Buckets of Painted Ladies in Haight-Ashbury

Central Street
San Francisco, California, USA

{ Nikon D80 } – { 70mm } – { 1/1250s exposure } – { f/5.6 } – { ISO 100 }

San Francisco is Full of Painted Ladies

It’s as if someone dipped a brush in rainbow paint and spread it across the city of San Francisco, California.

From the mansions on Nobb Hill to the row houses of Haight-Ashbury and beyond, you’re never far from a brightly painted house in San Francisco. The above photograph is of my favorite painted ladies in the entire city: found on Central Street between Haight and Oak.

Painted ladies are defined as Victorian or Edwardian buildings painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. The name was first coined in 1978 by Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their book, Painted Ladies – San Francisco’s Resplendent Victorians.

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My Painted Ladies in the 2012 One Life Photo Annual

In 2012, my photograph of the painted ladies of Central Street was selected for inclusion in the One Life Photo Annual book. As you can imagine, I was quite proud.

My San Francisco Painted Ladies photo; as seen in the 2012 One Life Annual
My San Francisco Painted Ladies photo; as seen in the 2012 One Life Annual`

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A Few Parting Painted Ladies in Haight-Ashbury

During the Summer of Love, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury was home to some of the most famous musicians in Rock and Roll history. For one glorious Summer of Love, Janice Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane all called The Haight’s painted ladies home.

Forty years later, I also called Haight-Ashbury home and had a blast getting to know the neighborhood’s love for life, alternative ways of thinking,  resident hippies, and beautiful buildings.

For more on that experience, check out:

Living with the Hippies in Haight-Asbury

The colorful corner of Masonic and Haight Streets in San Francisco, California, USA
The colorful corner of Masonic and Haight Streets in San Francisco, California, USA

{ 7.3mm } – { 1/200s exposure } – { f/8 } – { ISO 80 }

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Above photograph: painted ladies on the corner of Masonic and Haight Street

Below photograph: painted ladies on Waller Street between Masonic and Ashbury. Or, as I called it while living in San Francisco, “down the street from my house.”

A row of Painted Ladies on Waller Street between Masonic and Ashbury in San Francisco, California
A row of Painted Ladies on Waller Street between Masonic and Ashbury in San Francisco, California

{ 12mm } – { 1/250s exposure } – { f/8 } – { ISO 200 }

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Have you been to San Francisco?

Where are your favorite painted ladies?

  • I’m visiting San Francisco in a couple weeks and cant wait. I have only spent 1 nigt there previously so I obviously missed a lot the first time.

    • I spent two years in San Francisco and still missed a lot. Have a great time! Let me know if you need any tips… and be sure to check out the Painted Ladies on Central.

  • One of my favorite places in the states…. Well done publishing your photo. It’s beautiful!

  • Photo looks great in the book – congrats! :)