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Every House Has A Story To Tell.

21 Center Street, Estate of Famous Author, Martin Cruz Smith, is For Sale At 21 Center Street, built in 1890, there’s no counting the number of stories that have been told over the last 100 plus years. Or, the number of people that have sat on the front porch, walked through the lush gardens or dined in the sun-lit dining room with vintage sliding doors. Stories are part of this home’s soul. You can feel them at every turn.

So, it’s no surprise that for the last 10 plus years, a well-known author, Martin Cruz Smith, has found solace and inspiration here. Known for originals such as Gorky Park, Smith, alongside his wife Emily, have penned his two most recent novels, Tatiana and Girl from Venice at this historical estate set in the coveted Forbes neighborhood of San Rafael. Today, a separate guest cottage on the breathtaking grounds, serves as a tribute to the writer and his works.
The Smith’s say it best: “In fifty years of marriage, we’ve lived in six different homes but this is by far our favorite. This is where we planted a garden, got to know our wonderful neighbors, built a playhouse and watched our five grandchildren grow up. And this house is where two books were written & inspired, Tatiana and Girl from Venice. We hope that whoever chooses to live here has as happy a time as we have had.”

Iconic, timeless and built to impress, this resplendent four bedroom Victorian estate, artfully blends vintage charm and modern sensibility. Nostalgic by nature, the wraparound front porch suggests summer living, tranquility and endless conversation. With its soaring ceilings, crown moldings and sweeping staircase, the entryway is refined yet welcoming. Everywhere you look, albeit the etched windows, butlers pantries, window seats or pocket doors, you’ll uncover a piece of history. Yet, this classic home has undergone a modern makeover of sorts. The sunlit chef’s kitchen, chic flooring, new carpet, contemporary paint colors and carefully designed one bedroom guest cottage give a nod to today’s style and way of life.

“Believe it or not, my husband’s first book he read cover to cover was actually Gorky Park. He has been a long time fan of Smith’s work. The first few times we met about selling the Smith’s estate, I needed actually needed to temper his enthusiasm and request for a signed copy.” says, Kira Swaim, owner of Tam Realty. “Representing them is an honor. We sell a lot of homes here locally and are leaders in the market. Yet, 21 Center has a certain mystic, magic and soul that is rare and indescribable.”

Set on a double lot in the flats of San Rafael’s historic Forbes neighborhood, just a short walk to the West End, 21 Center is just waiting for someone to come in and tell it’s next story.


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