Second Best Block of Victorians - 2002
1800 Block of Laguna (between Bush and Pine)
Victorians are the architectural soul of San Francisco, the unifying theme that imbues the city with its unique character and sense of style. Even so, the charms of these Painted Ladies must usually be enjoyed piecemeal. It is rare to find more than a handful side by side; they exist today only as grand individual homes or in small, preserved pockets running through the center of town, from the Liberty/Hill historic district in the Mission to the stately mansions of Pacific Heights. Undoubtedly the most picturesque stand of Victorians is the famous block of Queen Anne cottages along "Postcard Row" at the east end of Alamo Square, set against the dramatic, sweeping backdrop of downtown's skyline. But the second most impressive grouping may well be on Laguna Street between Bush and Pine -- the only place in the city where Victorians line an entire block on both sides of the street. The immaculate, pastel-colored homes were built in the 1870s and 1880s, in the elaborate Stick style on the west side and Italianate on the east. There may be gaudier Victorians in the city, but few areas of town so readily conjure the dirt roads, horse-drawn carriages, and everyday elegance of the city's remarkable past.