Conference – SF’s Hidden Residence Parks – Richmond Review / Sunset Beacon


Your readers may be interested in a lecture on Residential Parks in San Francisco on November 30, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. at the Department of Art + Architecture, University of San Francisco, Maraschi Room, Fromm Hall, 2130 Fulton St. Free to the Public .

San Francisco’s Hidden Residential Parks

You may be living in a residential park without knowing it. Between 1905 and 1924, 36 “residential parks” were planned or initiated in San Francisco, featuring scenic streets, landscaping, single-family homes, and setbacks to convey the feeling of park living. These include Presidio Terrace, St. Francis Wood, and Seacliff, but residence parks were located in Sunset, Richmond, west of Twin Peaks, on Twin Peaks, and Outer Mission.

These are not typical speculative land and they make up much of the town’s residential fabric, over 7,500 period homes. Most were designed for professionals, not the wealthy, and some were marketed for the middle and working classes. All had restrictions on deeds that prohibited blacks and Asians from owning property.

Professional developers hired engineers and architects to design streets, entrance gates, public statues, landscaping and custom homes. Family developers did the work themselves and tried to imitate the professionals with varying degrees of success. Amateur developers, including a sewing machine salesman, a cattle rancher, and a haberdasher, tried their hand but generally sold to others. Nonetheless, the overall result is distinctive neighborhoods with beautiful homes and landscaping that stand out from the typical San Francisco pattern.

Find out where they are and how they got there in my lecture. I am the author of Garden Neighborhoods of San Francisco, development of residential parks 1905-1924by McFarland Publishing, 2021.

“Well-written, well-researched, interesting to read, it recounts an essential and fundamental piece of the architectural history of San Francisco. What did we do without it? – Michael R. Corbett, historian of architecture.

Nov. 30, 2022, 4:30 p.m. in Urban Studies, Department of Art + Architecture, University of San Francisco, Maraschi Room, Fromm Hall, 2130 Fulton St. Free.

Richard Brandi

Angela C. Hale