The oldest home style you’ll find in San Francisco is the Victorian home. And while there are many definitions and sub-genres with exceptions, flourishes, and loopholes, the general consensus is that if the home was built during the reign of Queen Victoria, it can lay claim to being a Victorian home.
Victorian home styles abound from Stick Victorians to Eastlake Victorians or Queen Anne Victorians, to name just a few. While the precise details vary depending on who you ask and how precise you wish to be, what you can expect in general is a whomped-up exterior with plenty of intricate details, angles, and asymmetrical facades with bay windows of some sort. Inside? The original layouts consisted of lots of tighty defined rooms with no (or very small) closets, high ceilings, and long hallways.
Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901. Alamo Square is perhaps the SF neighborhood most associated with homes of the Victorian style and era, but you’ll also find them in many of our “older” neighborhoods like The Castro, Noe Valley, Pacific Heights, and Nob Hill, to name just a few.
Victorian Inside or Out? While SF Planning makes sure that Victorian homes retain their historically charming exteriors, many interiors have been updated for modern life. What does that mean? It means that “Open-Plan” Victorian is not an oxymoron, and that it is possible to find homes that retain the Victorian style on the outside but have been gutted on the inside with a den of small rooms replaced by an open living-dining-kitchen floor plan.
We hope you’ll enjoy this curated collection of homes in the Victorian style.