by Richard Brandi
The West Portal tract was the last section of the old Rancho San Miguel to be developed. Consisting of 49 acres at the mouth of the Twin Peaks tunnel, it was used to stage construction equipment for the tunnel and was held in reserve for a streetcar right-of-way to the Parkside (L line) and out Sloat Boulevard (K and M lines). (1)
After those needs were discharged, Fernando Nelson bought the tract in 1916 for $300,000 and named it West Portal Park. A prolific builder in San Francisco, Nelson erected some 4,000 before his death in 1953 at the age of 93. (2)
Image: Twin Peaks Tunnel from Claremont Avenue, 1927. Courtesy of the Greg Gaar collection.
Bibliography: (1) San Francisco Examiner, June 4, 1916, page 1E; (2) San Francisco Chronicle, November 22, 1953, page 34.
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