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In the United States, 'Victorian' architecture generally describes styles that were most popular between 1860 and 1900. A list of these styles most commonly includes Second Empire (1855–85), Stick-Eastlake (1860–ca. 1890), Folk Victorian (1870-1910), Queen Anne (1880–1910), Richardsonian Romanesque (1880–1900), and Shingle (1880–1900). As in the United Kingdom, examples of Gothic Revival and Italianate continued to be constructed during this period, and are therefore sometimes called Victorian. On the other hand, terms such as "Painted Ladies" or "gingerbread" may be used to describe certain Victorians, but do not constitute a specific style, instead often combining several different elements becoming less distinguishable as one style from another.


1198 Fulton Street is widely recognized as a symbol of San Francisco's Victorian architecture. "One of the most picturesque examples of the Stick Italianate Villa, the most imposing building in the area…" As an icon of San Francisco Victorians, the house is pointed out daily on bus tours and often appears or is referenced in multiple tourist publications.


A multi-platform documentary exploring San Francisco’s iconic Victorian Westerfeld house architecture and the legends that made it one of the most infamous cultural landmarks embodying the city’s prismatic character.

Expected Release 2017 / Approx. 100 min / Color / English / French Subtitles



The San Francisco Film Society is the proud sponsor of Westerfeld House of Legends: Tales of the Russian Embassy, by Matt Alavi and will administer any funds received in support of this project. Donations through the San Francisco Film Society are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.



The San Francisco Film Society champions the world's finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Building on a legacy of nearly 60 years of bringing the best in world cinema to the Bay Area, the San Francisco Film Society is a national leader in exhibition, education and filmmaker services.


Historypin is a way for people to come together to share and celebrate local history. It consists of a shared archive, a mutually supportive community and a collaborative approach to engagement with local history. Historypin is a not-for-profit organisation. It was created by  SHIFT (formerly We Are What We Do) which builds social businesses to solve social problems. Our team is based in London, San Francisco and Sofia.


The California Historical Society, founded in 1871, is a non-profit organazation with a mission to inspire and empower people to make Californa's richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives.  




“Up at Fulton and Scott is a great shambling old Gothic house, a freaking decayed giant, known as The Russian Embassy”
— Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
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