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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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“Awesome work by highly experienced, professional painters. They were: Conscious about the amount of time it would take. Ours had a lot of pre-work and took 3 weeks. Accommodating when we added a few last-minute changes Understanding when a heatwave hit and we remove some of the plastic sheeting over windows, which they had to put back up the next day. Accessible, especially the on-site crew (Hi Jose & Victor!) -- always answering questions and checking in. The end result is a perfect paint job that makes our 94-year-old house look brand new. I would definitely hire MBJ again”

— Stacey R.
Oakland, CA

“Our paint crew did a great job and the foreman, Gersson was exceptionally great to work with. He was always available to answer questions, good at problem-solving, very patient, kind, and highly professional with great customer service. We definitely recommend this company, and Gersson and his crew.”

— Andrea Y.
Berkeley, CA

“In all the years I've worked with MB Jessee, I'm always so impressed by your crews. They are so respectful of everything--you never even know they're there! Except that the paint looks amazing when they're gone. We've had one showing of our home and already have an offer. I'm sure it is because the paint looks so beautiful.”

— Erin T.
Pleasant Hill

“Very easy to work with, they did an outstanding job with our project of re-painting our painting our kitchen cabinets. Given the scope of the job and that our kitchen is roughly half of our upstairs living area they did a fantastic job of minimizing the mess. Workmanship was top notch, would definitely recommend.”

— Vince Scola

“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

“Richard and crew have been great, for sure. As much as I look forward to having the job done and my house back in order, I really enjoyed having them around. You should feel really good about how they represent your company.”

— Jessica Dodson

“In September, MBJessee finished painting two sides of our 3-story condominium building (six owners). We were impressed by the professionalism of the company and every one of its workers, Matt Jessee couldn't have been more helpful in planning the project. His painters were well-trained, easy to communicate with and eager to please. In addition to painting the stucco, they made extensive repairs on windows and frames, which will save us considerable money in the future. They finished earlier than anticipated, with as many as five men working on the job, and the scaffolding came down the next day. All of us were delighted with the results. Now my husband and I are looking forward to having MB Jessee paint our own apartment later this month. Matt and Gustavo (who will be our crew leader again) have explained how they will work to make the painting proceed smoothly while we're living here, and they have been endlessly patient with our protracted decision-making process. If you look at their website, you'll learn that MB Jessee is an exemplary company that takes good care of its workers as well as its customers, and contributes public service projects to the community. All in all, we can't recommend MB Jessee highly enough.”

— Jayne W.
San Francisco, CA

“The people at M.B. Jessee are great – from the painters to the office staff to Matt. Talk about leadership from the top.”

— Kevin Ames, Mark Becker Homes

“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

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— Paul Markovich

“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

“The painters at MB Jesse are top notch! Cesar's team was super friendly and helpful. They were very polite and accommodating. Their expertise in everything painting related was evident in their attention to detail and efficiency painting tricky spaces. The apartment looks brand new!”

— Adam Swisher