A French Provincial Sunset District Rousseau Storybook House in San Francisco.
Charles M. Rousseau became an architect in San Francisco in 1890. By 1908, he had trained all three of his sons (Charles J., Arthur, and Oliver) as architects. Following the 1906 earthquake and fire, they offered adjustment services to insurance agencies for properties that had been destroyed and designed and constructed numerous large projects as developers.
In the 1930s, extending trolley lines and constructing Golden Gate Park and Sunset Boulevard created new housing development opportunities in the Sunset District, previously a vast area of sand dunes stretching to the Pacific shore. The Rousseau brothers created the district’s most fantastical Storybook houses, now called “Rousseaus’ Boulevard Tract.”
Their whimsical architecture conveyed a sense of optimism. Their unique floor plans included interior patios and garages. Brilliant marketing produced a frenzy of home-buying even during the Great Depression.
The tract’s exceptionally expressive architecture expresses the characteristics of three Storybook Period Revival styles: Spanish Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and French Provincial. These period revival styles are included in Chapter 2 of “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
Our shop also carries other select preservation and restoration titles, including the classic “A Field Guide to American Houses” by Virginia McAllester. Save with our multi-book combo packs!
© Scott T. Hanson 2023
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