Author: Ryan Semmelmayer
Let’s think about the city of San Francisco, California for a moment. What comes to mind? My guess is immediately the most iconic landmark of them all, the Golden Gate Bridge. The next thing, I’m guessing, is a little cable car climbing halfway to the stars. After that maybe the obnoxious winding of Lombard street (although there is a street that is actually windier than that in the city). Maybe some see Alcatraz or the dramatic and ridiculous inclines of the streets.
There’s also a good chance that these bad boys come to mind.
This is what Alamo Square looks like (I’m not kidding) every single glorious sunny day in the SFC.
But let’s backtrack a little.
Alamo Square officially came to be in 1856 when James Van Ness (the mayor at the time) created a 12.7 acre park around what was then a watering hole. Before this it was known as “Alamo Hill” and it was used as a watering hole for horses traveling from Mission Dolores to the Presidio. There was a major trail on this route going South to North.
Since then it has become quite an idyllic neighborhood (I mean, it’s on freaking postcards how much more idyllic can you get) mainly because of the wealth of the colorful, unique, victorian style homes they call the “Painted Ladies”. Many of these homes were built around the turn of the century. Remarkably, the homes in what is now known as the “Western Addition” of the city survived the quake of 1906 as opposed to some on the east side, such as those in Knob Hill. That thing was no joke. I mean look at this … !!
This could have been you Alamo Square!! We would have been calling them the tilted ladies if ya know what I mean…(please laugh…). The good news is many of these homes remained standing and you can see them everywhere you look, everywhere you go….(please laugh again…).
Which brings me to one of the things that made this area so famous. Where America’s twin sweethearts got their start. Full House. Full House is probably the biggest thing people will think of when looking at the Painted Ladies. From 1987-1995 Full House dominated network TV ratings, though it was not very critically acclaimed…And let’s face it, it doesn’t hold up too well when we watch it today. Dare I say it’s at a Saved by the Bell level…Fun Fact! Even though the intro of the show popularized the Painted Ladies, the Full House house isn’t actually in that row. The real one is located at 1709 Broderick St in lower Pac Heights. But that’s not even the real house because in reality it was shot on a soundstage in LA (shameless plug: our sister company, LA Tour1, gives great tours of Los Angeles if you’re interested)!
No matter what you’re doing in San Francisco (a tour with us, *ahem*) no trip is complete without getting your own, postcard shot of this iconic image. You simply can’t pass it up. It’s unequivocally, uniquely SF.
Ah the early 90’s…… 🙂