"People are buying Victorians and they are going super modern," said Scott Bowles, former manager of San Francisco Victoriana, a supplier of building materials for restoring Victorian homes, which closed in April. "They are ruining the city." [...]
Victorian-era architecture is not unique to San Francisco, of course. But many of the city's wooden homes with turrets and gingerbread details produced at the state's redwood mills were often designed by local architects, built by the same group of developers, or assembled from parts ordered from the Sears catalog. They often have distinct features and only -- in -- San Francisco traits, such as their bay windows, and are staggered up the city's hills. Some of the most over-the-top designs and extraneous details were ridiculed in their own time, it should be noted.
"It seems somehow cruel that many Victorians with intact interiors, that survived earthquakes, fires and hippies are having their stuffing ripped out so that the new owners can have a house that looks like a condo in Foster City," said Christopher VerPlanck, principal of VerPlanck Historic Preservation Consulting in San Francisco. [...]
Many owners want to create open floor plans, just like their tech offices, a design which is in sharp contrast to the narrow Victorian layouts of the late 1880s and early 1900s, which comprise many small rooms, each with their own fireplaces and heavy pocket doors, designed to keep in the heat.
"I have to ask why they seem to target Victorians when there are lots of more contemporary buildings that they could [apply] this treatment to," VerPlanck added. "When the remodel is done, often the only thing left is the facade, which they may or may not do a nice job of restoring. ... As more of these happen, San Francisco is turing into a Potemkin Village of itself. No history. No patina. Nothing is lived-in. Everything looks like a Dwell magazine spread."
Back in my day, we washed our hands in a different room from the one we pooped in, and we liked it that way!