Grandma's SF House

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This modular house was built by my grandfather in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco in 1947. This three bedroom house is a typical “row house” which has a narrow facade, yet a deep footprint that includes a back yard. Note the access to the back yard is through the garage and the rear of the building. The three removable layers of this Lego set shows the unique architecture needed for buildings of this style. For example, the front door is in the middle of the building and on the second floor. Guests would press the “buzzer” so the resident can remotely unlock the front gate. The decor of this building is shown how it looked in 1977 when it was sold.

The walk up to the front door has a unique skylight that brings in daylight to give the illusion of being outside. Most row houses in San Francisco also have “light wells.” These are shafts in the middle for side of the building to let light inside from a otherwise dark part of the building. As you can see, the neighboring buildings join right up to both sides of this house. Most of these homes in SF had flat roofs like this one. The front facade would have a decorative fake roof; giving the appearance of a sloped roof on the entire building.

The dining room shows the Danish dishes my grandmother would prepare; mostly fish like herring. After dinner, guests would retire to the living room to enjoy the corner fireplace or at Christmas time, the tree my grandmother would have in the window.

The 2-car garage has a door that opens and closes. This set comes with two minifig scale automobiles that fit nicely in the garage. Behind the garage you’ll find a party room, laundry room and half bathroom. 

The back doors open into the garden of fruit trees, flowers and a bird bath. My grandfather (one of the minifigs in this set) used to work in the garden shoveling dirt while wearing his suit and tie. My grandmother (the other minifig) would be nearby to help with the chores. Like most San Franciscans in the 1950s, they hung their laundry out on the clothes line to dry. This house’s clothes line is operated from the back porch.

This set is an excellent play set for kids as it comes with two minifigs, two cars, furniture, LED lights, and flexibility to be included in any Lego downtown CiTY.

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