7 Styles of San Francisco Residential Architecture

7 Styles of San Francisco Residential Architecture

San Francisco is a city with rich architectural history and there are several types of homes that can be found in the city. Some of the most common architectural types of homes in San Francisco include the following.

The Victorian

San Francisco is known for its colorful Victorian houses which were built between 1849 and 1915. These homes are typically two or three stories tall and feature intricate detailing such as ornate moldings, bay windows and decorative gables.

The Edwardian

Similar to Victorian homes, Edwardian homes were built between 1901 and 1915 and they are characterized by their simple, yet elegant designs. They often feature flat facades, box shapes and understated ornamentation. Victorian and Edwardian architecture can be found in most areas of the city but in less areas south of the 280 and in the marina.

What is the difference between Victorian and Edwardian homes?

Here are some of the main differences.

  1. The time period

Victorian architecture was popular during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901. In contrast, Edwardian architecture emerged during the reign of King Edward The Third from 1901 to 1910.

     2. Ornamentation

Victorian architecture is known for its elaborate ornamentation including intricate details such as those ornate moldings, stained glass windows and decorative brackets. Edwardian architecture on the other hand, features simpler designs with fewer embellishments and more streamlined appearance.

     3. Shape

The shape of Victorian homes often has a symmetrical shape. with multiple gables, turrets and towers. While Edwardian homes are more symmetrical and tend to have simpler boxy shapes, the materials are also different.

    4. Materials and features

Victorian homes were often constructed with brick or stone while Edwardian homes were built typically with timber or stucco. The interior features are also different. Victorian homes often feature ornate fireplaces, elaborate staircases and decorative moldings throughout.

Edwardian homes on the other hand are more likely to have simple fireplaces, plain staircases and less decorative ceilings.

Art Deco

The third type of architecture that can be found in San Francisco is the Art Deco homes. A lot of this era is gone but some timeless pieces do remain sprinkled around the city.

Mid-Century Modern

The fourth type of architecture that can be found in San Francisco is a Mid-Century Modern. Mid-Century Modern homes were built in the post-World War II era between 1940s and 1960s. These homes were known for their clean lines, open floor plans and integration with the surrounding landscape.

These homes can be found in Midtown Terrace, Diamond Heights, Mira Loma Park, Bernal Heights, Sunnyside, Golden Gate Heights and Clarendon Heights as well.


The fifth type of architecture that can be found in San Francisco is a Contemporary home. These are characterized by their innovative design and use of modern materials such as glass, steel and concrete. They often feature large windows, open floor plans and are designed to maximize natural light and views.

These homes can be largely found in Noe Valley, Diamond Heights and in Potrero Hill.

Craftsman Style

The sixth type of architecture is a Craftsman style. Craftsman homes were popular in the early 1900s and are known for their simple, yet elegant designs. Natural materials such as wood and stone and an emphasis on craftsmanship and quality construction.

These homes can be found in Cole Valley, Forest Hill, and St. Francis Wood.

Marina Style

The seventh style of architecture is the Marina style homes. The Marina style house is a popular architectural style in San Francisco and other parts of California. which emerged in the 1920s and 1930s. It is a subtype of arts and crafts style and it’s characterized by its distinctive barrel front shape which gives the house a ship like appearance.

Inside the Marina Style house typically features an open floor plan with spacious living room and dining room, often with the fireplace as a focal point. The kitchen may be located at the rear of the house with views of the backyard, and the house often has two or three bedrooms and there may be a small balcony or terrace of one of those bedrooms.

Overall, San Francisco is a city with diverse range of architectural styles and the homes found in the city reflect its rich history of design and construction.

If you want to learn more about different types of properties or neighborhoods in San Francisco, feel free to contact us.

June 15, 2023
Living In San Francisco