Visitors to San Francisco have long admired the Painted Ladies, a row of homes along Steiner Street that has long been among the city’s main attractions. If you haven’t seen them in person, you have certainly run across them in photographs.
But you don’t have to travel to California to view these unique homes. You can find examples scattered all around St. Augustine.
Painted Ladies is a term used to describe Victorian and Edwardian structures painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance the architectural details of a house or building. The biggest surprise for most people who are familiar with Victorian style homes is that they come in a wide variety of colors – not the ‘painted all-white’ version most of us are familiar with.
While you won’t see a parade of Painted Ladies lined all in a row like the ones in San Francisco, you will discover a number of fine examples of homes featuring that design dotted around the Ancient City. Take a stroll, enjoy the colorful exteriors and bring your camera!
Here are a few examples of Painted Ladies you won’t want to miss:
14 Sevilla St.
Now a bed and breakfast, The Alexander Homestead is located in the city’s historic district. It was built in 1888 and restored to its original grandeur in 1991. The shades of Green and the striking white accents blend beautifully with the surrounding trees and foliage making thisPainted Lady a real standout.
169 Oneida St.
Built in 1885, pretty pastels dress thisPainted Lady. Hues of yellow, blue and white blend perfectly getting her more than a few glances from passersby. Nestled among trees that act to frame the home, her colors are typical of that era.
Upham Cottage/ Private Residence-
268 St. George St.
Decked in yellow, white and red to browns, this Queen Anne Victorian winter cottage reminds one of a gingerbread house, only more colorful. Built in1893, it’s located in the heart of St. Augustine’s historic preservation district. The home was built at a time when wealthy residents to the north descended on the city to build lavish winter homes. Colonel John Upham, a retired Civil War Military officer from Milwaukee, built the residence to escape the cold winters, but lived there only five years before he died. The building fell into disrepair, but was completely restored in the early 1980’s.
Ancient City Inn-
47 San Marcos Ave.
This Grand Victorian home, now a bed and breakfast, is one of the younger Painted Ladies. She was built in 1910 by a local merchant whose family lived in the home more than 80 years. The lavender, white and green colored home is rumored to be haunted by the first occupants, Charles and Maude Sequi, their daughter Martha and her cat Toby. Recently renovated, it’s located in the center of the area known as Antique Alley.
Written by Deborah Boyd
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