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San Francisco Couple Says the Victorians Had it Right All Along

Welcome to House Calls, a recurring feature in which Curbed tours lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes in the Bay Area. Think your space should be featured next? Here's how to submit.


When you write about architecture in San Francisco, you hear a lot of unflattering things said about Victorians, mostly by people who want to justify decisions to gut, alter, or even tear down the homes that have become synonymous with the look and feel of the city. Common complaints include: "We don't live that way anymore" and "the house was a warren of small rooms."

Homeowners Jim Warshell and Gail Baugh have a different message: They say that, in terms of home creation, Victorian-era builders and architects weren't wrong. The couple owns a large Victorian house in Hayes Valley, and they've spent the past 12 years restoring it to perfection. "As far as we can tell, the Victorians, at least in this house, got just about everything right," Warshell says.

Their home will be just one of the residences on view during the The Storied Houses of Alamo Square Home Tour by the San Francisco Victorian Alliance. During the October 18th event, ticket holders will have the chance to walk through eight restored Victorian homes and an historic 19th century Gothic church. All net proceeds benefit historical preservation projects in the city. Today we take you inside one of those houses, where (if you didn't look too closely) you might think it's still 1884.

Curbed SF has the full story and a glorious photo tour. >>