What is a Painted Lady

I am currently out of the UK, on my way to attend Rootstech 2017 in snowy Salt Lake City, but am taking the opportunity to “detour” via San Francisco for a brief holiday before settling down for an intensive few days of genealogy. I am therefore undertaking the obligatory tourist  tours and visits, sampling the various sights and sounds San Francisco offers in the company of @TheKirstyGray.

So, in answer to the question posed in the title of this blog is: it rather depends upon where you live. In the UK, most people will tell you it’s a butterfly, as indeed it is, but in San Francisco, a Painted Lady is an entirely different thing.

San Francisco is vulnerable to earthquakes and over the years, the city has lost a number of architectural gems. The city has also been ravaged by fires which have also destroyed properties.  Wikipedia defines a Painted Lady as “Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colours that embellish to enhance their architectural details” although the guide on the (almost obligatory) open top bus tour was adamant that the houses had to be original Victorian houses, and not those which are replica buildings.

When I was studying house history, learning about various architectural styles in order to be able to “date” the origins of the construction, was vital. Walking around San Francisco, it has been a delight to see so many differing architectural styles and to appreciate the skills not only of the original builders and architects, but also of those who seek to preserve the heritage of the city.

If you want to know more about the Painted Ladies, this website might be of interest to you. http://www.upout.com/blog/san-francisco-3/25-facts-might-not-know-painted-ladies


Today we visited Alcatraz. I found it a rather disturbing experience, to witness the conditions in which the men were incarcerated, but was surprised at the variety of the flowering shrubs in bloom. Many I recognised, if I could not actually name them, but gardening is not my strong point.

Tomorrow we travel to Salt Lake City. I will be spending time , when not at Rootstech , doing some research at the Library.

During the last few days, Kirsty and I have been staying at the Vertigo Hotel. You might like the photo below – but then again maybe not.



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