San Francisco Homes The History Behind them.

The City by the bay has a rich architectural history that has long transformed the landscape of the homes in San Francisco. Each individual new home design added along the years brought it's cultural background behind it. The mid 1800's kick started large scale home building in San Francisco, the rise of population from the gold rush and economy boosted demand for housing. During the following years San Francisco saw a variety of different homes, with each new architectural style feeding off the previous design. This rapid change of home styles left San Francisco with over twelve historical different property types. The victorian homes had different deigns: Italianate, Stick, Queen Anne, Gothic revival. Leaving the famous victorian style as the most sought after design for San Francisco historical homes.

Italianate style homes were originally built in the 1840's and 1850's. Italianate's were the first large scales homes to arrive in San Francisco. The Architectural design these homes had were very detailed, the highly influenced style came from recreated farmhouses and villas based off Italy. In California, the features for these homes included flat roofs, over sized eves, redwood tree, large bay windows, boxed structure and multiluded of colors. The Interior of the properties held a beautiful hardwood floor with tall ceilings extending throughout the home. The most important aspect to take away from the original Italianate's was the foundation for highly detailed exterior and interior designs. Examples of the originals still remain in the city today in areas that weren't hit badly from the 1906 earthquake
Soon after the the Italianate's emerged in San Francisco another homes designed began showing up. Sticks or Eastlake's as they were referred to held a similar look to the previous period Italianate's but held a twist. Sticks began being built during the 1870's and unlike other style homes these were built as row's of neighborhoods along each other. The Reason for the name Sticks was due to the fact that the material of the homes were a wood stick style. Eastlake's featured a two story with a dark decor, bay large bay windows, high detailed exteriors and wood crafted interiors. These style homes are still found in affluent parts of san francisco typically unaffected by the great quake. Areas like: Western Addition, the Mission, Pacific Heights, Eureka Valley and Noe Valley.
The Queen Annes. Originally this design for a home came England in the 1870's due to the work of Richard Norman Shaw, to his tribute to Queen Anne during her time period (1702-1714). This home encapsulated a blend of both medieval and classical design. Although the Queens reign was short lived, the style has become a prominent characteristic that embodies the San Francisco cultural. These homes first caught the United States by surprise in 1876 when the British government built two Queen Annes in the states. The desire for this style quickly escalated as developers stormed the United States building Queen Annes mostly in the New York, Boston, Chicago area where large lots were built to contain the demand. When word arrived in San Francisco about this new but yet similar homes were being built in the east coast, San Franciscan's had to find a remedy to cure the newly sparked demand for these beauties. In San Francisco, previous deigns weren't going to get abolished instead Queen Annes were mixed with the previous home designs. Queen Annes are over the top with colors, being feminine and flashy. In San Francisco Queen Annes are found mainly in: Ashbury Heights, Alamo Square, Cow Hollow and Pacific Heights.
While the rest of western world was fixated on being like ancient rome, San Francisco was looking forward not back. At the start of the 20th century a new design of home hit San Francisco. The term "Edwardian' came from king Edward VII. Edwardians weren't as flashy as the previous Queen Anne victorians but they still packed a punch with its peculiar design. These Edwardians have larger rooms, bay windows, grand living rooms and more of a relaxed exterior color. Edwardians became the prominent home in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. Leaving behind the extravagant Victorians, Edwardians still reflect similar attributes to victorians in the design of the home. Edwardians can be found in many parts of San Francisco where the city was revitalized after the quake. Areas like: SOMA (South of Market) , downtown and Mission neighborhoods.
Craftsman homes arrived in San Francisco in the early 20th century. Following the 1906 earthquake a good amount of homes burned down to the ground. Individuals desired something more and the Craftsman home arrived. The process of buying a craftsman was quite different that one would expect, instead on the property be build from scratch or hire developer to built it. The property would have tomb purchased from a sears catalog which included different color a size variations, the home was then sent in individual parts to be constructed. The name craftsman comes from the certain type of individual who would typically buy this home " a skilled craftsman". People loved the victorians but the craftsman gave people a sense of true pride being the builders of their own home. Craftsman were a whole new design to the home, being larger horizontally with a relaxed look it's no wonder Craftsman began appearing in like cities like Oakland, San Jose, Palo Alto and San Francisco. In San Francisco the Craftsman homes were built towards the lower westside of the side apart from the downtown area.
San Francisco architecture took a different route in the early 1930's. Spanish Colonial homes were paying homage to the Spanish missions throughout California. San Francisco was the right place to introduce this new style home. At this time there was a variety of home selections in San Francisco. Colonial Revival homes were known for their smooth exterior, red top roofs, large windows, carved doors, beach type colors and large ceilings, and balconies. Expensive and extravagant this home reflected great architectural style from Spanish colonies, Missions and Spain. When we think of San Francisco homes, victorians are the majority of the style homes that come to mind, although the Colonial homes had a strong impact with the rich in San Francisco. Spanish Colonies are found in the: Sea Cliff and Pacific Heights area leaving small portions of these homes to be found in the sunset district as well.
Art Deco, sometimes referred to as "Deco" first appeared in France, shortly before World War 1. It became a popular style in the bay area in the 1920's. The characteristics of Art Deco contained rectangular blocky forms that were often constructed in a geometric fashion. The materials used to build these homes often consisted of smooth faced stone, stucco, concrete and terra-cotta. The roofs often had flat foundations with spires, parapets, and tower like constructs. Chimneys were also often added for style. Windows were circular and square. The glass was often decorated and angled so that rooms could get a unique lighting. Doorways were often surrounded with pediments that varied based on who the designer was.
Streamline Moderne was a late type of Art Deco that emerged in the 1930's. It's new style included curving forms, long horizontal lines, spiral staircases, nautical elements as well as one story buildings. These houses are now in the 3-4 million dollar range in San Francisco. Coit Tower is a prime example of this style of agriculture. Although they are called Streamline Moderne, a new style home they resemble a similar look to the art deco the previous style of San Francisco home designs
Early Suburban Tract houses were came into play in the 1930's and 1940's. This style of architecture is extremely popular today and you will see it almost every time you enter San Francisco. Tract housing is when a large group of houses are built on a tract that is divided into small lots. Homes often appear to be duplicated on the outside. All homes are often built at the same time because they are built the same way. Tract Housing is often found in Northern American Suburbs and is modeled after the "Levittown Concept".
International Style architecture was first constructed in the 1920's and 1930's but was brought to light in San Francisco during the 1940's. The styling of these buildings were often rectangular forms. They were open spaced homes that did not have much decor. These homes were often constructed out of glass, steel and concrete but looked virtually weightless from the interior. A prime example of this architecture in San Francisco is, 1 Bush Street Plaza, also known as the Crown Zellerbach Building.
Midcentury Modern Style agriculture was extremely popular in the 1950's and 60's. The homes had a new and fresh style often incorporating with nature. These homes included flat planes, large windows, changes in elevation and integration with nature. They were originally designed by a generation of modern architects who fled the rise of Nazi Germany, including Walter Gropius and Marcel Breue. Today these properties can really amaze you with their looks. These homes are found in different areas in San Francisco, typically mountain neighborhoods but over they are located in many areas of SF.

Different style Homes.

Queen Annes.
Spanish Colonial.
Art Deco. By
Streamline Moderne. By
Tract home being built by Eichler.
International Style.
Midcentury Modern Style.


Created with images by tpsdave - "san francisco california city" • cliff1066™ - "Painted Ladies"

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