Friday, July 11, 2014

Gloriously Eclectic Architecture

Arctic Garden Studio

Touring new listings this week with several agents, one new to town, the question arose - how do you tell Victorian from Edwardian? A memory trick I picked up somewhere is that Victoria was a woman, and the style is pretty fancy and curvy, while Edward was a man, and the style is simpler and more square.

Of course it's soooo much more complicated then that. Here's some wonderful video from the amazing James Dixon that gives a good overview of Victorian and Edwardian and San Francisco's multiple other architectural styles: When and Why Styles Changed. The short answer to why so many styles over time is the intersection of architectural fashions and cyclic economic booms.

Paragon Victorian Edwardian

If you like to read text and see still images, look here for Victorian and Edwardian periods. 

James Dixon Architect

The SF Department of Planning's Preservation Bulletin #18 (scroll down a bit for photos) also has lots of great photo's and details about the many styles and periods of San Francisco architecture.
and lest we forget the avenues out there in the fog, here's a link to your Doelger styles.

Curbed - Planning Sunset District Historic Resources

Information on more modern styles, from 1920 forward, can be found here.  So there you have it, now you can impress your friends.  

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


So I have had bloggers block for weeks now. This little flower fiend post is meant to end it. 

Yesterday I had a couple little wedges of time between real estate tasks and I needed a flower fix.  I stopped by Rare Device to see these amazing and enormous paper flowers, by Tiffanie Turner. They are glorious. 

A little later I walked with a friend in Golden Gate Park, through redwood groves to the rose garden. I have never seen such a blue blue delphinium, and the roses never disappoint. Happy Spring everyone!

Friday, April 25, 2014

"Walking Shed"

This cool coffee shop walking shed map from MIT (which you should check out) was the first place I saw the term "Walking shed" used, though I've certainly rambled on about Walkability, here here, and here.

Apparently Walking Shed is a thing already, also referred to as "ped shed" which makes sense, because duh, it just seems so obviously something we operate within. Though car dominated lifestyles have held sway during the past century, there is clearly a shift going on.


Until fairly recently in human history the draw for settlement orientation has been water, but now priorities are transportation, coffee, schools, restaurants, yoga studios... Where a property is within a walking shed has a huge effect on it's real estate value these days, with jobs,transportation portals, (including especially tech bus stops) at the top of the list right now.


and when you look objectively at how long it will take to walk vs. drive plus park...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

City Compost Awesomeness

Reason to love San Francisco number 14,397.

This is picked up and taken away from the curb outside my apartment building.

Then twice a year I take a big bucket to the Great Compost Giveaway.

And take it home to use it in my little city garden.

How wonderful is that!?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Environmental History and Real Estate

Business Insider SF Real Estate Market Explosion 
It's no secret that San Francisco Real Estate is hot hot hot, and Marin is not far behind in terms of multiple offers well over asking. The bidding war is just part of life now, alas. If you are focused and can afford to compete, I can help get your offer accepted, or if you want to sell I can help you do so smoothly and efficiently. Don't sell with out a good plan in place, as selling is soooo much easier then buying right now. My esteemed colleagues and reporters have covered the changing real estate landscape  very well, so I'll stick to my obsession with earth based real estate.

This fabulous article, via Richmond Blog from the wonderful Outside Lands folks, sums up how water shaped the development of the western side of the city. Of course water and topography also shaped the development of the rest of the city and Marin, and historical development across the globe.

Topography has a powerful influence on microclimates, on earthquake risk, tsunami risk, underground creek issues, even how well your plumbing works. Location is the one thing you cannot change when you buy property, and it is easy to forget that the earth is still underneath all this built environment we live in.

So, as you gird your loins to enter the fray, pull focus a little on that property you are so excited about. Will the climate suit you when the dust of the escrow settles? Is it in a landslide or flood zone? Will you be able to grow the things you want to grow, or will you have to spend extra on earthquake or flood insurance? Flood insurance rates are rising fast, but that's for another post.

Bold Italic - Microclimates

If you already own property here, and are staying put but curious, or renting and curious, the San Francisco Library has tips for researching buildings, and Nature in the City put together a wonderful nature map of the city. If you are in the market, though things are moving fast and furiously these days, do be sure review the Natural Hazard Disclosures, to be sure you know about long term environmental realities you may not notice underneath the fresh paint and newly refinished floors.

SF Rec and Park, Nature in the City

Happy Spring!