If you’re going to San Francisco, there are some spots you just can’t leave for later or miss. One of them are houses called „Painted Ladies“. You can see them at almost every postcard from San Francisco, but did you know that there were almost 50 000 „ladies“ in this town? Let us have a look.
WHAT DOES THE TERM „PAINTED LADIES“ MEAN?
The term „Painted Ladies“ is term used for houses in Edwardian or Victorian style painted in more than three colors. These usually bright colors are highlighting architectural details, so houses look cozy and pleasantly. These houses are not very big and mostly, they’re made of wood. Around 50 000 „Painted Ladies“ were built San Francisco between 1849 – 1915, but unfortunately, many of these houses were destroyed by the earthquake in 1906. There are still many, which survived and one of those are Painted Ladies next to the Alamo square – the symbol of this architectural style and the symbol of city, as well. During the World War I and World War II, many of these houses were painted in battleship grey color and around 16 000 houses were demolished.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VICTORIAN AND EDWARDIAN STYLE
Victorian style was renamed to Edwardian in 1901 occurring on the death of the Queen Victoria.
Victorian style 1830-1901 The early Victorian style is characteristic for more details and decorations. Industrial revolution have brought new materials and Victorian style has transformed to late Victorian style. Using new materials, houses became more simple. The most characteristic symbol for houses in Victorian style is steep pitch of the roof.
Edwardian style 1901-1910 Front gates of these houses are wider, so there’s more room for a hall. Houses are bigger than those in Victorian style. The main idea for furnishing interiors was to make it simple, light and more airy, so colors were even more lighter.
The red house on the picture is well known from TV series „Charmed“ popular between years 1998 – 2006. The house is actually located in Los Angeles, but whole series takes place in San Francisco. They picked this house because it looks like typical Painted Ladies of San Francisco, even tough it is in LA.
PAINTED LADIES NEXT TO THE ALAMO SQ. PARK
If you don’t know how to get there, ask your receptionist or have a look on every single touristic map, Painted Ladies are highlighted almost everywhere, even on Google Maps. Row of these houses is located right next to the Alamo Square Park on Steiner Street and is also known as „Postcard row“, what fits perfectly. These houses were built between years 1892 – 1869 by developer Mathew Kavanaugh, and appeared in many TV shows and movies and commercials. Around Alamo park, there are more houses in this architectural style, but those on Steiner street are famous right because of the city view behind them. San Francisco is located on many hills, so when you step up on the hill, you will see beautiful sceneries and rooftops. Do not stand right next to these ladies, go to the park, which is on the hill and see Painted Ladies and Transamerica Pyramid in one picture.
Alamo Square park is perfect place from where you can enjoy spectacular views over the ladies and the city. Take a blanket and your friends and have awesome day picnicking on the hills of this park. Park is a perfect place for recreation, resting and enjoying sunshine. Talking about sunshine, visit this place in the afternoon. Since the morning till the noon, San Francisco is usually under heavy fog. I explained this phenomenon in my article about San Francisco, here: If You Are Going To San Francisco…Bring Some Weed And Love.
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