557 Allen St
- Built: ca. 1890
- Architect: Unknown
This fine Queen Anne style house is one of the oldest in neighborhood. It is one of several houses shown on the 1892 map for what would become Harvard Place. In the 1893-94 city directory it is listed as belonging to Thomas Knapp. We have to imagine how many of the late Victorian houses built in the neighborhood in the 1880s and 1890s, especially those on Westcott, Dell and South Beech Streets and Columbus Avenue, had much more surface decoration and were vividly painted, perhaps like #557 Allen Street.
The house was also one of the first to be renovated as part of the movement which saw the return of middle class owner-occupants to this part of Allen Street in the 1980s. The owners Anita and Eric Gustafson, both of whom are professional musicians, were inspired by the so-called “painted lady” movement which brought the Victorian houses of San Francisco to national attention in the 1970s.