What Are San Francisco's Most Popular Houses? - They're Probably the "Painted Ladies"

What Are San Francisco's Most Popular Houses? - Its Probably the Painted LadiesSan Francisco is one of America's most notable cities. There are several spots in San Francisco that people recognize who have never been here. Like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. These are spots that are world-recognized landmarks like Big Ben in London or the Pyramids of Egypt. 

Another popular spot not maybe as recognizable but still pretty famous is the row of Painted Lady Houses on Steiner Street across from Alamo Square Park in the Alamo Square neighborhood.

What is a Painted Lady?

in America when referring to housing, a painted lady is a Victorian or an Edwardian-style home that was repainted with a special strategy that began in the 1960s. This paint strategy uses three or more colors to embellish and enhance the ornate details of the home's exterior design. 

The iconic Painted Ladies of San Francisco were the first to be named as painted ladies. in a book entitled "Painted Ladies: San Francisco's Resplendent Victorians, " written in 1978. Today many Victorian homes are also referred to as painted ladies all around the country.

History of the Painted Ladies

There were an estimated 48,000 Victorian homes built in the city between 1849 and 1915. The homes featured bright colors early on. A local paper even commented on the interesting colors used on the homes. A large number of homes were destroyed on Nob Hill during the 1906 earthquake. The homes that survived were the modest and mass-produced homes in the west and south parts of the city. 

During both World Wars, these homes were all painted a neutral battleship gray with surplus paint from the Navy. Several more homes were not too much later demolished and a large number of the ones remaining were stripped of their ornate decorative detailing.  

In 1963 one of the homeowners painted his home in bright blues and greens, Butch Kardum. This was met with a lot of criticism but slowly other neighbors began to take inspiration from the home and paint their homes in colorful schemes. Kardum became a designer for exterior painting and soon many more designers adapted the painted lady design. Soon hundreds of homes became painted ladies. The most popular and recognized will always be the row of homes on Steiner Street. 

How Famous are the Steiner Street Painted Ladies?

Sometimes referred to as Postcard Row or the Seven Sisters these homes are the most recognizable in the city. These homes are a tourist attraction, you can purchase a ticket for a hotspot tour that includes the homes. They are used to make puzzles you see in the airport. They have appeared in somewhere around 70 movies. They are even featured on one of those Starbucks souvenir mugs. But some may say the most recognizable use of the homes is in the opening song of an extremely popular TV sitcom show called Full House. 

What is it Like to Live in One of America's Most Famous Houses?

Some think it would be an ultimate dream to live in the Seven Sisters across from Alamo. Some think it would be a nightmare always having your home on display and taken photos of by strangers. But one man who talked with a local newspaper not long ago describes it as a way to meet people and pay it forward. After a pivotal pay-it-forward moment of kindness he received he uses his famous home as a way to meet people and encourage them to pay kindness forward as well after allowing them to tour his home. 

What if You Want to Buy a Painted Lady?

The chance to purchase one of these homes does not come around often, and when it does, it is pretty competitive and for a hefty price tag. There are of course more painted ladies than just the seven, they may not be quite so coveted and competitive but are still highly desirable. 

San Francisco's painted ladies are perhaps the most recognized of homes, but there are several popular desirable locations to live all over the city. If you would like to learn more about available San Francisco real estate contact me any time. I am here to help you find a home in San Francisco you love. 

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