Victorious Vinctorians San Francisco’s Obsession

There is something magnificent about living in San Francisco and part of that is to be able to be constantly inspired by   Victorian Architecture.

This past 4th of July, Simon and I went for a bike ride around the city and confirmed the beauty of San Francisco’s architecture by spending some time laying on the grass in front of The Conservatory of Flowers. There I took a picture that I still can’t take out of my head. The magnificent structure standing in front of the beautiful flowers in full bloom. I needed to find more about such amazing building and after doing some research, I found that The Conservatory of Flowers has been alive for more than a century and it was built during the Victorian era.  It is also the oldest wood and glass conservatory in North America.

Conservatory in late 19th century and an Instagram image I took on July 4th 2012

This is not the only landmark public Victorian building in San Francisco. The Ferry Building also stands strong to this day winnig the hearts of millions o people that live and visit the city by the bay. Opening in 1898 on the site of the 1875 wooden Ferry House, it became “the transportation focal point for anyone arriving by train from the East, as well as from all the East Bay and Marin residents who worked in the city.  From the Gold Rush until the 1930s, arrival by ferryboat became the only way travelers and commuters—except those coming from the Peninsula—could reach the city.”

Ferry Building (exterior and interior) in the late 19th Century

And let me tell you, riding your bicycle on Market Street while you approach this building can be quite the nirvana experience. Seeing such a magnificent structure standing there right at the end as a milestone for your ride is for sure one of my favorite things about this city.

2012 view of Ferry Building. Exterior and Interior

And now, lets take a short ride along the city to see some truly stunning Victorian houses.

Biking on Washington Street (Pacific Heights), you could find this redish beauty

Between the Western Addition and NoPa, you will find these houses with semi-round cupules ~Photograph by Cyndi Lu Who

And of course once you reach Alamo Square, you will find the world famous Painted Ladies. Here their true beauty and in watercolor by SF based artist Ronald Pratt.

Heading up on Hayes Street, you will be in awe after finding this rhone painted queen

And on your way to Haight-Ashbury on Lyon Street you might be able to witness another row of painted ladies … this ones are a little more humble and less famous yet equally beautiful. ~iPhone Photograph by Simon Jones

Now you are on the Upper Haight and what a beautiful way to reach the top than by witnessing such wonderful and colorful corner house

Upper detail of a house in Cole Valley … perfect time to stop and grab a root beer float at The Ice Cream Bar.

Heading down on Haight Street you will find this row of colorful houses right on front of Buena Vista Park

And some of you know this house … yes the McAllister house by James Francis Dunn. A beautiful mystery towards Fillmore Street

To see more about this house, visit my September 2010 archives.

Entrance to the enchanted house …

Now time to observe the details … look at the brackets and the curved hood mold

The intricate railing, window molding and the cresting ~Photography by Kimberly Kradel

And the fun spider gate with gorgeous arched entrance. ~Photograph by Kimberly Kradel

Stay tuned for next post which will focus on Victorian interiors …

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