Outside Lands Podcast

Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher of the Western Neighborhoods Project, the premier source of San Francisco west side history, tell stories of local buildings, people, events, and why history is important (and fun).

The podcast is also available as a subscription via iTunes and by RSS feed.

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  • Ep#237: Sea Cliff
    The showcase neighborhood overlooking the Golden Gate.
  • Ep#236: 49 Mile Scenic Drive
    Kristine Poggioli and Carolyn Eidson explain what the 49 Mile Scenic Drive is and how to walk it today.
  • Ep#235: Zoo Trains
    We remember all the trains in the San Francisco Zoo, from the Little Puffer to the playground locomotive to the Elephant train.
  • Ep#234: Golden Gate Heights
    The story of the neighborhood perched between (and above) the Sunset District and Forest Hill.
  • Ep#233: Anglers Lodge and Casting Pools
    An alpine cabin and concrete ponds hidden in a Golden Gate Park grove.
  • Ep#232: Sea Lions of Lake Merced
    An 1890s idea to catch invasive carp backfires.
  • Ep#231: Roosevelt Middle School
    A Richmond District junior high with unusual architecture and at least one famous alum.
  • Ep#230: Sutro Forest
    The story of the San Francisco tree plantation that once stretched from the Inner Sunset to the Ingleside District.
  • Ep#229: Christofferson Brothers
    Tim McIntosh tells of early aircraft building and flying brothers who had a flight school at Ocean Beach.
  • Ep#228: Trad'r Sam
    The Outer Richmond District's venerable South Seas bar.
  • Ep#227: Grove of Memory
    Golden Gate Park's redwood grove, with Doughboy statue, commemorating Native Sons who died in 20th Century wars.
  • Ep#226: Golden Gate Bridge at 80
    San Francisco’s best known landmark has a birthday.
  • Ep#225: Columbus Alice Fong Yu School
    The story of a landmark language immersion school in the Sunset District.
  • Ep#224: Kezar Stadium Re-do
    Don't listen to podcast episode #1! This is a better look at Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park.
  • Ep#223: Department of Public Works Images
    Why did a San Francisco city agency take so many photographs and why are they important?
  • Ep#222: Fires of 1906
    Fire, not earthquake, destroyed most of San Francisco in 1906.
  • Ep#221: Japanese Tea Garden
    Gardener and historian Steven Pitsenbarger gives the story of Golden Gate Park's crown jewel.
  • Ep#220: Legion of Honor
    The history of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor---art, an organ, and a view.
  • Ep#219: Midtown Terrace
    The mid-century development nestled in San Francisco's Twin Peaks.
  • Ep#218: Parkside Theater
    The history of a neighborhood theater, home of Tom Mix, Led Zeppelin, and a lot of toddlers.
  • Ep#217: San Francisco History Days
    The present and future of the city's most popular history event in the Old Mint.
  • Ep#216: Leonard-Poole House
    The story of San Francisco landmark #213 at 90 Cedro in Ingleside Terraces.
  • Ep#215: Monarch the Grizzly Bear
    The story of a grizzly captured, and later kept in Golden Gate Park, who was the model for the state flag.
  • Ep#214: Richmond Heights
    A 1910s micro-neighborhood with residence park aspirations and Craftsman houses.
  • Ep#213: Laguna Honda School
    The story of a Sunset school, the saloon next door, and "milk punch."
  • Ep#212: Johnnie the Birdman
    The story of a nineteenth century bird-act busker at Ocean Beach.
  • Ep#211: Richmond and Sunset Branch Libraries
    Two classic west side branches of the San Francisco Public Library were built with a grant from Andrew Carnegie.
  • Ep#210: Ocean House
    The roadhouse that catered to sports at Lake Merced from the 1850s to the 1880s.
  • Ep#209: Golden Gate Park Music Stand
    The history of bandshells, music stands, and the Temple of Music.
  • Ep#208: The Bird Rescue of 1971
    Susan McCarthy tells how a 1971 oil spill brought hippies and hardhats together for clean-up efforts at Ocean Beach and the creation of International Bird Rescue.
  • Ep#207: The Human Be-In
    Nicole Meldahl and Arnold Woods come to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Polo Fields' happening.
  • Ep#206: Geary Park and Ocean Railroad
    When cable cars and steam trains ran on Geary Street to the Richmond District. Plus, a listener mail question!
  • Ep#205: Brotherhood Way
    The story of a unique drive reserved for religious and fraternal organizations in the late 1950s.
  • Ep#204: Christmas Traditions
    Local christmas traditions and stories old and new, from roof rides to holiday firehouses.
