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Ladies, Step Away From the Gold Leaf and Drop the Teal Blue

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NW corner of Gough & Ellis Sts. San Francisco, 1959, Photo credit: Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection Indiana University

James Dixon, who often lectures about architecture in San Francisco (and is himself a San Francisco architect) has created two invaluable reference materials (pdf) of styles and building history, with a timeline, that he distributes for his talks. The timeline includes events that shifted life in the city- the introduction of streetcars (1856) the first cable cars (1873) plus a few earthquakes. Favorite quote:

1970's-now: The "Painted Lady" myth heaps more indignity on SF's remaining Victorian & Edwardian homes. Self-described "color consultants" deface buildings with circus wagon paint schemes that only get worse when exterior grade gold metallic paint becomes available in the 1990's. Unfortunately many books are published duping a well-meaning public to accept this recent myth as 100 year old fact.The first "painted lady" was apparently 908 Steiner, re-styled in 1967. To quote an email from Mr. Dixon: "I'm going there right now to hurl insults at it from the street." In addition to using your office's color printer to get the best quality copies of Mr. Dixon's .pdf's, we recommend, as always, the Charles W. Cushman Collection to pore over Victorians lost while you're pretending to work.
· Residential Architectural Styles in San Francisco: 1920–Now [james Dixon]
· Victorian & Edwardian Residential Architecture Styles in San Francisco [James Dixon]
· Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection [Indiana University]