Decoding SF’s Secret Victorian Symbols

Art-Monday-Jump-Start-Victorians

Happy Halloween!

We’re not going to talk about haunted houses today. Instead, we’re going to look at San Francisco’s iconic houses – the Victorians. Some of these homes may seem Halloween-like because of their age and potential creakiness, but the craftsmanship you see on display in their facades is often remarkable. It turns out the ornate imagery is no accident – it was placed there as an expression of the homeowner’s identity and aspirations.

7×7.com recently published a “Guide to Decoding SF’s Secret Victorian Symbols.” The post looks at Medusa heads, sunbursts, cherubs, lions, and other symbols so often found on these homes. It explains the significance and origins of each.

It turns out that homeowners in the 1800s were not so different than the homeowners of today.  According to 7×7 writer Mary Jo Bowling, “The motifs that they included on their houses spoke of their social standing, their net worth, and even their superstitions.” We must admit, that sounds familiar!

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