  • Ep#203: Streetcar to the Stars
    The story of the 6-line, which started as a streetcar that made a neighborhood party.
  • Ep#202: Golden Gate Park Lifesaving Station
    The story of the surfmen who did service at Ocean Beach from 1878 to 1951.
  • Ep#201: 100 Years of St. Cecilia Catholic Parish
    Guest Frank Dunnigan talks about the first century of a Parkside District parish.
  • Ep#200: The 200th Podcast
    Listener mail and more.
  • Ep#199: Mark Daniels
    Landscape architect for Forest Hill, part of Sea Cliff, the National Park Service.
  • Ep#198: Charlie Sava
    Legendary swim coach of olympians and 50,000 city school kids.
  • Ep#197: N-Judah Streetcar
    On October 21, 1928, MUNI opened the N-Judah line to an extremely jubuliant Sunset District.
  • Ep#196: Growing Up in San Francisco
    Native west side son Frank Dunnigan drops by to share more memories and preview his new book.
  • Ep#195: San Francisco History Association
    Collector Ron Ross shares his personal history in the city and the 35 year history of the San Francisco History Association.
  • Ep#194: Sloat Boulevard
    From the zoo to St. Francis Circle, stories about San Francisco's widest (maybe) street.
  • Ep#193: Love Pageant Rally
    Nicole Meldahl tells the story of the Love Pageant Rally, which happened 50 years ago this week.
  • Ep#192: Tait's at the Beach
    Once called Oceanside House and the House of Mystery, a legendary Ocean Beach roadhouse.
  • Ep#191: San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club
    Since 1901, players in white have trod the bowling greens in Golden Gate Park.
  • Ep#190: Sherwood Forest
    Guest Jacquie Proctor comes by to tell the story of the city's highest and most secret neighborhood.
  • Ep#189: Model Homes of San Francisco
    Odd and interesting model homes of the west side when developers had to work to sell city real estate.
  • Ep#188: Holy Virgin Cathedral
    The five golden domes over the Richmond District and the center of Russian Orthodox life in San Francisco.
  • Ep#187: Emperor Norton
    Guest Joseph Amster shares the story, proclamations, and continuing legacy of San Francisco's first and only emperor.
  • Ep#186: Lands End Station
    The rise and slide of a cliffside, trackside refreshment stand that faced the Golden Gate.
  • Ep#185: Abbey Stones of Golden Gate Park
    The story of a medieval Spanish monastery's journey in pieces to San Francisco.
  • Ep#184: St. Emydius Catholic Church
    An Ingleside District institution with origins in San Francisco's 1906 Earthquake and Fire. And listener mail!
  • Ep#183: 16th and Irving Street Gas Station
    Ruins of the gas station run by Jack Goldsworthy, closed but still dream-inspiring.
  • Ep#182: The Boneyard
    The where, why, and when of a streetcar cemetery and storage block in the Inner Sunset District.
  • Ep#181: Country Club Acres
    A secret southwestern San Francisco neighborhood, plus listener mail!
  • Ep#180: Coliseum Theatre
    Remembering one of the Richmond District theaters, now condos and a drug store.
  • Ep#179: Golden Gate Park Panhandle
    The history of and changes to the groomed strip leading into Golden Gate Park.
  • Ep#178: 50th Anniversary of the Sutro Baths Fire
    The massive conflagration that ended a part of San Francisco history.
  • Ep#177: Lowell High School
    We visit the oldest public high school west of the Mississippi River.
  • Ep#176: Aviation in the Outside Lands
    Airplanes, gliders, and flying machines built and flown in San Francisco's west side in the early 20th Century.
  • Ep#175: Ron Jones and Life in the Sunset
    Storyteller Ron Jones tells tales of growing up on 46th Avenue, going to Playland, and working at the Rec Center for the Handicapped.
  • Ep#174: West Clay Park
    The hidden housing development in the Richmond District with a famous photographer connection.
  • Ep#173: Park Presidio Boulevard
    The story of how the Golden Gate Bridge changed a bucolic boulevard in the Richmond.
  • Ep#172: Henry Gutterson
    Shining a light on a lesser-known Bay Area architect who designed over 100 west side houses and a couple of registered landmarks.
  • Ep#171: Carzonia Apartments
    A quirky row of apartments made of cable cars were created In the Richmond District after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.
  • Ep#170: Edgewood Center
    With origins from the 1850s, the former Protestant Orphanage still serving children in new ways in the Parkside District.
