5 Things You Didn’t Know About San Francisco’s Seven Painted Ladies

Whether you’ve been to San Francisco many times or are just planning your first trip, there’s a lot to take in. One of the most famous sightseeing options are the Seven Painted Ladies. Read on to learn five fun facts about these famous homes. Then contact GoCar Tour to find out how you can plan a truly unique San Francisco touring experience.

1. They only began being called the Seven Painted Ladies in recent years

Though it’s often assumed that they’ve always been referred to as the Seven Painted ladies, this name actually only took hold in 1978 when authors Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen wrote a book about the homes. In fact, Painted Ladies doesn’t refer to these home in particular, but to any set of homes made in either the Victorian or Edwardian architectural style that has at least colors or more.  

2. Painted Ladies can be found in many other cities

You can find Painted Ladies all over the country. Some of the most famous examples include those in Cap May, New Jersey, Baltimore, Maryland, St. Louis, Missouri, and Cincinnati and Toledo Ohio.

3. One of the Seven Painted Ladies has a tiny museum

The second to last home on the row has a very small museum on its top floor. There visitors can check out a ticket from the day the Golden Gate Bridge opened, a picture of people in Alamo Square Park when the city burned during the 1906 earthquake, wedding cake tops that are more than 100 years old, and clothing from the 1800s.

4. They have a unique symbolism

Have you ever wondered what exactly the Painted Ladies mean? They’re symbolic of the famous California Gold Rush. With so much money coming into the city, San Francisco builders wanted to show off their newfound wealth with these grand homes. That’s why they have so many dramatic windows, decorated rooflines, and turrets.

5. The color of the homes are part of the colorist movement

The colorist movement, which took place in the ‘60s, are responsible for the bright colors of the Seven Painted Ladies. During the second World War, many homes were painted in cheap gray paint and the city looked drab. So a local artist, Butch Kradum, began painting homes in bright blues and greens and it caught on. By the time the ‘70s came around, there were many bright homes in the city.