Some of the most incredible real estate in San Francisco includes the historic Victorian homes that have been meticulously preserved by various owners for many years. Here we will explore five fantastic styles characteristic of these beautiful homes and the features with which you can recognize them.
1.) Italianate style. Italianate style Victorian homes are known for their rectangular shape, flat roofs, overhanging eaves, square cupolas, and ornamental paired brackets and cornices. Other indicators include wood frame and arcade porches peaked with balustrade balconies, also often rectangular.
2.) Gothic Revival style. These houses are usually recognizable by their sharp angles and rooflines, reminiscent of Old World cathedrals. A sense of height is created in these Victorian homes due to their pointed pinnacles and parapets. Even the exterior window moldings are sharply arched into points.
3.) Queen Anne style. These Victorian homes are the fanciest, most embellished and most detailed of all the Victorians. Stained glass windows, towers, spindles and stunning balconies are only a few of the excesses you may find in these homes. More flourishes are evident in a Queen Anne’s intricate and whimsically carved gingerbread trim and patterned masonry. These opulent homes were the most innovative of their time, with many characterized by an overall asymmetrical shape.
4.) Stick style. You can always spot a stick-style Victorian home by the ornamental stick work that decorates the sides of their exteriors. Another feature of many of these homes is false fronts, which give the illusion of height. Like Italianate style Victorian homes, these homes often feature flat rooflines and square features. However, they are generally simpler and less opulent than, say, Queen Anne or Gothic Revival style homes.
5.) Second Empire. Three things to look for in these Victorian homes are: a Mansard roof (that means they have two slopes on each of the four sides, with the lower slope steeper than the upper slope), Dormer windows that are set vertically into those lower slopes, and distinctive rounded cornices.