Oldest Victorians: Tanforan Cottages 1853

San Francisco Landmark #67
Tanforan Cottage 1
214 Dolores Street Between 15th and 16th Streets
Mission District
Built 1853

This is one of a pair of redwood cottages built by the Tanforan ranching family on land that lay within the 1836 Mexican Grant to Francisco Guerrero. Located only half a block from Mission Dolores, the oldest building in San Francisco, these two cottages are probably the oldest residential buildings in the Mission District.

It is thought that the Tanforans built 214 and 220 Dolores as farm houses. 214 was built first, and 220 followed a year or so later.  The homes are simple frame structures with classic revival facades (an architectural movement based on the use of pure Roman and Greek forms in the early 19th century). Their false fronts, full width porches with square posts, and four-over-four window sashes (four panes of glass on the top frame and four panes of glass on the bottom frame of a double hung window) are common features of the 1890s. The deep-set backyard, another feature of that era, holds a carriage house that contained a Tanforan-owned carriage until 1940.

Posted by: Rebecca White on