  • Ep#169: 1906 Earthquake Commemoration
    Every year, San Franciscans old and young gather at Lotta's Fountain to remember the earthquake and fire of 1906
  • Ep#168: de Young Museum
    With origins from the 1894 Midwinter Fair in Golden Gate Park, the evolution of San Francisco's fine arts museum
  • Ep#167: Mothers Building
    National landmark in the San Francisco Zoo has WPA murals and mosaics by local women artists. Can it be saved?
  • Ep#166: Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse
    The past and future of the historic transit complex at Geneva and San Jose Avenues, with guest Alex Mullaney.
  • Ep#165: Ocean Beach Archeology
    Mysterious concrete structures and stairways recently revealed at San Francisco's Ocean Beach.
  • Ep#164: Listener Mail
    Compliments and corrections to Woody and David, who take them all with humor and contrition. And bonus tall tales.
  • Ep#163: Outside Lands Act of 1866
    For the 150th anniversary of the Outside Lands Act, guest Arnold Woods explains how the western neighborhoods were added to San Francisco.
  • Ep#162: San Francisco History Days
    Preview of the sixth gathering of local history groups at the Old Mint March 5-6, 2016
  • Ep#161: Parkmerced
    The story of the apartment city-within-a-city on the shore of Lake Merced
  • Ep#160: Sunnyside District
    Visiting the creme de la creme of San Francisco subdivisions, where it isn't always sunny.
  • Ep#159: Twin Peaks Tunnel
    The story of the Municipal Railway streetcar tunnel that opened up the West of Twin Peaks neighborhoods.
  • Ep#158: Presidio Terrace
    Begun in 1905, the residence park that sparked a boom in San Francisco master-planned communities.
  • Ep#157: Fort Funston
    Guns, dogs, hang gliders, and more about the land at the southwest corner of San Francisco.
  • Ep#156: City Cemetery
    John Martini tells the story of the cemetery where Lincoln Park is today, and what remains.
  • Ep#155: Golden Gate Park Golf Course
    The hidden 9-hole pitch and putt, and mail from 13 listeners.
  • Ep#154: The Year 2015 for WNP
    The good, the awesome, and the super great year for Western Neighborhoods Project.
  • Ep#153: The Park-Presidio Improvement Association
    A strange Greek revival building in the Inner Richmond was once home to a powerful political organization.
  • Ep#152: Parkway Terrace
    Fine homes and curving concrete benches in an early housing development in the middle of the Sunset District.
  • Ep#151: OpenSFHistory
    Making private collections public, the new WNP program offers up thousands historical San Francisco images.
  • Ep#150: Willard Worden
    Researcher and author Jim Ganz on bringing a great San Francisco photographer back into the spotlight.
  • Ep#149: George Washington High School
    David and Woody stumble through the story of a landmark west side high school. Help them!
  • Ep#148: Ingleside District
    Laid out as Lakeview, the valley land along Ocean Avenue became the Ingleside District.
  • Ep#147: Bernal History Project
    We go east for Bernal Heights history with guest Vicky Walker.
  • Ep#146: Sutro Tower
    San Francisco icon or eyesore? The history of Sutro Tower.
  • Ep#145: San Francisco State
    The story of the California State University beside San Francisco's Lake Merced.
  • Ep#144: Jordan Park
    The story behind the wide streets and stately houses of Jordan Park in the Inner Richmond
  • Ep#143: President Taft Visits San Francisco
    Touring San Francisco, digging in the Polo Fields, and motoring down Clement Street in 1911.
  • Ep#142: Mile Rock Lighthouse
    The story of a dramatic sea-surrounded lighthouse just outside the Golden Gate.
  • Ep#141: West Side Water
    Water expert Joel Pomerantz joins Woody and David to talk about the flow of H2O, where it is, where it was, and where it goes.
  • Ep#140: Sunset District Streetcar Lines
    A review of streetcar lines serving San Francisco's largest neighborhood, including pre-MUNI routes.
  • Ep#139: Kelly’s Cove
    San Francisco’s legendary cold water surfing spot. And, yes, we tell you who Kelly was.
  • Ep#138: Tornado House of the Sunset
    The story of an extreme weather event in 1930, and what can still be seen from it on 46th Avenue.
  • Ep#137: Cornelius Stagg
    A famous west side host and sporting man, who helped name the Ingleside, came to a tragic end in the 1890s.
  • Ep#136: Playland at the Beach
    The long-gone, much-missed amusement park where the sand meets the sea in the Richmond District.
  • Ep#135: Lakeside District
    Thousands of people pass by this insulated enclave every day, the icelandic vision of small town America called Lakeside.
  • Ep#134: Ingleside Presbyterian Church
    Inside a west side church is one of the most awe-inspiring and unknown landmarks in San Francisco.
