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The terms "Painted Ladies" is an expression in American architecture that is used to describes old houses of the Victorian and Edwardian design and was used to describe houses in San Francisco (SFO) that were colourfully painted in bright colours to enhance their beauty and architectural details. It is said that about 48,000 houses were built in the Victorian and Edwardian styles between 1849 and 1915 and were painted in bright colours - red, blue, orange, green violet etc. However many of the houses in the Nob Hill area were destroyed in the great earthquake of 1906 while many survived the earthquake. At a later date many were demolished for various reasons.

One of the best-known groups of "Painted Ladies" is the row of Victorian houses at 710–720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square Park, in San Francisco. It is sometimes known as "Postcard Row." The houses were built between 1892 and 1896 by developer Matthew Kavanaugh, who lived next door in the 1892 mansion at 722 Steiner Street. This block appears very frequently in media and mass-market photographs of the city and its tourist attractions, TV serials and advertisements.

I had the opportunity to be there and walk down many streets in and around the Painted Ladies and photographed some of the interesting houses.

What fascinated me most apart from the meticulousness of the maintenance and painting was the fact that the houses are built close to one another and in some cases a tiny air gap between two houses. I have photographed one such situation where you can see a streak of light in the tiny gap between the houses!!. Mind boggling indeed.

The Painted Ladies is one of the top tourist attractions in SFO drawing thousands of visitors everyday and a must visit location.

Enjoy the pictures.

Shankar Adisesh
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Architecture and Structures
Subcategory:Buildings
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Architecture, Heritagebuildingsusa, Paintedladies., Sanfrancisco, USA