A Rainbow of History: The Story of the Painted Ladies
A cluster of bright Victorian and Edwardian-style homes and structures known as the Painted Ladies of San Francisco. It is a beautiful representation of the style and background of the City By the Bay. Put on your running shoes and take a walking tour of the Painted Ladies if you enjoy the distinctive architectural elements of American Victorian architecture.
In American architecture, painted ladies are Victorian and Edwardian homes and structures painted in three or more colors to highlight or beautify their architectural aspects starting in the 1960s. Although Victorian architecture sometimes featured polychrome embellishment, the colors employed in these homes were not based on earlier examples.
In their 1978 book Painted Ladies: San Francisco’s Resplendent Victorians, authors Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen coined the phrase “San Francisco Victorians” for the first time. You must visit San Francisco’s Painted Ladies if you are there. The most well-known collection may be seen on Steiner Street, directly across from Alamo Square Park.
Other names for them include Postcard Row and the Seven Sisters. However, there are other locations you can locate them. The other hotspots include streets near Alamo Square, Haight-Ashbury, the Castro, Pacific Heights, and Lower Haight.
The postcard row of Painted Ladies
The row of Victorian homes at 710–720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square in San Francisco, is one of the most excellent collections of “Painted Ladies.” The beautiful homes collectively called Postcard Row were constructed between 1892 and 1896 by architect Matthew Kavanaugh, who also lived in the ancientest, most immense, and most elaborate of the seven sisters, the 1892 mansion at 722 Steiner.
This renowned block has appeared in various films and TV shows, including the sitcom Full House, and in images taken by the media. The C. A. Belden House, a Queen Anne Victorian on Gough Street between Clay and Washington streets, may be seen on a walking tour of Pacific Heights. One of the most well-known Painted Ladies in San Francisco is this magnificent home, which includes on the National Register of Historic Places.
Who started the painting culture at Painted Ladies?
Butch Kardum, a painter from San Francisco, started blending intense blues and greens on the façade of his Italianate-style Victorian home in 1963. Some neighbors had issues with his residence, but others began to follow his lead.
With the help of other artists and colorists like Tony Canaletich, Bob Buckter, and Jazon Wonders, Kardum became a color designer and started turning grey houses into Painted Ladies. The so-called “colorist movement” had completely altered streets and neighborhoods by the 1970s. Even now, the process is still in motion.
The Painted Ladies’ owner
The 2,500-square-foot home, constructed in the 1890s, has been in innumerable TV series and motion pictures and is one of the most widely recognized monuments in the City. The “Pink Painted Lady’s” current owner, Leah Culver, posted social media updates on her time living there and the substantial renovation.
Things you should know about the painted ladies
These are the most significant information about Painted Ladies you should read.
- In San Francisco, a recent naming of the Painted Ladies
Though it frequently believes that people have always referred to them as the Seven Painted Ladies, this moniker didn’t become popular until 1978, when Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen published a book on the houses. “Painted Ladies” refers to any collection of Victorian or Edwardian-era homes with at least two colors or more, not only these residences.
- San Francisco’s Painted Ladies have a special meaning
Have you ever wondered what the Painted Ladies are trying to say? They represent the storied California Gold Rush. Due to a large amount of money entering the City, San Francisco’s homebuilders sought to display their newfound fortune with these opulent residences. Because of this, they have turrets, ornamented rooflines, and numerous dramatic windows.
- One of the Seven Painted Ladies has a modest museum in San Francisco
A relatively little museum locates on the top floor of the second-to-last home in the row. A ticket from the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, a photograph of people in Alamo Square Park when the City burnt during the 1906 earthquake, wedding cake tops that are more than 100 years old, and apparel from the 1800s are among the items on display there.
- A component of the colorist movement is the homes’ color.
The vibrant colors of the Seven Painted Ladies are because of the colorist trend in the 1960s. Many residences were coated in inexpensive grey paint during the Second World War, giving the City a dismal appearance. So Butch Kradum, a local artist, started painting houses in vivid blues and greens, which became popular. By the time the 1970s rolled around, the City had a lot of well-lit residences.
Worth of all seven painted houses
Some of the most instantly recognizable homes in the entire nation are the pastel-colored houses on Postcard Row. But that kind of fame is costly!
1. Steiner Street, 710
According to public records, the first Painted Lady at 710 Steiner Street was last sold in 2012 for $2,386,500. The four-level, 2,500 square foot home has five bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, hardwood flooring, period lights, three fireplaces, one of which has mahogany dragon carvings, and many wonderful Victorian embellishments. The lovely home currently thinks to be worth well over $4 million.
2. Steiner Street, 712
712 Steiner Street is one of the seven iconic Painted Ladies that make up the Alamo Square Historic District in San Francisco. The house is a stunning example of Victorian architecture, featuring intricate detailing and bright, vibrant colors. 712 Steiner Street sold for $1.25 million back in 2001. But today, the renowned 4 Bedroom, 2,690-square-foot single-family home is estimated to be worth about $3 million.
3. Steiner Street, 714
714 Steiner Street is up for sale right now for $3.55 million. The seller can not increase the asking price because there were no significant improvements while she owned the property. Instead, she preferred to sell her famous home to a buyer who would give it the care it deserves. The existing layout of this Victorian from the 1890s includes 2,588 square feet of living space, 5 Bedrooms, and 3 Bathrooms.
4. Steiner Street, 716
The iconic 716 Steiner Street, also known as the “pink lady,” is one of the most famous Painted Ladies in San Francisco. According to online real estate, the house was last sold in 2016 for $3.1 million, after being on the market for only two weeks. Since then, there is no publicly available information on whether the house has been listed for sale again or not.
5. Streiner Street, 718
5 Bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms include in the 2,600 square feet of living space at 718 Steiner Street. Since 1995, when it last traded hands for $490,000, the home has yet to have a new owner.
The price range for the landmark mansion is now between $1.7 million and $2.3 million, with the lowest estimate being in this range.
6. Streiner Street, 720
The only home on the street with a well-known owner is this one. Alice Walker, the writer of The Color Purple, formerly owned the book. The final Lady, at 720 Steiner Street, was last sold for $1,210,000 in 2001 and is estimated at $3.6 million.
7. Streiner Street, 720
Based on online data, 722 Steiner Street, one of the famous Painted Ladies’ houses in San Francisco, was last sold in 1996 for $875,000. However, its current estimated value is around $4.4 million. The house was on the market again in 2021 for $2.75 million but the listing was subsequently withdrawn. Despite the high price, the property remains a popular tourist attraction in San Francisco, with many visitors stopping by to take photos of the iconic Painted Ladies row.
Typically, tourists are pleased with their tour guide, praising people for being educated and amiable. Reviews suggest that this trip is highly amusing, and the chance to enter a Painted Lady has been called an “eccentric excursion.” Each of the Painted Ladies, except the home at 718 Steiner St., is considered worth between $3 million and $5 million.