  • Ep#133: Ben Butler
    The story of San Francisco's most famous sea lion that had a life after death at Seal Rocks.
  • Ep#132: St. Ignatius College Preparatory
    With roots back to the 1850s, St. Ignatius has been a Sunset District institution for over 40 years.
  • Ep#131: Portals of the Past
    The story of the famous classical columns at Lloyd Lake in Golden Gate Park, and where they came from.
  • Ep#130: West Portal
    The story of West Portal, the neighborhood and the avenue.
  • Ep#129: Prelinger Library
    Megan Prelinger tells us about the one of most open physical libraries in the world, right in San Francisco!
  • Ep#128: Coronet Theatre
    Home of Star Wars premieres, Oklahoma, and 1,300 stadium seats on Geary Boulevard, the recent-gone Coronet opened in 1949.
  • Ep#127: Henry Doelger
    Home builder and character who had a great impact on San Francisco's Sunset District.
  • Ep#126: Ingleside Coursing Park
    In the 1890s, greyhounds competed along Ocean Avenue at the Ingleside Coursing Park. Plus, Connemara the superdog!
  • Ep#125: GGNRA Park Archives
    Amanda Williford from the Golden Gate Park Archives tells us about 6 million historical items, some stuffed in old stables.
  • Ep#124: Golden Gate Park Carousel
    Inside a Roman temple in Golden Gate Park you can still ride a goat, a dragon, or a giraffe in circles.
  • Ep#123: Shipwrecks of Ocean Beach
    Maritime craft going aground on San Francisco's Ocean Beach and Lands End
  • Ep#122: Big Alma Spreckels
    Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, mother of the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and a real SF character
  • Ep#121: San Francisco Maritime Research Center
    Gina Bardi tells us about the city's premier archive of maritime history. Crazy fact: 100,000 watercraft plans!
  • Ep#120: Temple Emanu-El
    Judi Leff shares the history of Richmond District landmark Temple Emanu-El. Plus Emperor Norton!
  • Ep#119: Golf Courses
    San Francisco's earliest golf courses were created on the city's west side, including the Ingleside.
  • Ep#118: The 1906 Earthquake and Fire
    A seminal day for San Francisco and the western neighborhoods: April 18, 1906
  • Ep#117: Olympic Grounds
    Guest Angus Macfarlane tells us when San Francisco's Olympic Club cavorted in the heart of the Inner Sunset District.
  • Ep#116: Courtesy of a Private Collector
    Nicole Meldahl describes the significance and breadth of the "Courtesy of a Private Collector" historical images and how WNP is conserving, cataloging, and sharing them.
  • Ep#115: UC San Francisco and the Affiliated Colleges
    The history of the University of CA-San Francisco, begun as the Affiliated Colleges, and how it ended up in the Inner Sunset.
  • Ep#114: Shaping San Francisco
    Chris Carlsson and LisaRuth Elliott talk about their energetic and engaging local history work. Bikes, CD-ROMS, and more.
  • Ep#113: Mount Davidson
    We go to San Francisco's highest natural peak, which is topped by a 113-foot concrete cross and lots of trees that look like a hairline.
  • Ep#112: SF History Expo and PPIE100
    February 2015 has been a busy month for San Francisco history. David and Woody have the recap.
  • Ep#111: Beertown
    John Freeman joins us to talk about days when Fulton Street in the Richmond District had an intoxicating reputation.
  • Ep#110: El Rey Theatre
    The mighty El Rey Theatre, designed by Timothy Pflueger, opened on Ocean Avenue in 1931.
  • Ep#109: Francis Scott Key School
    Oh say can you see two distinctive Outer Sunset buildings with roots from one San Francisco school?
  • Ep#108: Golden Gate Park
    Established in 1870, Golden Gate Park is the jewel of San Francisco.
  • Ep#107: Fernando Nelson
    John Freeman joins us to talk about Fernando Nelson, a builder and early automobile enthusiast, who built thousands of homes from the 1880s to the 1930s across San Francisco, including the Richmond District, Sunset District, and West Portal.
  • Ep#106: Sutro Heights
    Sutro Heights, a San Francisco park high above the Pacific Ocean, was the personal estate of Adolph Sutro - a land of fake Greek statues, fake rocks, and maybe the real remains of Sutro himself.
  • Ep#105: The Casino
    A casino in Golden Gate Park? Of a sort, before the 1880s libations parlor was moved to Fulton Street to become a well-known roadhouse.
  • Ep#104: SF Genealogy
    Ron Filion, creator of one of the first SF History websites, tells us about the amazing sfgenealogy.com he runs with Pam Storm!
