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Here Now, a Roundup of San Francisco's Oldest Victorians

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While we may not boast houses as old as some other parts of the country, San Francisco is known for her Victorian. Today we're embracing the city's most postcard-friendly buildings with a map of the Oldest Victorians in the city. For the sake of clarity, we're casting a wide net and considering anything built during the Victorian Era (1837-1901), not necessarily just the ornate gingerbread houses we all know and love. This list is by no means comprehensive, so leave us a comment or hit up the tipline if there are any others you'd like to see listed.


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1. Abner Phelps House, 1850

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1111 Oak Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

Built for a colonel in the Mexican-American War, some say it was built in either New Orleans or Maine and reassembled here. At the time, the area was far removed from downtown.

2. 1266-68 Hampshire Street, 1849

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1266 Hampshire Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Built by brothers George and John Treat from Maine, it is a clapboard house common to that area.

3. Captain Andrews house, 1852

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31 Alta Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

Built in 1852, the cooking area and dining room were located as far from combustible clapboard as possible, in this case, in the brick semi-basement. During Prohibition it acted as a speakeasy promoted as having “all the atmosphere of the Montmarte with a Marine view” until it was raided in 1927. It was on the market in 2011 for $3.8M, but never sold.

4. Atkinson-Escher House, 1853

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1032 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133

The Italian Villa was built in 1853 by Joseph Atkinson as his own house, at the time Broadway from Mason to Jones Street was merely a "goat path" which zig-zagged up the hill. It was remodeled by Willis Polk sometime around 1900 and somehow survived the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

5. Tanforan Cottage 1, 1853

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214 Dolores Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

One of a pair of redwood cottages built by the Tanforan ranching family on land that lay within the 1836 Mexican Grant to Francisco Guerrero.

6. Tanforan Cottage 2, 1854

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220 Dolores Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Members of the family of Toribio Tanforan occupied the two cottages from 1896 to 1945.

7. Stanyan Residence, 1854

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2006 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

Bush Street was still a toll road when the house was erected in 1854 for San Francisco Supervisor Charles Stanyan, who helped The City acquire the land for Golden Gate Park. The house remained in the Stanyan family for more than 100 years.

8. Horatio Putnam Livermore Residence, 1857

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40 Florence Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

Horatio P. Livermore, often referred to as the "Father of Russian Hill," built dams across the American River near Folsom and was a power and irrigation magnate.

9. Feusier Octagon House, 1858

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1067 Green Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

One of only two surviving houses in San Francisco built on the octagon plan, the name Feusier refers to businessman Louis Feusier whose family lived there from 1852-1954.

10. House of the Flag, 1860

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1656 Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

The House of the Flag was famously saved during the 1906 Earthquake and Fire when the owner raised a flag next to it during the fire. Soldier saw the flag and were inspired to continue up the hill to fight the fire.

11. Leale House, 1860

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2475 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94115

The structure was originally the main house for a dairy farm. Captain Leale, a ferry boat captain, bought the house in 1883 it was remodeled with a false front in the popular Italianate style.

12. McElroy Octagon House, 1861

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2645 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

This other octagon house was built by miller William C. McElroy in 1861, but it's original site was on the east side of Gough. It remained a private residence until the 1920s,when it was bought by a utility company. By 1951, the house was abandoned and falling apart when the Colonial Dames of America made a $1 offer to buy and restore the house.

13. David Atkins (originally, John Brickell) House, 1866

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1055 Green Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

This is an Italianate House built originally in 1866 and remodeled by Julia Morgan 1916.

14. Sylvester House, c.1870

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1556 Revere Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94124

This Italianate house was built by Stephen L. Piper, a prominent carpenter and house builder. Daniel and John Sylvester were wholesale butchers and cattle dealers at First Avenue South. In 1870, this neighborhood was set aside by state law as Butchertown.

15. 722 Steiner, 1892

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722 Steiner Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

We couldn't make a list without the famous Postcard Row Victorians. The oldest one was the personal residence of builder Matthew Kavanaugh who went on to build the three matching houses next door. And Full House history was born. It bounced around on the market for a bit in 2010, but never sold.

