In 1866, what we now call the Richmond District was incorporated into the City of San Francisco. Known as the “outside lands,” it was a lonely area of drifting sand dunes and sagebrush, a blank area on county maps with Mountain Lake as the sole identifiable feature.
The genesis of the land for this playground comes as a by-product of the West Portal rail station (now Muni), which opened on Feb. 3, 1918 as the western terminus of the Twin Peaks Tunnel.
Long before children soared in the swings of the West Sunset Playground, an 1868 city map showed the San Francisco’s west portion known as the Outside Lands with numerous lots reserved for public purposes such as parks and school buildings. Only two plots were reserved for parks in the Sunset District; what became McCoppin and Parkside Squares. The rest were purchased over time.
When visitors stroll around the Golden Gate Park Concourse, containing the de Young Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, California Academy of Sciences and the Spreckels Temple of Music (better known as “the Bandshell”), they might be surprised to learn that all of it was once part of a Midwinter International Exposition 125 years ago.
Creation of this small park at 420 Seventh Ave. in the Richmond District was before the era of the official mini-park, a federally subsidized program initiated in San Francisco in 1968, and creating it was a complicated business as it was a public-private project, a virtually unknown notion at the time but common today.
OVER 90,000 HISTORIC PROPERTY PHOTOS NOW ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC THROUGH SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY In 2018 the San Francisco Assessor’s Office launched an initiative to preserve and make publicly available over […]
Growing up right across the street from Abraham Lincoln High School, Ungaretti did not really know all of the intricate details of the area until she began doing research and talking to people.
A link to photo of a 42′ by 38′ detailed wooden replica of the city of San Francisco as it was in 1940 in 158 pieces at a scale of 1 inch to 100 feet.
The two pieces of a 3-D model of the West Portal neighborhood is on display at the West Portal Branch Library at 190 Lenox Way at Ulloa Street and West Portal Avenue.
To commemorate the centennial of the opening of the old Coliseum Theatre, the local history organization Western Neighborhoods Project will host two presentations on west side neighborhood movie houses at its “home for history,” located at 1617 Balboa St.
“When I visited San Francisco as a child, I fell in love with the city’s architecture and natural land preserves,” Proctor said. “When I completed my family’s genealogy, I began to seriously explore the West of Twin Peak’s history.”
San Francisco is always in the process of naming and renaming streets, to honor new heroes or outstanding citizens or to remove the names of those deemed unworthy by today’s standards.
Although much more information is available today than was in 1897, there is still more knowledge to be discovered as to the origins of the diverse street names in San Francisco.
Wolf ’s memoir begins with the story of how his Dutch Jewish family escaped the descending darkness of the Holocaust of World War II in Europe and arrived at their final sanctuary at the Caribbean island of Curacao.