste it is peerless."

One interesting thing about the house was that it came along with a feud fence for the neighbours that didn't want to sell their beloved property to Crocker. The neighbour in question was Nicholas Yung, refused to sell to Crocker and saw his house surrounded by a 3-sided wooden fence about 40 feet tall, blocking out sunlight and fresh air as well as any views out of the winows.
On the photograph below, the fence can be seen on the right half behind the big white mansion (click on the picture for a zoom-zoom). The fence became one of San Francisco's most popular sightseeing attractions an a symbol of capitalism.
Yung eventually sold his property to Crocker and the fence came finally down, but only a few years later the big earthquacke of 1906 shook the city's foundations and the fire that followed completely turned Crocker's palace into a pile of smoking rubble.

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    I am Cedric, discoverer of things that would go unnoticed in the streets of Paris, historic haven of fashionistas and city of lights ('lights' as in 'enlightenment', not street lights).
    But seriously: I'm an expat from Luxembourg (the country, not the garden), living in the center of Paris (hence 'Paris 2nd arrondissement'), and currenlty studying architectural history...

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