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Why We Love San Francisco Victorian Homes !

Why We Love San Francisco Victorian Homes

San Francisco is home to many architectural styles, but arguably the most popular is the Victorian house. This is a general term for houses built in the Victorian era, and there are in fact Victorian homes all over the world.

Victorian Architecture

Victorian architecture refers to styles that came out during the reign of Queen Victoria, a period between 1830 and 1910. It is interesting to note that although we talk about “Victorians” as if it is one style, there are actually several styles that fall under the Victorian label, some of the most popular being Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Volk Victorian, Shingle, Stick, Richardsonian Romanesque, East Lake and Octagon. You can learn more about each individual Victorian style by visiting the pin below.

Victorian Elements

If Victorian homes are actually multiple styles, how are they united and recognized as Victorian? While each style has its own variation, there are several key elements that group them together. This includes:

  • Large, imposing homes of two or three stories.
  • One story porches, often wraparound.
  • Steep, multi-faceted roofs.
  • Decorative trim often called “gingerbread.”
  • Vibrant colors.
  • Complicated and asymmetrical shape.

You can learn more about the Victorian architectural style including key elements and famous examples in the pin below.

Victorian Preservation

With a 105-185 year history, many Victorian homes have not survived over the years, but there are still many beautiful Victorians standing in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as all over the country and all over the world. They exist thanks to homeowners who have preserved and restored them over time. Helping the cause are several Victorian preservation societies, like the national Victorian Society in America, headquartered in Philadelphia.

San Francisco even has its own non-profit Victorian preservation society called the Victorian Alliance of San Francisco. The Alliance offers grants for restoring and preserving historical buildings as well as occasional house tours so residents and tourists can see inside the area’s beautiful Victorian homes.

San Francisco Victorians – The Painted Ladies

The most famous Victorian houses in San Francisco are the “Painted Ladies” – a row of colorful Victorians located at 710-720 Steiner St. They are also known as the Alamo Square Postcard Row, referring to the fact that this is a highly photographed area and a popular tourist attraction where photographers can get a picture of the famous houses with the city skyline in the background. You can learn more about the history of the Painted Ladies in the pin below.

And if you want an even closer look, check out this pin that takes you inside one of the famous Painted Lady Victorian homes.

San Francisco Victorians – Tourism & Media

If you travel to San Francisco then you can get an up close view of San Francisco’s Victorian houses via the San Francisco Home Walk – a historical walking tour where you can learn the history of San Francisco through its architecture.

But even if you haven’t visited San Francisco, you’ve likely encountered the city’s famous Victorians. The Painted Ladies have appeared in an estimated 70 movies and television shows, including the opening credits of Full House, Mrs. Doubtfire, Party of Five, and Pacific Heights.

MB Jessee San Francisco Victorian Painting

MB Jessee has been honored to work on several Victorian houses in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the project shown below. You’ll notice many of the classic Victorian elements – a large multiple story house with a one story porch, beautiful colors, and intricate detailing.

A closer picture gives you a better look at the ‘gingerbread’ patterns and details.

Victorian homes have inspired and amazed us for over a century. With proper preservation and restoration, they will continue to delight viewers for centuries to come.

MB Jessee offers interior and exterior painting for San Francisco Bay Area Victorian homes, including custom colors, wood stains, and decorative finishes. Call us to discuss your next painting project at (510) 655-7000, or get more information here.

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“MB Jessee just finished our exterior and we couldn't be happier with our experience. The foreman (Pedro) and lead painter (Ricardo) were incredible to work with: they communicated scheduling clearly, Ricardo was a joy to be around every day, the showed up early every day, were incredibly tidy and did great paint work. The final walk through experience was incredible. Pedro pointed out items I missed demonstrating a clear desire to complete another quality project. I highly recommend them. As others have noted they definitely aren't the cheapest but you quickly realize that you're getting what you pay for. The 3 year guarantee is also a nice touch since there are likely touch up items that will show up after the job is done.”

— Joshua Jansen

“Just had MB Jessee paint the interior of our house and they did a wonderful job. They tackled some crazy wallpaper as well as painted some very high ceilings and walls. The whole process was quick and they did a great job! We are very pleased. I was also very impressed by the crew. They were very personable, kind and actually took pride in the work they were doing. In one of our conversations with the lead Ricardo, he actually told me he was very proud of how the rooms had turned out. I agree sir! It turned out great and it's not often you hear someone thinking of your home like they would theirs, and putting that level of work and quality into it. That made a huge difference in how I viewed this company. Ricardo, you were fantastic and thank you for the great job, we will be using you again.”

— Jeff M.
Danville, CA

“We just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with the work of MB Jessee Painting and your employees. Everything turned out beautiful. Our foreman was great! He was punctual, professional, neat and very accommodating ... and went the extra mile. We will definitely recommend you to our friends and family.”

— Michelle & Rivers Gee

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— Kathleen A
San Francisco

“Matt, We are very happy with how all of the painting worked out. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the work in the bathroom. I liked working with Victor, he and Marvin were extremely conscientious about doing a great job, not just the minimum. I know the front door took a lot longer than you'd expected. But they did it PERFECTLY. We never thought it could turn out like that! Thanks again for the great work. We'll be calling you again in the future!”

— Craig
Alameda, CA

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— Heidi B
Walnut Creek

“It was a great experience working with MB Jessee. The crew was careful and thorough as they painted the house, sealed stucco cracks, repaired dry-rotted wood, stained the deck, etc. Robert, Gersson, Jose, and all of the people involved in the process from the estimate to the job completion were friendly and professional.”

— Mike C.
Livermore, CA

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— Nora Robinson

“I loved working with M.B. Jessee from start to finish on a relatively small paint job that grew a bit. I felt in very good hands from the moment Matt Jessee came out to give me the estimate and talk about my job. He was very easy to talk to and he handled my changes very well. Then the actual work done by Rigoberto and Mario was impeccable. They were neat and meticulous and the paint job looks beautiful. I could not have asked for more and when I did, they accommodated me 100%. I will not hesitate to call M.B. Jessee again and to refer them to friends.”

— Nancy Kurkjian

“I love the article in the paper on your company. Thank you for supporting our community by painting at the Claremont Middle School. Thanks!”

— Carla Banks

“I want to express my thanks for a job well done. The rooms look great and there is no problem with any marks on the all the trim, floor, carpet, etc. The paint job is lovely. I also want to express my thanks for the level of professionalism the foreman showed in running the job. He was very attentive to any changes I needed to make, was extremely careful in getting the faux paint color and effect correct. Thanks so much for a job well done.”

— Suzan D’Arcy

“My entire experience with MB Jesse was very professional. The crew were very friendly and super accommodating of my ridiculous schedule and geriatric pets in the house. The finished product, which was pretty much my entire house, far exceeds my expectations. Would definitely work with them again!”

— Heather Jordan