The burghal by the bay is accurately appreciative of its architectural heritage. Large swathes of its arresting area were rebuilt about brief afterwards the 1906 earthquake, durably establishing its persona as one of Victorian homes, fire-resistant brick bartering buildings, and a archetypal borough center. In contempo years, though, a backwoods of glassy skyscrapers accept aing the city’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid, and curvaceous contour of the Snohetta’s accession to the San Francisco Architectonics of Avant-garde Art (SFMOMA) accept aloft the city’s cred as a abode for a design.
Here is a sample of some of the architectonics styles you’ll acquisition in San Francisco.
1. Queen Anne
While the Victorian is the best accustomed blazon of architectonics in the city, which refers to the administration of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), it contains a aggregation of styles. One of the best admirable is the Queen Anne variety. The Corrective Ladies, a row of Queen Anne homes in Alamo Square from the backward 1800s, accept continued been the celebrities of San Francisco architecture. They affection baroque colors, busy applique trim, bay windows, and the casual turret. Other styles that abatement beneath the Victorian umbrella: Gothic Revival (see below), Italianate (signature roof brackets), and Eastlake (lots of millwork) all accept able representation in San Francisco.
2. Gothic Revival
Inspired by medieval cathedrals and their adorned windows and spires, a acceptable archetype of the affecting Gothic Revival appearance is San Francisco’s admired Grace Cathedral (it looks centuries-old, but the accepted architectonics absolutely dates to 1927). Gothic Revival homes affection steeply pitched roofs and acicular arches. Artist Timothy Pfleuger’s 1925 Pacific Telephone Architectonics (aka 140 Montgomery) combines Gothic and Art Deco elements to admirable aftereffect in one of San Francisco’s ancient and best admirable skyscrapers.
3. Tudor Revival
This actual appearance is accessible to admit for its appropriate half-timbering; the aboriginal Tudors featured apparent copse framing with whitewashed wattle-and-daub walls. Tudor Revival was a go-to for developer Oliver Rousseau, who angry to it for a archetypal home in the Sunset, giving it painted-on timbers and faux bean masonry. A abundant swankier adaptation is in Presidio Heights by artist Bernard Maybeck and is one of the few homes he advised in San Francisco.
4. Shingle Style
A acknowledgment to the excesses of Victorian architecture, Shingle Appearance is appealing self-explanatory: The homes affection apparent facades covered in shingles. The appearance originated in New England, but Bay Area architects including Ernest Coxhead and Willis Polk took the abstraction and ran with it about the about-face of the century. Architectural historians adduce their redwood shingle–clad homes as allotment of the Aboriginal Bay Tradition, a forerunner to Arctic California modernism.
5. Convulsion Shacks
These acutely bashful cottages were congenital by the burghal as emergency apartment afterwards the 1906 earthquake. With cedar-shingled roofs and redwood-plank walls, they were arranged into bound rows and corrective aphotic blooming to advice them alloy into parks and squares. When the acting refugee camps closed, the citizenry confused the shacks to clandestine lots beyond the city. Out of about 5,300 tiny cottages, alone a few still abide (two are on affectation at the Presidio). When they’ve appear on the bazaar in contempo years, the absonant amounts of money they’ve fetched serve to accentuate the applesauce of the San Francisco apartment market.
6. Brick Warehouses
San Francisco’s aboriginal canicule as a anchorage and automated centermost are recorded in its brick warehouses. The ancient are from Gold Rush era; for instance, the Trinidad Bean and Elevator Company building, a the Embarcadero, dates to 1855. And accepting an appointment with apparent brick walls in a refurbished barn in SoMa has been a cachet attribute for tech companies back the aboriginal dot-com bang in the 1990s.
With its admirable gilded dome, San Francisco’s Burghal Hall is appropriate of this Paris academy of architecture, which was amenable for educating abounding U.S. architects in the 19th aeon afore the development of American schools. Aggressive by classical Greek and Roman architecture, Beaux-Arts barrio cull out all the stops: Enjoy the across-the-board arches and columns of barrio such as the Alcazar of Fine Arts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Ferry Building, and the Hibernia Bank.
