"The Painted Ladies" Art - Architecture Tip by Goner

Art - Architecture, San Francisco: 42 reviews and 98 photos

  Painted Ladies
by Goner

These Victorian beauties were made of redwood cut from the nearby forests during the ?Gold Rush? days until about 1915. In this period of nearly 65 years, 48,000 of them were built usually three or four floors high, 25 feet wide, and packed next to each other on the hillsides like sardines. It may take two floors of staircase to reach the front door. They are decorated with all sorts of colors, carvings and woodwork. Some of these homes were actually prefabricated and sent for in the mail. Most of these ?Painted Ladies? made it through the big earthquake of 1906. After the WWII some of them were painted battleship gray and soon were covered over in plaster and aluminum siding. It was the hippies of the Sixties that rediscovered these treasures and by the mid ?70's they became the ?Painted Ladies? and were appreciated once again.

There are three basic ?Victorian? styles in San Francisco: Italianate, Stick or Stick/Eastlake, and Queen Anne. Italianate architecture uses forms and adornment derived from 15th and 16th century Italian palace architecture. The Queen Anne is distinguishable by its steep gabled roof, a rounded turret corner tower, and a front porch usually inside the main structural frame. The many colors used by some where simply to highlight the different parts of the house. Some are painted with as many as 11 different colors. Each is considered a work of art.

Address: Throughout the City
Directions: on Union Street

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 17, 2004
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