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The Belden House was designed by architect Walter J. Mathews and was built by treasurer of W. W. Montague & Company, Charles A. Belden. The building itself was designed in the Queen Anne style, with a strong, asymmetrical facade accompanied by overhanging eaves. The house has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a testament to the popular architectural trends of San Francisco in the late Victorian era.

  • National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco, California. C. A. Belden House, 2004-2010 Gough St, San Francisco, California, USA. Photographed 2008-03-09 by Mike Hofmann from steps at southeast corner of Lafayette Park.
Walter J. Mathews, architect of 2004 Gough, was a long-practising and prolific Bay Area architect. Born in Wisconsin in 1850, he worked in Los Angeles until 1877 when he went into partnership with his father, Julius Mathews of San Francisco. In 1886 he established his own architectural practice. In 1914, when he was 64 years old, a local publication noted that he was the oldest practicing architect in the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The article stated that if all the structures Mathews designed or was associated with were placed in a row, they would extend four miles. Structures he is noted for include: First Unitarian Church, Oakland Union Savings Banka Oakland Orpheum Theater, Oakland Immigration Station, Angel Island, San Francisco Redondo Beach Hotel, Redondo, CA

The prominence of this residence is emboldened by the succession of important San Francisco families that have lived here. Originally built in 1889 by Charles A. Belden, the treasurer of W.W. Montague & Company, for him an his family to live in. The Belden family left the house in 1900, and an unknown family moved in until 1907. During this tenure, in 1906, the great quake struck San Francisco, although Belden house was able to withstand the quake and subsequent fires. The house was purchased by National Ice and Cold Storage Company vice-president John A. Buck in 1907. Buck also purchased the neighbouring property and used it for parking and storage. By 1923 Buck had died, and his widow lived in the house for another 10 years. After this the property stayed in the Buck family but became a home for old ladies. In 1961 the house was passed to the Hudec Trust until it was purchased by John F. Stevenson and his family in 1967. By 1982 the residence had swapped hands again, and owners Louis R. Peters and John A. Newmeyer began restoring the exterior and interior of the residence. 

The C. A. Belden House at 2004 Gough is a typical Queen Anne style residence, offering a mix of textures, forms, and materials that were popular in the late 19th Century. The three story building boasts a steep gable roof, as well as two accompanying turrets with conical roofs, beneath which sits a beautifully carved surface. Looking out from the third floor are a pair of matching windows and hand carved sunburst designs. The second floor and surrounding turrets are covered in fish scale shingles, with the rest of the building displaying horizontal wooden siding. The south-facing entrance lies beneath a one-story porch topped with a turned wooden balustrade. 

The property has been repaired and remodelled over the years that it has changed hands, so the exterior has been slightly modified with respect to the original. That being said, both the exterior and the interior of the building retain their original architectural integrity, showing off the style of the day. The house opens into a central entrance hall with doorways to the principal rooms of the building as opposed to the more typical longer hallway, distinguishing this house as an example of the more grand Queen Anne style. The rooms are lined with darkly stained oak panelling, and decorative painted ceilings. The centrepiece is a fireplace surrounded by Numidian marble and adorned with wooden carvings and spindles.
National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination Form. National Park Service. July 03, 1983. Accessed March 19, 2017.