  • Ep#103: 2014 in Review
    A quick review of all the great stuff the Western Neighborhoods Project did and experienced in 2014 (including some great English Toffee). Plus what's coming in 2015.
  • Ep#102: Naming the Sunset
    How did the Sunset District gets its name? A simple question that David and Woody wrestle into submission.
  • Ep#101: Conservatory of Flowers
    City, State, and National Historic landmark, the Conservatory of Flowers has been one of Golden Gate Park's most popular attractions since the 1870s. Plus, Woody makes a confession.
  • Ep#100: The Best and Worst
    David and Woody review the best, the worst, and the most cringe-inducing highlights from 100 episodes of Outside Lands San Francisco. Plus, listener mail!
  • Ep#99: Great Highway Railroad
    Railroad tracks on the Great Highway? Emiliano Echeverria tells us when and why trains ran around Lake Merced and up Ocean Beach.
  • Ep#98: Stonestown
    One the Bay Area's first malls, opening in 1952, Stonestown was created by brother developers and home builders Ellis and Henry Stoneson. The Big E! Rickey's Red Chimney! QFI! Blums! And on and on.
  • Ep#97: Baker's Beach
    John Martini tells David and Woody about a place with naked people, shark attacks, and Burning Men. But what do you call it: Baker's Beach or Baker Beach?
  • Ep#96: Mount Sutro
    Stories of Mount Sutro in San Francisco's Inner Sunset District. Once called Mount Parnassus, it is covered with the ghostly Sutro Forest.
  • Ep#95: Homewood Terrace
    The reincarnation of the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Homewood Terrace on Ocean Avenue was an innovative model for taking care of at-risk children from the 1920s to the 1960s.
  • Ep#94: Soap Box Derbys in the Sunset
    From the 1930s to the 1960s children in unmotorized vehicles raced on the hills of the Sunset District.
  • Ep#93: Giant Camera
    Built in the late 1940s, the Giant Camera next to the Cliff House, is perhaps the only camera obscura to be on the National Register of Historic Places. And it costs less than $5 to enjoy!
  • Ep#92: Laurel Hill Cemetery
    David, Woody, and Nicole Meldahl talk about the Richmond District's Lone Mountain Cemetery, later Laurel Hill Cemetery, 1854-1941, RIP.
  • Ep#91: Bison Paddock
    San Francisco's bison herd (they are not buffalo) have been a fixture in Golden Gate Park since the 1890s.
  • Ep#90: Park and Ocean Railroad
    Beginning in 1883, steam trains rumbled down Lincoln Way, cut through Golden Gate Park, and delivered hundreds of Sunday visitors to Ocean Beach.
  • Ep#89: Seventh Generation San Franciscan
    David and Woody talk to Californio descendant and WNP member Nate Tico. Mixing up Spanish exploring party names, how the Europeans found San Francisco Bay, and how many parklets have been installed around 45th Avenue and Judah Street.
  • Ep#88: Broderick-Terry Duel
    On September 13, 1859, a California State Supreme Court Judge and a United States Senator fought a duel beside Lake Merced. The story, and its importance to local and national politics, plus podcast mail!
  • Ep#87: Polytechnic High School
    Polytechnic High School on Frederick Street closed in the 1970s, but some landmarks remain. Guest Angus Macfarlane gives us the history of San Francisco's original high-tech school.
  • Ep#86: Marine Exchange Lookout
    How did San Francisco's Telegraph Hill get its name? An octagonal building at Point Lobos on the western edge of the city tells the story. Plus, information about David's wedding cake.
  • Ep#85: West Side Boomer Memories
    Frank Dunnigan, WNP columnist and author of a new book, shares Baby Boomer memories of the west side of San Francisco.
  • Ep#84: Blackie the Wonder Horse
    A horse that swam the Golden Gate? Like a lot of San Franciscans, Blackie the Wonder Horse, from the Ocean Beach roadhouse Roberts-at-the-Beach, may have retired in Marin County.
  • Ep#83: Dynamite Factories of the Sunset
    Angus Macfarlane returns to talk about the dynamite factories of San Francisco's Sunset District of the 1870s. Spoiler alert: they tended to blow up.
  • Ep#82: Gellert Brothers and Sunstream Homes
    Fred and Carl Gellert started the Standard Building Company in 1922, building "Sunstream" homes in San Francisco's Sunset District, Lakeshore Park, Country Club Acres, and Midtown Terrace before moving down the peninsula to Serramonte.
