November 6, 2007

Negative space.


I liked the way the distinctive cornices in San Francisco drew a line on Saturday's bright blue sky.






vnjagvet said...

Those are beautifully rendered examples of what housing looked like throughout the USA at the turn of the last century.

The details are spectacular. This was all hand done by wonderfully skilled woodworkers, piece by piece.

I suspect San Francisco has more original Victorian frame homes than any other place in the world.

The "little house on Steiner Street" of I Remember Mama is still alive and well.

Maxine Weiss said...

Well, we need a bit more formal instruction in classic motifs.

Who knows this stuff? Palladin, or Sippican Cottage?

Are they cornices?, or are they pediments?

Also the differences between "doric" and "corinthinan" columns.

The volutes, and those other curliques, and whatnot.....

Can someone please tell us exactly the it Greco-Roman, or Art Deco, Revival???

Help !

George M. Spencer said...


vnjagvet said...

Victorian, Maxine. Victorian.

Wikipedia says:

A Victorian house as built in the United States and Canada is a type of house popularized in the Victorian era. They are often three stories high with an octagonal or rounded tower, a wraparound porch and great attention paid to detail. The architectural style of a Victorian house is often either Queen Anne, Stick, Italianate, French Second Empire, or Richardsonian Romanesque. Shingle Style houses are also considered Victorian houses. Victorian houses are sometimes called gingerbread houses for their elaborate porch and gable ornamentation. The Victorian house shown in the picture has curved glass windows in the tower. A group of multi-colored Victorian houses in San Francisco are known as Painted ladies.

The Storyteller said...

I like the way the photography is done!

The Drill SGT said...


a bit of help that exhausts my knowledge


oldest to newest
plain to fancy
Doric lacks a base section among other differences

Pediments and Cornices
cornices are the "ledges" lots of those in Ann's shots

Pediments are triangular structures above a Cornice. There might be one in a shot there.

George M. Spencer said...

More Ma

George M. Spencer said...


The Drill SGT said...

Ann didn't shoot my favorite part of SF Victorians, e.g. "Bay Windows"

also SF has some Vics that have some unusual color schemes. sometimes you find a whole block that jumps out at you.

ricpic said...

Busy buildings need a blank canvas sky
And surely the reverse is true:
Weary of our tangle away we fly
As downtown go the empty blue.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I'm no acknowledged expert, but i would say these are all 1870 vintage Italianate style homes, with some Greek Revival elements, such as the full pediments and decorative freize(?).

For me it is the corbels (the square elements under the eaves that mark these as Italianate, and the Greek Revial elements classify them as early transitional period, which is why I date them to the 1870 period.

I could be wrong, never having studied SF in any great detail, so i wouldn't bet the farm, but would lay down a couple of acres if I had to.

vnjagvet said...


There are bay windows shown in the third pic from the top (left side of the pic) and the bottom pic.

Revenant said...

Autumn is the nicest time to visit California, with spring a close second.

The Drill SGT said...


If it helps your analysis, recall that everything is post the 1906 Fire. aka the great sf earthquake.

it was mostly a fire.

The Drill SGT said...

spring is much better. The hills would be green and lush then. In the Fall, they are brown grass

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Drill Sgt- It also depends on where in SF you are; my recollection is that there are some areas that are SF now that were actually outside the city in 1906 and were not damaged by the fire or the earthquake, and I took that into account.

Post-Quake wouldn't have been as decorative; 1907 & up were more of whats called the American Four square style (the typical 8 room/4 up/4 down design. Also, these homes took time to build and were veryt labor intensive, something they didn't have immediately following the quake.

MadisonMan said...

I'd hate to have to paint those. I suppose the owners are wealthy enough that they can hire painters.

Anonymous said...

As to phots,Ann, how'se about video such as below (after all, I be a growing boy):
I tell you Ann, someone suggested you pose in a tub with soap bubbles over your nipples on a videoblog. As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see you on a videoblog tub or bubbles or whatever. Think you can arrange that ?


Revenant said...

spring is much better. The hills would be green and lush then. In the Fall, they are brown grass

Depends on what color you like, I guess. I find the arid look very nice, wildfires notwithstanding.

Trooper York said...

Sometimes when you distill something, and reduce it to its bare basic essence, you get a product that is very potent and some what disturbing. Ja, it can be be frightening.
(Johannes Jakob Böhm aka Jim Beam 1832

Maxine Weiss said...

Those aren't bay windows, they're dormer windows with a thatched roof with deep slopes.

Are there any volutes and acanthus leave carvings?

The Victorian period parallels the mid-century modern ranch-style housing period.

Doesn't it?

Or, maybe I'm off by a couple of years.

Galvanized said...

Totally enjoyed this post! :) Lovely pics.