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The Charm of the Painted Ladies: A San Francisco Landmark

Nov 12, 2023 | General News

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Ahh, San Francisco: the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and an equally captivating San Francisco landmark: The Painted Ladies!

The Painted Ladies of Steiner Street is a row of Victorian houses in the Alamo Square neighborhood built between 1892 and 1896 by developer Matthew Kavanaugh, who lived next door to the row of Steiner Victorian houses till his death in 1896. This particular row of houses (710-720 Steiner St.) is set against the modern San Francisco skyline backdrop, making this an emblem of style. 

This San Francisco landmark is often featured in the media. One of the most famous appearances is on the opening credits of the television series “Full House.” Then, later on, its sequel, “Fuller House.”

These houses have withstood the test of time, surviving the 1906 earthquake, which included fires that ravaged much of the city. Their distinctive architectural style, Victorian and Edwardian, and multi-colored exteriors make this San Francisco landmark stand out.

A foremost tourist attraction, the Painted Ladies are among the most photographed San Francisco landmarks. It’s a journey through San Francisco’s history. As with all individual houses, each house tells its own story, reflected in its unique color palette and architectural details.

The colors of the Painted Ladies weren’t always as bright as they are currently. During World War II and the years beyond, the houses were gray or white as there was a shortage of other paint colors. The bright colors didn’t begin to grace the Victorian architectural structures until the 1960s and 1970s.

The San Francisco real estate market benefits from the Painted Ladies as they can fetch multi-millions when sold. The reason is because of their historical significance, their architectural beauty, and, of course, their location.

Efforts to preserve these historical marvels are ongoing, ensuring their existence continues to charm visitors and grace San Francisco.

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