This is probably your best bet to see how a prosperous middle-class family lived in 19th century San Francisco. Operated by the San Francisco architectural heritage organization, this 1886 Queen Anne beauty is the city’s only family home–turned museum. It still has original fixtures like privacy doors at the entrance to indicate whether the family was accepting visitors, and six-and-six light fixtures (six of the lights were electric and six were gas, letting you choose your preferred effect), as well as the family’s original furniture.
All visits must be with a guide, but very little of the house is off limits, and indoor photography is permitted. Docents give tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you’d like to know more about the Pacific Heights area where the house is located, you can also take a docent-led walking tour that starts from the house and lasts about two hours. Your guide will explain the different architectural styles of the Victorian era and talk about the history of the city. Walking tours are only available on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. Reservations aren’t required; just show up a little ahead of time.
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