This is a Web version of a printed document published in 2007 by the Sunset-Parkside Action Committee (SPEAK). "Architectural and Historical Resources of the Sunset District: The Oceanside Neighborhood" is the best written history to date on the development of this little-known part of San Francisco. The committee of SPEAK who produced the project and the document included a number of WNP members and board members, and we're very happy to have a chance to share this information with you online. Not only is there wonderful history of the Oceanside within, but a survey of important and interesting buildings still standing in the neighborhood.
The Sunset, San Francisco's largest neighborhood, possesses many cultural landmarks that describe the history of its settlement. Only with an inventory and evaluation of those resources, can future development be guided in a way that complements and preserves the history of the neighborhood. We believe that informing property owners and decision makers of the worth of many resources will help foster sensitivity in future development decisions.
SAHRIC has undertaken this effort to preserve the best our neighborhood has to offer. After publishing in 20005 Sixteen Notable Buildings as a sample of the many Sunset resources worth preserving, the group focused on small houses and cottages (less than 1800 square feet) as a source of potentially affordable housing. With a grant from the Alexander Wallace Gerbode Foundation, SAHRIC hired architectural historian William Kostura, to survey the former Oceanside neighborhood, generally located west of 40th Avenue between Lincoln and Sloat Boulevards with a concentration just south of Golden Gate Park.
Starting with an analysis of the earliest available Sanborn (Fire Insurance Co.) maps of 1915, Kostura assessed in a field survey which small houses were extant from 1915, and selected about twenty with high integrity, i.e., those which were only minimally altered. After detailed research of archival resources and a photographic documentation, each building and its history was recorded on State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) 523 forms for documentation of historic properties.
These forms are complemented by the Oceanside Historic Context Statement, describing the fascinating development history and specific architecture of this neighborhood. Between 1900 and 1930 this neighborhood grew out of sand dunes and was known as the Oceanside, so named for an earlier roadhouse from the 1850s which bore that name. Around the turn of the century, the northern end of the neighborhood was also called "Carville" due to the obsolete street and cable cars that were brought there, then bought by locals and refurnished as clubhouses and recreational housing. This booklet serves to educate residents of the area and city officials and to encourage maintenance of the historic buildings found here. Ideally, as buildings are renovated, and added to in time, the city should encourage owners to maintain the significant features that retain integrity and restore features that have been altered to their original appearance.
SAHRIC anticipates further grants from the city and private foundations to complete the comprehensive survey of Oceanside, including all cottages, larger residences, apartment houses, and commercial buildings. As important as these few buildings are to the history of the Sunset, many others will come to light only through a careful and comprehensive look throughout the neighborhood. Another goal of this booklet is to promote the continued efforts to find and maintain all the resources that will tell the Sunset's story long into the future.
The members of SAHRIC possess considerable expertise in a number of disciplines related to the task at hand. In alphabetical order, we are: Catherine Bauman; F. Joseph Butler, AIA; Marc Duffett, president of SPEAK; Inge Horton, chair of SAHRIC; Woody LaBounty; Mary Anne Miller; Susan Snyder; Lorri Ungaretti; and Megan Allison Wade.
Consultant: William Kostura, architectural historian, author of Russian Hill: The Summit 1853-1906 (1997).
To contact SAHRIC, please send a message to
Inge Horton c/o SPEAK
1329 - 7th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122.
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Page launched 3 December 2007; updated 12 May 2010.