The Fredrick G and Frank “Queen” Thomas House – 1885

3956-58 1926 Facade

Built in 1885 as a plainly designed single family home on the south side of Eureka Valley by Welch immigrant printer Fredrick Gould and wife Frank “Queen” Thomas. Fredrick died on July 27, 1900, at age 57. Two years after his death, Frank “Queen” Thomas designed and built the adjacent Frank “Queen” Thomas Cottage at 3952 Nineteenth Street.

Subsequently, the facade of 3956 as seen today was added by installing the curved bay window on the first floor and cantilevering the front of the second floor over the bay window and entry by two feet, plus constructing a new parapet when none had previously existed. Portions of the original plain facade still exist within the attic and under the front pilasters.

In 1921, Frank “Queen” Thomas subdivided the parcel by selling the house at 3956 and the cottage at 3952 to separate parties. Thomas G. O’Sullivan, a San Francisco Fireman, purchased the house and began a series of numerous changes to the structure while in the prime of his life:

1922 – Added three rooms to the rear of the building
1922 – Converted the home to a two family dwelling (added 3958) and added another room at the rear.
1923 – Constructed a 22 foot tall retaining wall at the rear of the lot
1928 – Raised the building three feet, cut under the bay window in front to accommodate a new garage and dropped the ceilings from 11 feet to 9 feet.
1933 – Enlarged rear of building on two floors.

O’Sullivan was fabled for owning a cement mixer and known throughout the neighborhood as the “old man who was always making concrete.” He was also fabled to have had a wine making operation during the years of prohibition. A cement mixer was
unearthed in the rear yard during excavations done for retaining wall repairs in 2005.