Top Agent POV: The Western Neighborhoods Project and San Francisco Residence Parks

Top Agent POV: The Western Neighborhoods Project and San Francisco Residence Parks

Writings about residential real estate and all things home, by Lisa Auer, J.D. of Kindred SF Homes.

Reading time: 2 minutes 

One of my favorite local nonprofits is the Western Neighborhoods Project. It’s a tiny operation that does a lot of great stuff, including hosting walks and talks, producing a weekly podcast, and sharing an online archive of historical photos, called Open SF History (try the cool map feature where you can zoom in on any street in San Francisco to see nearby images). 

I recently became a WNP member, and I’ve been attending some fun events (such as a Clement Street Pub Crawl that’s being offered again on July 15th) and discovering a wealth of information about San Francisco neighborhoods and history. For example, although I’ve lived in the Richmond District for over 30 years, I was surprised to learn that the official name of the neighborhood was changed to the “Park- Presidio District” in 1917. The new name never caught on with the public, but it was not until 2009 that a city ordinance changed it back. See Naming the Richmond District.) 

Houses along Shore View Avenue in Lincoln Manor

I had also never heard of Lincoln Manor until this year, and I enjoyed exploring it on a recent WNP walk. Located between 36th and 38th Avenues and Geary and Clement Streets, Lincoln Manor is one of dozens of master-planned residence parks that were proposed or built in San Francisco in the early 1900s, mostly on the west side of the city. These planned neighborhoods were designed to give the feeling of suburban living in a park-like setting while still being in the city. They share features such as entry gates and stairs, curved streets, trees, lawns, and landscaping, spacious lots, and detached houses. Some of the better known residence parks in San Francisco are St. Francis Wood, Sea Cliff, West Clay Park, Forest Hill, Balboa Terrace, and Jordan Park. 

You can learn much more in local historian Richard Brandi’s book Garden Neighborhoods of San Francisco: The Development of Residence Parks, 1905-1924, available at Green Apple Books or your favorite bookseller. Or attend Richard’s next event with the Western Neighborhoods Project on July 29th: Ingleside Terraces, Westwood Park, and Westwood Highlands History Walk. Hope to see you there!




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