How to Ruin a Victorian

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As I traverse the neighborhoods and streets of San Francisco, I sometimes see really awesome things. And sometimes I see really fascinating things. My public service for the day is to encourage you to be kind to your Victorian homes, and give you a little inspiration in case you some day own a Victorian home […]

As I traverse the neighborhoods and streets of San Francisco, I sometimes see really awesome things. And sometimes I see really fascinating things. My public service for the day is to encourage you to be kind to your Victorian homes, and give you a little inspiration in case you some day own a Victorian home that has previously been in the care of cruel, cruel owners.

926 – 930 Oak St

Pictured above are two buildings on Oak Street. The building on the right is 926 Oak St, a Victorian home (single family per tax records) that is suffering from an unfortunate covering of brick. On the left we have 928-930 Oak St., which as you can see from the inset once suffered from a rather horrific case of Victorian-stucco-itis, but this disfiguring malady has been lovingly cured by the current home owners.

As I hope the picture makes clear, putting a brick facade on a Victorian home is a very, very, very cruel and cosmetically unfortunate thing to do. The two buildings above are remarkably similar in their basic shape and size, in fact you could almost call one the mirror image of the other. Except one is pretty. And the other isn’t.

Both are stick Victorians, with a bay that protrudes from the home at a 90 degree angle. Both have peaked roof details.

Victorian-brick-pox was once a highly contagious disease, with homes often becoming infected when another house on the block came down with a case of the brick-pox due to an owner dreaming of a lifetime of “worry free exterior maintenance.”

Lets be serious, folks – Victorian-brick-pox is a serious plague, and leaving a home untreated is just a cruel and heartless thing to do. Let 928-930 Oak serve as both a cautionary and inspirational tale – you can be old and pretty. Just not when you’re covered in brick or stucco.

 

 

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