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Who visiting San Francisco has never gone to Alamo Square to see the “colorful houses”?! The Painted Ladies are a true icon of the city, the most famous postcard (indeed they are also called “Postcard Row“), the must be taken photo also because from the Alamo Square park you have the perfect shot of the colorful houses and a wonderful view of the whole city and its skyline with the iconic Transamerica Pyramid.
If you love Victorian houses and you dream of moving to the West Coast (I’m coming with you!), note that one of the Painted Ladies is up on sale!
The address is 714 Steiner St, it’s the third Painted Ladies from the right, the one decorated in brown shades. 157sqm for 2.7 million dollars (about 2.460 million euros) but do not imagine perfect interiors, in fact the house has to be totally renovate!
Certainly it’s full of charm: high ceilings, carved woods, stained-glass windows, but there is so much to redo. I cannot imagine how much it will cost buy the house plus the renovation!
About 48,000 Victorian-style houses were built in San Francisco between 1849 and 1915. They are generically called “Painted Ladies”, they were painted in bright colors with bow windows, stairs and porches. In 1906 San Francisco was destroyed by a terrible earthquake, 8.3 magnitude, and many of these houses didn’t survive. During World War I and World War II many houses were painted in gray because they used the battleship Navy paint, easier to find, many others had covered and stripped off the structural characteristics of the Victorian style.
Only in the 1960s the color returned, initially they were criticized. The “colorist movement” promoted and celebrated colors, that changed the appearance of streets and neighborhoods. The most famous Painted Ladies are for sure those of Alamo Square which were built between 1892 and 1896.
If you are in San Francisco and want to see more Painted Ladies do not miss Haight-Ashbury, the Summer of Love neighborhood where the Hippie movement started in the 60s.
Even for those who have the money, there are some pros and cons that are certainly worth considering.
Pros: you would live in a monument of historical value. In a country like the United States where they seek history, these houses certainly have a special charm.
Cons: the restructuring will certainly (and properly) have many restrictions and zero privacy. Impossible to keep curtains open or live the outdoor space without ending up in thousands of photographs every day taken everyday by tourists from all over the world. It has been estimated that they appeared in at least 70 films! It would be a lot of fun to hear some stories from the local residents!
Update: before I could publish this post, the Painted Lady of Alamo Square was sold for $ 3,550,000. It has been on the market for less than 10 days.
The house is for sale through the real estate agency Coldwell Banker.