Scenic USA - California

Painted Ladies

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Painted Ladies - San Francisco, California

Photo by Brad Troy
Brad Troy Photography

   Scolded by the press as loud and uncouth decades ago, this row of Victorian homes on Steiner Street is now among the most famous painted ladies (homes) in America. Although other cities, such as Cape Charles and Lafayette Square in St. Louis, describe their brightly colored Victorians as Painted Ladies, San Francisco's Postcard Row has garnered the most attention. Featured in movies, TV advertisements and seen kicking off the television series Full House for eight years, the Painted Ladies are just a small sampling of over 48,000 Victorian and Edwardian homes in the San Francisco area.
   Built between 1892 and 1896, this group of colorful Victorians was developed by Matthew Kavanaugh. A large percentage of San Francisco's old Victorian homes have either been razed, stripped of their gingerbread features, stuccoed or covered with siding, making this row all the more exceptional.
   Why has this group of Painted Ladies gained so much attention? Instead of being tucked into a narrow street, this colorful row of homes is directly across the street from Alamo Square Park. Bathed in plenty of sunshine, wide angle views open various opportunities for photography. Often called the Alamo Square Neighborhood, more significant homes and Golden Gate views add to the area's allure.

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