  • Ep#81: Alexandria Theatre
    San Francisco's Alexandria Theatre opened at 18th Avenue and Geary Boulevard in 1923 with a lush Egyptian theme. Ten years after closing, there is new hope the building will be revitalized. (Alexandria theme song performed by Lisa Sanchez and Doug McKeeh
  • Ep#80: Laguna Honda Hospital
    Begun as the Almshouse in 1867, Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center is still serving San Franciscans on the west side of Twin Peaks.
  • Ep#79: Parkside District
    The Parkside, often lumped in with San Francisco's Sunset District, has a history and character of its own. Corruption trials, pioneer groceries, and May Day queens.
  • Ep#78: Top Five Statues of Golden Gate Park
    David and Woody offer their top five favorite statues of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park: a president, a novelist, a mother, a poet, and a gardener.
  • Ep#77: Great Highway
    San Francisco's Great Highway, the venerable road along Ocean Beach that always threatens to be buried by sea and sand.
  • Ep#76: Mountain Lake
    A small lake between the Presidio and the Richmond District played a role in San Francisco's founding. Fireworks and alligators also mentioned.
  • Ep#75: SFMTA Photo Collection
    Amazing views of San Francisco streets and streetcars over the last 110 years from the old Municipal Railway archives. Listen to hear the background and take a look at the photos at www.sfmta.com/photo
  • Ep#74: Mysterious Lake Merced Earthquake of 1852
    The night in 1852 when an alleged earthquake caused Lake Merced to break its way into the Pacific Ocean and drop thirty feet overnight. Plus, the 1878 gold rush at the lake.
  • Ep#73: Columbarium
    San Francisco's Columbarium, built in 1898 in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, still stands and is still in business in the Richmond District. Tens of thousands of cremated remains in a grand domed building with room for more.
  • Ep#72: Saving Neighborhood News
    Saving San Francisco's neighborhood newspapers, including the Richmond ReView, Noe Valley Voice, Visitacion Valley Grapevine, and more. Plus 25th anniversary memories of the Loma Prieta earthquake, and new earthquake shack discovered.
  • Ep#71: Westwood Park
    San Francisco's Westwood Park, the residence park for the "family of average means." Catch bungalow fever!
  • Ep#70: Wave Motors
    Christine Miller shares the history of tidal energy machines and wave motors near the Cliff House, an 1890s movement to harness the power of the sea.
  • Ep#69: Timothy Pflueger
    Guest Therese Poletti tells about San Francisco native Timothy Pflueger, who designed some of the Bay Area's most stunning buildings and prominent west side schools and theatres.
  • Ep#68: Haight Street Grounds
    Angus Macfarlane returns to tell us about when some of the greatest baseball players of the nineteenth century played along Stanyan Street across from San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Also, the first Big Game!
  • Ep#67: Infant Shelter
    City landmark #242, the former Infant Shelter and Conservatory of Music on 19th Avenue and Ortega Street in the Sunset District.
  • Ep#66: Stow Lake
    The biggest lake in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and William W. Stow, the guy it's named after. Pass us a brick of pink popcorn!
  • Ep#65: Death's Crossing
    Steam railroads and electric streetcar lines all once converged in the Ocean View neighborhood.
  • Ep#64: Works Progress Administration
    Part of the 1930s New Deal, the Works Progress Administration made a great impact on the look of San Francisco's infrastructure and parks, including the zoo's Monkey Island!
  • Ep#63: Talkin like a SanFrunciscun
    Idiosyncratic pronunications and accents of old-time San Franciscans. We'll teach you newcomers how to talk like a west side local.
  • Ep#62: Fort Miley
    Chris VerPlanck visits to share the history of Fort Miley and the Veterans Administration Hospital in the northwest corner of San Francisco.
  • Ep#61: Future of San Francisco's Old Mint
    A brief recap of the 4th San Francisco History Expo at the Old Mint and breaking news about the future of the 1874 landmark.
  • Ep#60: The Chutes
    The Chutes amusement center and water ride and its early 20th Century westward migration from the Haight, to the Richmond District, and sort of to Ocean Beach. With guest star John Freeman.
  • Ep#59: Doggie Diner Head
    Seven-foot-tall dachshund wearing chef's hat? Sounds like San Francisco landmark #254 on Sloat Boulevard in the Sunset District.
  • Ep#58: Point Lobos Toll Road
    Richmond District historian John Freeman talks about a dusty toll road that became one of San Francisco's largest thoroughfares, Geary Boulevard.
  • Ep#57: Forest Hill
    Richard Brandi talks about Forest Hill, not just a Muni streetcar station, but a historic San Francisco residence park.
