San Francisco Neighborhood History

The long history of San Francisco neighborhoods is preserved through books, pictures, maps and other wonders to spur dreams, mostly at San Francisco library. The addition of historical photos on line, along with other recent advances in information technology, facilitated the development of personal neighborhood histories. These can help us to better understand how our communities evolved to the way we know them today.

San Francisco neighborhood history became of interest after purchase of my first San Francisco home at 1263-67 Lombard St. in 1975. I recall listening to a neighbor relate tales of residents in 1906 using wine soaked blankets to douse flaming embers on their rooftops and prevent our block from succumbing to fire in 1906. I also recall of hearing that Mrs. Davis buried her dentist husband under the kitchen of 1279 Lombard cottage. This was confirmed recently when 1279 was taken down and replaced with a new home which sealed the century long charmed Russian Hill setting of 1263-79 Lombard.


Neighborhood history interest was revived when we moved to Broadway and Octavia. That was in days when the only way to view historical neighborhood photographs was in folders at San Francisco library, to be viewed only with white gloves to prevent fingerprints. With all those old San Francisco photos online now, the white glove procedure now only exists at California Historical Society.

It was Kevin high school project that inspired me to create a version of his assignment in San Francisco Neighborhood Archeology over a Century. Later on integration of text and images led to Notable Neighbors. This also was a reminder of how my tie to the LaFayette Park neighborhood started with my arrival in San Francisco in 1965 when I lived at the Lodge at Octavia and Sutter, now the Queen Ann Hotel.

Since 1969, I have either lived a few blocks north of Lafayette Park or looked down from Russian Hill homes on the Alhambra Theater on Polk. And I learned that the home that made room for the Alhambra now sits at 2210 Clay opposite the park, looking down on both my original Octavia Lodge San Francisco residence as well as our Octavia home where we have lived since 1983.


Pacific Heights 100 Years

LaFayette Park Notable Neighbors

1200 Lombard Ridge Russian Hill

Lombard - Pacific Heights Ridges

Vam Ness Polk Corridor

Black Point For Mason

Washerwoman's Lagoon Cow Hollow


San Francisco North Waterfront

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