Drawing San Francisco...

Posted on by Lauren Moss

One of our favorite cities to visit, San Francisco, is well-known for its historic architecture, in particular the Victorian and Italianate homes built in the mid to late 19th century, characterized by bay windows (creating additional square footage at the narrow lots) and detailed ornamentation.

While attending architecture school up north, I was commissioned to create the drawing below as a gift to the client’s wife- a detailed depiction of their quintessential San Francisco home. 

pencil drawing of san francisco architecture

The design is actually reflective of an Italianate aesthetic in the expression of verticality in the building's massing, recessed entry and tall, narrow windows. Also key to this style are the decorative elements at the façade- for example, the fluted columns flanking the windows and the molding details at the roofline and building projections. 

The flat roof is a design element that most visibly distinguishes this style from the also very popular Victorian and Edwardian styles, characterized by sloping gable roofs and bright colors, epitomized at the city’s most famous series of ‘Painted Ladies’.


For more on San Francisco’s historic architecture, visit the San Francisco Historical Society or stop by Wikipedia for more images and information.

Thanks for reading! Lauren