Monday, February 8, 2010

Macro Monday – Fleur de Lis

DSC04426 Fleur de Lis Cornice square

My mother lives in the Cole Valley neighborhood in San Francisco where many of the buildings were built around the turn of the century. The architecture was exported from England during Queen Victoria’s reign to many cities throughout the United States. This frothy corinthian column from a house across the street from Boulange de Cole Valley reminds me of the Wedding Cake House of the same era in New Orleans

DSC04181 Corinthian column

The elaborate ornamentation around this window elevates its importance:

DSC04180 window ornamentationThe 

Here is a quintessential neighborhood house and details that hearken back to their Victorian and Edwardian roots…

DSC04422 Green Cole Valley house

… with bay windows …

DSC04177 Cole Valley houses

and eaves adorned with dentil cornices egg-and-dart mouldings …

DSC04424 cornice

… and ionic columns flanking the stairway

DSC04423 ionic columns

Maintaining the delicate details of gingerbread mouldings is costly and time-consuming, thus many of these homes were stripped of their intricate decorations and covered with alternate, lower-maintenance materials like this house, directly next door:

DSC04425 Fleur de Lis house

Though I understand the practical need to simplify, I’m glad they left one detail:

DSC04426 Fleur de Lis Cornice

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints on their first ever Super Bowl win!

For more Macro Monday photos, please visit Lisa here.


16 comments:

Marilyn said...

Many years ago I lived in SF and just loved these houses. Thanks for sharing them.

Tammie Lee said...

wonderful S.F details~

Middle Aged Woman Blogging said...

I have never been there, but now I really, really want to go! Love the fluer de lis!

Kris said...

Those bay windows are a dream! I wish NYC had more of them!

JoLyn said...

Thanks for visiting my blog!

I love these architectural photos. What a great place to live!

jay said...

It breaks my heart when people strip buildings of their character. Those houses are just so beautiful in their original glory, aren't they? I really enjoyed this post - thank you!

I thought of New Orleans as soon as I saw the fleur-de-lys. I was supporting the Colts in the Superbowl, but the Saints deserved their win.

Kala said...

Amazing architecture - what detail & symbolism.

dutchbaby said...

Dear Marilyn,
In which neighborhood did you live? I think these houses bring a lot of character to The City.

Dear Tammie Lee,
Thank you. There's so much more to tell...

A Cuban In London said...

Stunning photos and many thanks for the cultural and historical explanation. Enjoyed this post a lot.

Greetings from London.

Ruth said...

Every photo took my breath! But the egg-and-dart molding on those bay windows is one of the most beautiful architectural features I've seen. Extraordinary.

Susan said...

Very cool link to the Saints, dutchbaby! What a win!

Gorgeous detail on the houses!

dutchbaby said...

Dear MAWB,
Please do come! You won't be disappointed.

Dear Kris,
I love bay windows too, especially if they have a built-in seat.

Dear JoLyn,
We live in paradise!

Dear jay,
I agree that it is sad that the original architectural details are lost over time. I try to imagine what these buildings used to look like.

Thanks for being a good sport about the Colts' loss. It was such an exciting game!

Dear Kala,
Even after living in the SF region for over forty years, I don't grow weary of these buildings.

Dear Cuban,
Thanks! I love the architecture in London also.

Dear Ruth,
Thank you. I love the egg-and-dart motiff also.

Dear Susan,
What a great win! That onside kick was crazy and Drew Brees with his baby melted my heart. My daughter chose a perfect year to start college in New Orleans.

Relyn said...

Sigh. Feels like a mini-trip home. How can it feel like home after only five days. Oh yeah. You.

dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,
A little birdie told me that you may return???

Vagabonde said...

I lived on Guerrero Street near Dolores before I was married, in a building like the one on your post, but not so fancy. I also lived on Larkin Street, Hermann Street and also 17th Street in Castro. I loved the 10 years I lived in San Francisco, well I did live in Berkeley too. I bought a watercolor in SF of a Victorian House as you show and it is in my bedroom so I can look at it every day. I miss San Francisco. When I left Paris to go abroad, I was not really sure where to go, whether the US or Canada or Australia, then I read an article about San Francisco in a travel magazine, and that decided it for me – just an article. It’s funny what road you take in life and I wonder what would have happened if I had taken another road which I was considering – like Montreal.

dutchbaby said...

Dear Vagabonde,
You lived in some great neighborhoods. I'm so glad you had the foresight to buy that watercolor as a reminder of this wonderful city. Did you go to school in Berkeley? I was there 1972-77. I know how life takes unexpected twists and turns. We were supposed to live in New York City but my father decided on the way over here that San Francisco was a better place for us. I think I would have been a different person if I lived back East all these years.

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