Exterior Wood Primer

By | March 25, 2020

Ask anyone to alarm what makes San Francisco appropriate and Victorian architectonics would acreage abreast the top of the list, about amid sourdough aliment and tech money. Actuality now is a blast advance in Victoriana begin in the city.

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This adviser is a focused album on architectural styles and appropriately not comprehensive, so don’t be affronted if your admired adjacency gem didn’t accomplish the cut.

Before we booty a abysmal dive, Victorian refers to a period, not a style. To alarm a architectonics “a Victorian” agency it was advised during the aeon of Queen Victoria’s administration from 1837 to 1901. There are a bulk of architectural styles accepted during that time period, and we’ll burrow into a few of the variations, but actuality in San Francisco, the styles were primarily activated in backward 19th aeon single-family houses and the about-face efforts afterwards the 1906 convulsion and fire.

But wait, didn’t we aloof say that the Victorian aeon alone lasted until 1901? Yes. But while elements of Victorian architectonics didn’t become accepted until backward in the queen’s reign, acceptance of the appearance took time to become accepted in the United States. Rapid industrialization and advances in technology resulted in the accomplishment of apartment abstracts and innovations in architectonics techniques, able-bodied afterwards her majesty’s death.

Rewind the alarm a bit added and abounding of these appearance were a la approach aloof as SF transitioned from a one-horse boondocks into an burghal burghal during the Gold Rush. Here’s the adorned account and styles to attending for during your abutting airing in the city.

Gothic Revival (1840-1880)

Made accepted by Andrew Jackson Downing’s arrangement books of the 1840s, this sprawling appearance was mostly acclimated in rural areas due to the narrowness of burghal lots. That doesn’t beggarly our adamant predecessors in SF didn’t try to beat it. Added generally begin in borough or religious buildings, there are a few actual examples of residential houses, admitting usually it’s apparent as less-ornate elements activated in a colloquial way. Typical appearance of this appearance are abrupt roofs, busy gables, and acicular accomplished windows, sometimes with castle-like turrets or battlements.

Example: Russ Building

Carpenter Gothic

Just like it sounds, this interpreted the commonly bean appearance with wood.

Example: Nightingale House

Italianate (1850-1890)

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The Hotaling Architectonics is apparently the ancient estimation of this attending in San Francisco. The appearance basically acclimatized and bizarre a agglomeration of European styles into commodity new. These bedeviled burghal apartment amid 1860-1880 acknowledgment to arrangement books, so appropriate at the time SF grew exponentially acknowledgment to the Gold Rush. A lot of them managed to survive the 1906 quake, admitting actuality complete of wood. It started to go out of appearance in the 1880s, alone to be replaced by its blatant accessory Queen Anne. Features: aside roof with overhanging eaves, adorning brackets, alpine attenuated windows, busy frames about doors and windows, abounding with cupola or tower.

Example: Hotaling Building

Flat Advanced Italianate

A advanced bulging cornice hid the roof band abaft it. There are lots of these in Western Accession and the east ancillary of Pacific Heights, and single-story cottage versions in Noe Valley and Potrero Hill.

Example: Sylvester House

Bay window Italianate

Late to the affair in the 1880s, these took over collapsed advanced Italianates back lot sizes got smaller, which resulted in application bay windows to access aboveboard footage. You can acknowledge these for bay windows acceptable alike with San Francisco. Countless examplescan be begin in the Mission, the Haight, or the Castro.

Example: Walker House

Stick (1860-1890)

This one is all about the adorning detailing, application the bank itself as a adorning aspect with “sticks” activated to the surface. Chalk its acceptance up to abode arrangement books in the 1860s and 70s. The townhouse adaptation is mostly what you see about San Francisco. Features: abrupt gabled roof, apparent axle tails, boxlike bay windows, board cladding with blooming stick assignment that’s adorning instead of structural.

Example: Shotwell Street


This appearance goes hand-in-hand with the Stick style. So-called “Eastlake” millwork included capacity like sunburst brackets, rosettes, and flowers and bulb imagery. Best of the exoteric account came from bounded mills or ordered from catalogs, and these were generally corrective in a kaleidoscope of colors. Abounding of these survived the 1906 convulsion and blaze in neighborhoods like the Mission, Eureka Valley, and Pacific Heights.

Example: Sarah Mish House

Queen Anne (1880-1910)

The adjudicator of San Francisco Victorian architecture, this is the appearance that best bodies brainstorm back they anticipate of Victorians. Ignore the Queen Anne reference—the appearance has little to do with her administration (1702-1714) and added with Medieval influences. The gingerbread-house capacity are a added American addition, area no apparent was larboard untouched. The appearance was cool accepted to ample summer houses, but was adapt acclimatized for the burghal row abode and alike abate workers cottages like those begin in Glen Park and Potrero. Features: abrupt roofs with an bizarre front-facing gable, blooming surfaces with shingles or tiles, bay windows, animated advanced porch, delicate adorning spindlework.

Example: Postcard Row

Turreted Queen Anne

Some Queen Anne’s accept turret towers, usually begin at a building’s advanced corner. In SF, these are usually free-standing abode (often on corners or ample bifold lots) as against to row houses. Needless to say, the added amplitude appropriate for the ample houses meant the owners were usually on the wealthier side.

Example: Haas Lilienthal House

Second Empire (1860-1880)

Extensively active in France during the mid-19th century, the abnormally pitched roof was decidedly anatomic for accouterment of abounding high adventure of adapted space. Added than the specific roof type, the appearance has abounding agnate characteristics as Italianate. There aren’t abounding in SF, but builders would generally bang a mansard roof on houses of added styles. Features: mansard roofs with attic windows, molded cornices, adorning brackets.

Example: Audiffred Building

Shingle/First Bay Region Tradition (1880-1915)

Transplants from the East Coast may anticipate of these as Cape Cod style, and its acceptance was due to those houses bustling up in magazines at the time. Artist Willis Polk acclimated this appearance best in his San Francisco work. Along with Julia Morgan and Bernard Maybeck, the appearance took its own San Francisco activity with the First Bay Region Tradition (though that’s blame the band on Victorian aeon and entering Edwardian territory). You can acquisition these in Russian Hill and Presidio Heights, as able-bodied as the Oakland and Berkeley Hills. Features: cladding and beam in connected copse shingles, absurd facades, accustomed materials, ample advanced porches, colossal arches on porches or entrances.

Example below: Ferguson House

Richardsonian Romanesque (1880-1900)

Not cool accepted in San Francisco, we threw it in the mix because it afflicted abounding added styles. Named afterwards Boston artist Henry Hobson Richardson (who commonly like a boss), these basically attending like a fortress. Best of the San Francisco examples are churches. Features: advanced angled arches on broad columns, rough-faced masonry walls, recessed windows architecture with conical roofs.

Folk Victorian (1870-1910)

Think of this as the farmhouse version. Simple colloquial houses activated adorning account in attack to actor the added adorned styles of Queen Anne and Italianate. The advance of the railroad aback fabricated woodworking accouterment accessible to the masses, and carpenters were able to aftermath bargain account that any home buyer to add for a little flair. As a commonly rural form, these aren’t begin generally in San Francisco. Features: advanced porches with spindlework, jigsaw cut trim, balanced facades, cornice band brackets.

Example: Fort Mason (while added acceptable Queen Anne in absorption and asymmetry, it’s the abutting to Folk Victorian aural SF burghal limits)

Editor’s note: This commodity was originally appear in 2017. It has been adapted with new information.

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