  • Ep#56: SF History Expo
    Nicole Meldahl from the the GGNRA Park Archives and Jamie O'Keefe from Guardians of the City join David and Woody to talk about the San Francisco History Expo on March 1-2, 2014.
  • Ep#55: Larsen Park Jet
    History and future of jets used as play structures at Larsen Park on 19th Avenue in San Francisco's Sunset District.
  • Ep#54: Outside Lands Hollywood
    David and Woody talk about movies that had scenes filmed in western San Francisco.
  • Ep#53: Thomas Sweeney and his Observatory
    Thomas Underhill Sweeney, Sunset District pioneer, "demented hermit," and benefactor of a now-vanished observatory on Strawberry Hill, in Stow Lake, in Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco...
  • Ep#52: The 1894 Midwinter Fair
    The 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park remade not only the park, but the Richmond and Sunset districts. Midway monkeys are discussed.
  • Ep#51: A Review of 2013
    A quick review of all the great stuff the Western Neighborhoods Project did and experienced in 2013, including this local history podcast!
  • Ep#50: Holiday Firehouses
    From 1948-1950 San Francisco's firehouses competed in a holiday decorating contest still remembered. Why did this start? Why did it end?
  • Ep#49: San Francisco's First Motel
    San Francisco's first motel, the Ocean Park Motel, opened in 1937 in western San Francisco and it's still doing great business. Plus, we share fun facts about other west side inns and motels.
  • Ep#48: Golden Gate Park Windmills
    Giant windmills on the western edge of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park at Ocean Beach. What's up with that? Plus, we finally answer our fan mail.
  • Ep#47: Sutro Baths
    John Martini returns to talk about San Francisco's legendary Sutro Baths, once the world's largest natatorium and now beloved ruins.
  • Ep#46: SF History Groups
    The Western Neighborhoods Project isn't the only group dedicated to San Francisco history. David and Woody share the love and give you lots of options to get your SF History fix.
  • Ep#45: Ewing Field
    Guest star Angus Macfarlane returns to tell the boys stories about the Richmond District's long-gone Ewing Field, home of minor league baseball and other diversions for San Franciscans.
  • Ep#44: Harold Stoner
    Guest star Jacquie Proctor talks about one of the most prolific residential architects in San Francisco, the man of streamline rocket ship buildings as well as Hansel and Gretel cottages, Harold Stoner.
  • Ep#43: How to Research Your House
    How does one research San Francisco history, including the history of one's house? David and Woody give you the online resources to get started. Plus, some big news for WNP.
  • Ep#42: The Little Shamrock
    Guest Angus Macfarlane talks with the boys about the Sunset District's oldest business, the Little Shamrock, established by the extraordinary Julia Herzo.
  • Ep#41: Cemeteries of the Inner Richmond
    Talking about the Richmond District's Big Four cemeteries around Lone Mountain, the resting place for San Francisco's dead from the 1850s until their removal in the 1930s.
  • Ep#40: Speedway Meadow and Polo Fields
    The story of Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadow, the Speed Road, and the Polo Fields.
  • Ep#39: Carville-by-the-Sea
    San Francisco's 1890s bohemian beachside settlement made of old streetcars.
  • Ep#38: Sunset Boulevard
    San Francisco's Sunset Boulevard: no Norma Desmond, but from the 1930s to the 1970s, it did have Soap Box Derbys.
  • Ep#37: Brooks Park
    The up, downs, and ups once more of Brooks Park overlooking Lake Merced in Southwestern San Francisco.
  • Ep#36: Balboa Theatre
    San Francisco's Balboa Theatre on Balboa Street near 38th Avenue is a Richmond District institution.
  • Ep#35: The Gjoa
    The story of the Gjoa, a fishing sloop that traversed the Northwest Passage and ended up in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park from 1909 to 1972.
  • Ep#34: 1951 San Francisco Assessor Negatives
    Hundreds of documentary building photographs from 1951 tell small stories of San Francisco six decades later.
  • Ep#33: Lincoln High School
    Guest Lorri Ungaretti talks about the history of her San Francisco alma mater, the Sunset District's Lincoln High School.
  • Ep#32: Miraloma Park
    Guest Christopher VerPlanck joins the boys to talk about Miraloma Park, a San Francisco neigborhood on Mount Davidson, smack in the middle of San Francisco.
  • Ep#31: Daniel Burnham's Plan
    Daniel Hudson Burnham's 1904 plan to remake San Francisco included some momumental visions for the west side.
  • Ep#30: Stern Grove and Pine Lake Park
    Stern Grove and Pine Lake Park, with a shared history of squatters, farmers, and free music, is not your run-of-the-mill San Francisco parkland.
