San Francisco Houses

Before it jumped the shark, the series “Weeds” on Showtime was one of my favorite shows. I had a love/hate relationship with the theme song from the first couple of seasons – Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds. Legend has it that as she was driving from Berkeley to the San Mateo Peninsula via San Francisco, while driving through Daly City she was inspired to write the song with lyrics that start out:

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.

And while it might be an apt description for the houses to the south of us, I don’t think it describes houses in San Francisco in the least bit. We have various styles of houses, from Marina style houses to Victorian houses (of the Eastlake, Italianate, and Queen-Anne variety), as well as houses that are often described as Edwardian, Mid-Century Modern (ok, some of which are dangerously close to being little ticky tacky boxes) and plenty of others as well.

While I’d love to explain every style to you in one fell swoop, the houses of San Francisco believe they deserve just a little more attention than that, and have demanded that they each get their own blog entry. You know how houses in San Francisco can be. You didn’t hear it from me, but sometimes prima donna is an apt description. Granted, if you were a house that had been born shortly after the gold rush and survived more than a few earthquakes, you too might be rather vociferous in demanding all the attention you felt you were entitled too.

Houses in San Francisco, like pretty much everywhere else, were a reflection of the times in which they were built. So you’ll see plenty of Victorian houses in older neighborhoods like Pacific Heights or Nob Hill, Doelger houses in neighborhoods like the Sunset or Parkside, and plenty of 1960’s style in Twin Peaks. I hope you enjoy reading this coming series as much I look forward to writing it. As always, comments welcome!

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