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Heritage Hikes Virtual Resource: Open Your Eyes!

A example of a worksheet handed out to students on a Heritage Hikes tour a the Haas-Lilienthal House, from sf_excelsior_415 on Instagram.

The Heritage Hikes program is a fun and interactive educational initiative, run by San Francisco Heritage since 1988. The aim of the program is for third-graders to discover local history through Victorian architecture and home life, and ties into the third grade curriculum of local history study. For teachers, Heritage provides an ‘Architrunk’ (now available in a digital format) that includes a teacher guide, architectural illustrations, a DVD and other teaching materials in order to prepare students for their visit. Typically, these in-class activities then compliment a student-focused Haas-Lilienthal House tour and architectural treasure hunt.

Heritage Hikes is currently suspended due to the closures necessitated by COVID-19. Program lead and House Docent Coordinator Pam Larson has created a virtual resource for teachers to utilize during this time (access below). This slideshow of photographs helps students become familiar with the extensive details that characterize Victorian homes, from shingles and gables to finials and sunbursts. The slideshow concludes with a virtual walkthrough of the Haas-Lilienthal House, which highlights specific room details for students.

While this resource was created with teachers and students in mind, it is free for anyone to use. Use this resource to illuminate your shelter-in-place walks, and try to spot the architectural details on houses in your neighborhood!

Teachers may want to access this pdf, which includes supplementary information on Victorian Architecture.

Click the image below to access the slideshow resource:

Heritage Hikes is free to San Francisco’s public schools, $5 per student for private schools. To inquire about the program, email Pam Larson at and visit

Photos included in Open Your Eyes include photographs taken by Judith Lynch, educator and writer of San Francisco Victorian architecture. Many of her photos can be found on OpenHistorySF.

Haas-Lilienthal Houseeducational resources

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