Sunday photoblogging: San Francisco – car and houses, Haight-Ashbury

by Chris Bertram on April 24, 2016

San Francisco - car and houses, Haight-Ashbury



Matt 04.24.16 at 5:50 pm

A very nice shot, Chris – that’s a great example of what I tend to think of as a “San Francisco house”. The car is also a nice touch – it’s the sort of somewhat older car that you can see a fair amount of in California (and some other places in the Western US) but almost not at all in the East, mostly, I think, because of the differences in the use of salt on the roads in winter. All the wires also add a very nice touch.


rootlesscosmo 04.24.16 at 7:46 pm

Tour buses have made the “Painted Ladies” row of Victorians by Alamo Square an unpleasant place–clogged traffic, exhaust fumes, intrusive gawkers etc. But the block of Liberty Street between Valencia and Guerrero has escaped the tourist guides and has some gorgeous Victorians, less gaudily painted (which may not be a bad thing) but beautiful examples of that style. In the early 70s an organization called the Mission Housing Development Coroporation offered very low-interest loans to owners who wanted to restore Victorians–many in bad shape by then–on condition they charge below-market rent for a period of years thereafter. I benefited from this program, living for four years in a one-bedroom (new bath and kitchen, high ceilings, walnut mantelpiece) at 27 Liberty for $150 a month, which even in 1973 was low enough to excite envy among my friends.


rootlesscosmo 04.24.16 at 7:53 pm

27 Liberty is at left in this image:


lathrop 04.25.16 at 6:05 pm

I recall paying ~300/month in shared rentals in the Panhandle (Hayes St.) & Potrero Hill (Kansas St.) in the late 1970/early 1980s – prior to the two big property value booms. Ah, youth! Could never make it back.


maidhc 04.25.16 at 11:18 pm

Those houses are not Victorians. People didn’t have garages in Victorian times. It is a type of house very typical of San Francisco though.

People ooh and aah about the houses in Alamo Square, which does indeed have a nice view. But there are quite a few similar houses in the parts of San Francisco that didn’t burn in 1906, not to mention in other towns in California that go back to the 19th century.

I was showing a European guest around San Francisco once, and she said “What are all those wires? It looks like something out of an old film!”


maidhc 04.25.16 at 11:35 pm

rootlesscosmo: Your link does a good job proving me wrong about Victorians not having garages. But most of the Victorians on that block don’t. I suspect the garages were later additions. All the trim and other detail on those are very typical Victorian.


rootlesscosmo 04.25.16 at 11:47 pm

@maidhc: Well, most of them were built during the reign of Queen Victoria, and people around here call them Victorians, though the garages are certainly anachronistic. (As are the electric lights, natural gas heaters etc.) I’ve found a few local history Web sites that say those street-level spaces were originally basements that were converted into garages after the first World War.

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