San Francisco’s Mission District Has Its Own Painted Ladies, FYI

These John Welsh-designed flats in SF give their Alamo Square soul sisters a run for their Victorian facades.

The Von Schroeder-Welsh block at Capp and 22nd streets. Photo: Screenshot via Google Maps

Known as the Von Schroeder-Welsh block, aptly named in part after real estate developer, Baroness Mary E. Von Schroeder, the urban sprawl contains the largest collection of buildings from local architect John Welsh known to exist; most of his early work was destroyed in the earthquake and fires of 1906. This historic area, which is home to a total of 29 Welsh-designed properties, sits as a celebrated reminder of San Francisco’s architectural stylings of the late 1800s. (The San Francisco Planning Department notes that the structures have special period significance between 1889 and 1895.)

The Von Schroeder-Welsh block at Capp and 22nd streets. Photo: Screenshot via Google Maps

In a feature somewhat akin to the Painted Ladies, two of the Mission District Welsh-designed flats — located at 715‐717 and 719‐721 Capp Street — feature cresting rooflines, which are accented by the stark molding work above the top-floor windows. (Decades of constant renovation and upkeep saw most of the other Welsh flats on the street lose this iconic feature in favor of more flattened, muted, modern-style roofing styles.)

In the image below, you can view the West side of South Van Ness Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets, circa 1890, courtesy of San Francisco Public Library Historical Photograph Collection Photo.

Nevertheless: The boxed bay window designs and cast swags above the enclosed porches remain period-specific harkening to a San Francisco that, more or less, has been nearly developed and zoned out of existence since the dot-com boom.

With the rainy weather slated to lift off sometime next week, explore the Mission District’s Slow Streets corridors, grab a burrito (or three), and acquaint yourself with the city’s lesser-known Painted Ladies.

Feature image: The Von Schroeder-Welsh block at Capp and 22nd streets. Photo: u/Shalaco via Reddit;

1 Comment

  • e.

    I used to live on 22nd, just around the corner from this stretch of homes and always loved looking at them from my window.

    I’ve also always wondered about the history of the property right across the street (the US Bank building). It’s one of just a very small handful of “tall” buildings in the neighborhood, and it has a big ass parking lot. It just seems out of place. Do you happen to know the history of that property? Was it part of a plan to allow such developments in the area, which were subsequently stopped? Did the developer somehow get a shady variance?

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