The 2013 Victorian House Tour: October 20
Welcome back, Victorians! The 41st annual tour takes you all over the Mission District, and the hipsters won't know what to do with themselves.
In 1973 homes built before 1910 were falling into disrepair or being destroyed, but you don't mess with San Francisco: The Victorian Alliance formed that year, a passionate group of focused, enthusiastic volunteers determined to save as many of the era's beautiful structures as possible.
The house tours were started in 1975 as a fundraiser to save the City of Paris Dry Goods Company, a much-beloved beaux-arts building listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a California Historical Landmark. The society lost that battle in 1981, but the organization was galvanized and has become a beloved part of the fabric of San Francisco.
Each tour highlights a different neighborhood, and this year focuses on The Mission, which was bisected by the fire following the 1906 earthquake. Several denizens of South Van Ness' "Mansion Row" will be featured.
The tour is designed to be easily walkable, and one of the homes on the tour is a bed and breakfast where people can chill out and rest their feet. Each home will have a docent on hand to give you all the scoop on each house's architect, builder, craftspeople and owners.
In between, there'll be lots of talk about railroads, racetracks, stables and creeks, all right there in The Mission. The tour is self-guided, so you can go at your own pace. The proceeds will go toward preservation and grants.
All the delicious details people think of when they think of San Francisco will be on view: rich ornamentation, bays, towers, and period details and decor.
Buy your tickets before October 11 and they're $45 each, $50 thereafter. For tickets, visit the Victorian Alliance's site, and watch this space for a debriefing after the tour.