  • Ep#29: Ingleside Terraces
    San Francisco's Ingleside Terraces neighborhood started as a racetrack before turning into a residential park with, weirdly, a giant sundial.
  • Ep#28: Cliff House
    San Francisco's Cliff House, perched above Seal Rocks at the Pacific Ocean, celebrates its 150th anniversary in July 2013.
  • Ep#27: Fleishhacker Pool
    Promoted as the world's largest outdoor swimming pool, San Francisco's Fleishhacker Pool opened in 1925 and closed in the early 1970s. It was cold!
  • Ep#26: Oddities of the Avenues
    The hidden stories of odd buildings in the Avenues of western San Francisco, including a rant about Google map designations.
  • Ep#25: Ocean View
    Stories of frog ponds, unbalanced street grids, and Death's Crossing in San Francisco's Ocean View neighborhood.
  • Ep#24: Adolph Sutro
    Did he own one-twelfth of San Francisco or just a twentieth? Either way, Adolph Sutro made his mark on the city, especially the west side.
  • Ep#23: Camp Merritt
    Guest Nicole Meldahl talks about the Richmond District's 1898 encampment of volunteer soldiers for the Spanish-American War.
  • Ep#22: Carl Larsen
    Carl Larsen, restaurateur, chicken ranch owner, and Sunset District pioneer has perhaps one of San Francisco's most-viewed parks named after him.
  • Ep#21: Park Bums
    Golden Gate Park's pickup baseball legends, the Park Bums, and other pickup ball-playing stories and locales.
  • Ep#20: Beach Chalet
    Talking about the old and new Beach Chalet on the western edge of Golden Gate Park at Ocean Beach.
  • Ep#19: Forts and Fortifications
    Guest John Martini talks historic forts and fortifications around the Golden Gate and Ocean Beach.
  • Ep#18: George Turner Marsh and the Naming of the Richmond
    The interesting life of George Turner Marsh, pioneer of the Richmond District and possible namer of the neighborhood.
  • Ep#17: Hills of San Francisco
    David and Woody review a 54-year-old book that inspired both of them.
  • Ep#16: Sunnyside Conservatory
    The story behind an octagonal San Francisco landmark on Monterey Boulevard.
  • Ep#15: Earthquake Shacks
    After San Francisco's 1906 Earthquake and Fire over 5,600 relief cottages were constructed for the refugees. Some still survive today.
  • Ep#14: San Francisco Zoo
    Bricks of pink popcorn, the Little Puffer train, Storyland, lions, tigers, and bears... join Woody and David in remembering the history of the San Francisco Zoo.
  • Ep#13: Sunset Architecture
    San Francisco's largest neighborhood has its own distinctive architecture thanks to 1930s merchant-builders like Henry Doelger, Oliver Rousseau, and the Gellerts.
  • Ep#12: Richmond District Streetcars?
    Guest Paul Rosenberg talks about the source of rails recently uncovered on Balboa Street.
  • Ep#11: Ingleside Jail and More
    The History of the House of Refuge Lot, where City College of San Francisco and Balboa Park stand today.
  • Ep#10: Roadhouses
    Roadhouses here and gone on San Francisco's west side.
  • Ep#9: West Portal Creek
    Hidden creek near San Francisco's West Portal neighborhood and other secret water sites.
  • Ep#8: Surf Theatre
    Remembering a little theatre near Ocean Beach that had a big reputation for showing foreign and avant garde films.
  • Ep#7: Skytram
    From 1955 to 1966 a futuristic aerial cable car traversed Sutro Baths' cove from the Cliff House to Point Lobos. From all accounts, it wasn't as fun as it sounds.
  • Ep#6: Musee Mecanique
    What other museum allows you to play with the collection? The coin-operated amusements of the Musee Mecanique, now at Pier 45, had a long history in western San Francisco.
  • Ep#5: West Side Street Naming
    The names of streets going south through the Richmond and Sunset Districts are alphabetical. How did that happen? The story of San Francisco's Street Naming Commission of 1909.
  • Ep#4: St. Francis Wood
    Author Richard Brandi joins us to talk about one of the country's finest residence parks, San Francisco's St. Francis Wood.
  • Ep#3: Jesse B Cook Collection
    We share one terrific online collection of historical San Francisco images: the Jesse Brown Cook Scrapbooks at the Bancroft Library.
  • Ep#2: The Richmond District of 1920
    David and Woody find some surprises in a neighborhood newspaper from exactly 93 years ago.
  • Ep#1: Kezar Stadium
    (Listen to Episode #224 instead!) Woody and David discuss the old Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park