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1. Abner Phelps House, 1850

1111 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

Built for a colonel in the Mexican-American War, some say it was built in either New Orleans or Maine and reassembled here. At the time, the area was far removed from downtown.

1111 Oak Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

2. 1266-68 Hampshire Street, 1849

1266 Hampshire Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Built by brothers George and John Treat from Maine, it is a clapboard house common to that area.

1266 Hampshire Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

3. Captain Andrews house, 1852

31 Alta Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

Built in 1852, the cooking area and dining room were located as far from combustible clapboard as possible, in this case, in the brick semi-basement. During Prohibition it acted as a speakeasy promoted as having “all the atmosphere of the Montmarte with a Marine view” until it was raided in 1927. It was on the market in 2011 for $3.8M, but never sold.

31 Alta Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

4. Atkinson-Escher House, 1853

1032 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

The Italian Villa was built in 1853 by Joseph Atkinson as his own house, at the time Broadway from Mason to Jones Street was merely a "goat path" which zig-zagged up the hill. It was remodeled by Willis Polk sometime around 1900 and somehow survived the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

1032 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133

5. Tanforan Cottage 1, 1853

214 Dolores Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

One of a pair of redwood cottages built by the Tanforan ranching family on land that lay within the 1836 Mexican Grant to Francisco Guerrero.

214 Dolores Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

6. Tanforan Cottage 2, 1854

220 Dolores Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Members of the family of Toribio Tanforan occupied the two cottages from 1896 to 1945.

220 Dolores Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

7. Stanyan Residence, 1854

2006 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Bush Street was still a toll road when the house was erected in 1854 for San Francisco Supervisor Charles Stanyan, who helped The City acquire the land for Golden Gate Park. The house remained in the Stanyan family for more than 100 years.

2006 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

8. Horatio Putnam Livermore Residence, 1857

40 Florence Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

Horatio P. Livermore, often referred to as the "Father of Russian Hill," built dams across the American River near Folsom and was a power and irrigation magnate.

40 Florence Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

9. Feusier Octagon House, 1858

1067 Green Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

One of only two surviving houses in San Francisco built on the octagon plan, the name Feusier refers to businessman Louis Feusier whose family lived there from 1852-1954.

1067 Green Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

10. House of the Flag, 1860

1656 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

The House of the Flag was famously saved during the 1906 Earthquake and Fire when the owner raised a flag next to it during the fire. Soldier saw the flag and were inspired to continue up the hill to fight the fire.

1656 Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

11. Leale House, 1860

2475 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94115

The structure was originally the main house for a dairy farm. Captain Leale, a ferry boat captain, bought the house in 1883 it was remodeled with a false front in the popular Italianate style.

2475 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94115

12. McElroy Octagon House, 1861

2645 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

This other octagon house was built by miller William C. McElroy in 1861, but it's original site was on the east side of Gough. It remained a private residence until the 1920s,when it was bought by a utility company. By 1951, the house was abandoned and falling apart when the Colonial Dames of America made a $1 offer to buy and restore the house.

2645 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

13. David Atkins (originally, John Brickell) House, 1866

1055 Green Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

This is an Italianate House built originally in 1866 and remodeled by Julia Morgan 1916.

1055 Green Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

14. Sylvester House, c.1870

1556 Revere Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94124

This Italianate house was built by Stephen L. Piper, a prominent carpenter and house builder. Daniel and John Sylvester were wholesale butchers and cattle dealers at First Avenue South. In 1870, this neighborhood was set aside by state law as Butchertown.

1556 Revere Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94124

15. 722 Steiner, 1892

722 Steiner Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

We couldn't make a list without the famous Postcard Row Victorians. The oldest one was the personal residence of builder Matthew Kavanaugh who went on to build the three matching houses next door. And Full House history was born. It bounced around on the market for a bit in 2010, but never sold.

722 Steiner Street
San Francisco, CA 94117