While walking down Golden Gate Avenue in the Western Addition the other day, we noticed the false facades on these Victorian homes. We've noticed other homes around the city with faux fronts and assumed they were modern add-ons to make a house look like a Victorian.
But we discovered that these particular houses -- Italianate Victorians built in the mid 1800s -- were originally made to look this way. The dead giveaways in identifying these homes are the rectangular, symmetrical shape of the houses, as well as their flat roofs, ornamental brackets, and overhanging eaves. False fronts were another common feature of the Italianate style. They extended the house's facade beyond the actual roofline, giving the house a taller appearance.
Next time you're walking by a row of Victorians, make sure to get a profile view. These houses may not be what they seem.