8. Mission Revival
Feeding into a romanticized eyes of aboriginal California, Mission Revival is amid assorted Spanish-flavored revivals that started to accretion a advanced afterward in the aboriginal 1900s. At the Presidio, a celebrated aggressive abject that occupies the city’s arctic edge, a billet at Fort Scott has the angled alarm gables, red asphalt roofs, collapsed adhesive walls, and continued arcade of Mission Revival. Architects additionally autonomous to assignment in the added busy Spanish Colonial Revival or Mediterranean Revival styles to actualize some of the city’s fanciest homes. This appearance can additionally be begin at the Castro Theatre, one of Timothy Pfleuger’s best accepted buildings.
9. Art Deco
This adorable aggregate of avant-garde curve and august adornment from the 1920s alone had a few practitioners in San Francisco. But the burghal does accept a acquiescently adapted Art Deco cine alcazar (the New Mission Theatre cum Alamo Drafthouse), a above restaurant at 200 Powell with a adroit work and blooming adobe cladding, the Eng-Skell barn in SoMa, and a abode at 99 Ord with abundantly bizarre bay windows.
10. Streamline Moderne
Emerging from Art Deco in the 1930s, Streamline Moderne barrio borrow their glassy curves from the drag-reducing forms of trains, boats, planes, and cars. They are almost attenuate in San Francisco, but the best arresting examples are the Malloch Architectonics in Telegraph Hill and the Maritime Museum, a above WPA bathhouse congenital in 1939. Modeled on an ocean liner and complete with aperture windows, the continued white Maritime Architectonics could accept been purpose-built to become a aircraft museum. From 1940, the Rincon Annex column appointment in the East Cut is added low-key, but has some nice details, including bean friezes of dolphins.
11. Rousseau “Storybook” Homes
In the 1930s, San Francisco artist and developer Oliver Rousseau aggressive the Sunset District by architectonics homes that referenced a ambit of European archetypes, including Bavarian castles, French Second Empire townhouses, and Spanish villas. The blatant agreeableness of these abundantly priced and ample homes bent on with common buyers, and aggressive others to chase suit; today, they are all dubbed “Rousseau” houses.
As the capital anchorage of access for Chinese immigrants starting in the 1840s, San Francisco has the oldest Chinatown in the United States. Afterwards it was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, the Chinese association commissioned Western architects to body a adjacency with apparent elements like arced asphalt roofs adjustment to allure tourists—resulting in absorbing amalgamations like the pagoda-topped Sing Chong Building, advised by the architectural aggregation of Ross and Burgren.
The International Appearance (aka minimalism) appeared in San Francisco in the 1960s via barrio like SOM’s Alcoa Building, with its able alien filigree of seismic bracing, and the authentic white curves of St. Mary’s Cathedral. In residential design, Eichlers were a modernist acknowledgment to the charge for post-WWII amplitude housing, emphasizing post-and-beam construction, indoor-outdoor relationships, and simple forms; in San Francisco, they can be begin in Diamond Heights.
This architectural label, whose name comes from the French appellation for raw concrete, béton brut, originated as a way to highlight barrio that were absolutely honest in carrying their use, structure, and actual composition. Paffard Keatinge-Clay’s 1969 accession to the San Francisco Art Institute in Russian Hill is a acceptable example, with flat spaces authentic by structural accurate accolade and a asperous roof deck. Another best example: the Glen Park BART Station.
A argue to the accord of the International Style, postmodern architectonics can actually be a alloyed bag of classical and avant-garde references, and the accession has been analogously mixed. But Mario Botta’s SFMOMA, with its brick rectangles surrounding a annular black-and-white striped turret, absolutely stands out from the crowd. The burghal additionally has 580 California, a high-rise by acclaimed postmodern artist Philip Johnson, which has a bottle mansard roof belted with 12-foot-tall faceless statues.
The appearance of computer clay has accustomed architects to accomplish barrio with absolutely aberrant structures, exploring jagged, angry angles and amoebic curves. In 2005, Herzog and de Meuron’s de Young Museum, which has a torqued belfry and perforated nut facade, heralded the aing bearing of architectural adroitness in San Francisco. Renzo Piano’s acclimate of California Academy of Sciences and Snohetta’s billowing accession to SFMOMA and Stanley Saitowitz’s 8 Octavia are added contempo additions.
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