San Francisco condominium with a plaque that falsely claims Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived there for sale for £2.6m; it was actually home to a whackjob doctor who believed he could cure any disease
Offered last for £1.779 million ($2.495 million, €2.010 million or درهم9.163 million) in 2012, 2151 Sacramento Street in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights has just been brought to the market by the well-known and often eccentrically dressed realtor Joel Goodrich for £2.637 million ($3.698 million, €2.979 million or درهم13.581 million).
Adorned with a plaque that reads: “This house, built in 1881, was once occupied by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,” the apartment offered is one of four within a Beaux-Arts building that replaced the original structure in the 1920s. It extends to 2,528 square foot and includes 2 reception rooms, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 parking spaces and a south facing roof deck.
Just as in Britain with Elizabeth I – a woman who, it seems, slept in virtually every bed in the land – the truth about Conan Doyle’s association is much more mundane. The author and creator of Sherlock Holmes did visit the then owner of the property, one Dr Albert Abrams, whilst on a short visit to San Francisco in 1923 but actually only for a few hours.
Conan Doyle is noted for having supported Abrams, a controversial professor of pathology at Stanford University and the inventor of a whackjob device named a dynamizer, when others turned there backs on him. His claim to fame was that his contraption could analyse a single drop of blood and then transmit a cure back by radio waves. As with many others of that time, this hocus-pocus was eventually discounted as utterly outrageous and Abrams was in turn branded: “The dean of twentieth century charlatans.”
Follow The Steeple Times on Twitter at @SteepleTimes.