Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Out With the Old

(Note: I published this a couple days ago, but under the date I had started it, a year ago. Don't know if it showed up in feeds, so I'm republishing with today's date.)

Here's how a stretch of the north side of the 3600 Block of Judah looked a couple years ago. Two cute pastel houses. (And one 1970's apartment building)

Then Pinky was demolished in November 2008.

And construction of a three story building ensued.

May 09

It sat for a very long time all done except a power meter on a piece of plywood sat out front. People moved in eventually. I had to give up on getting a photo without a car in it. Here it is in March 2011.

1940's, 1970's, and 2010's all in a row. I can imagine a person in the future loathing today's construction, and feeling nostalgic about the '70's stuff. It won't be me. Gold windows in black metal frames will always be ugly in my eyes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Died and Went to Heaven

It started Friday when I saw 1501 Ortega come up on the MLS. It is this amazing Art Deco house I blogged about before. I've only found two other similar homes in the area.

Yesterday I walked over to the open house, wondering if the inside would be as inspiring as the exterior.

Through the front door I was greeted by this banister (and the friendly agent who let me take photos).

To the left is a sunken living room with round fireplace.

Back through the entry and the dining room into the kitchen. Look at the tiles, they must be original. There's a Wedgewood stove and space for a kitchen table.

Headed up the stairs and that's when I feared for my life. Be still my heart, a huge bathroom with pink fixtures.

There's a skylight, shower over to the right, and space for a vanity.

On either side of the bathroom are the bedrooms. Every door in the house has an applied design, including the front door.

Headed back down the stairs and said good-bye.

It isn't a very big house but I like the layout. There's a little backyard off the kitchen and the garage is reached by a driveway on 22nd Ave. It was built in 1940 and has been in the same family since 1954.

I love this house even more now that I've been inside. If it was mine I would replace the aluminum windows with wood and slowly acquire period furniture. I would wear an apron with roosters embroidered on it while I cooked meatloaf (which is saying a lot since I'm a vegetarian). I just need to acquire a large sum of money for a downpayment. Minor detail.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Apartment Hunting

Here's a named apartment building that's been hiding in plain sight. The Sunrise Apartments on 35th and Taraval, built in 1956.

Did you know how big the Kirkham Heights compound up at the top of 5th Ave is? I had no idea until I drove up there the other day. Several buildings totaling 86 units.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The '70's and 1970's

This awesome 1970's building has a frieze from the '70's, 70 AD, that is.

I don't know my Greek from Romans, but that is one rocking piece of art. I also don't remember exactly where this is, but can narrow down to the west side of the 1200 block of 10th, 11th, or 12th ave.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hello from the Fog

Well, last week was a bit too warm, no? Not to worry, I had to bundle up with mittens and scarf for my walk this morning. In case all four of you are wondering, I'm still around, and still want to blog about the Sunset. In fact, I see that I have five draft posts just awaiting a couple more photos or a little research.


Have you seen the new Ocean Beach Bulletin? "News and opinion from San Francisco's western edge". Check it out to keep up with events and learn some history.


Speaking of history, Frank Dunnigan's Streetwise column in August featured Irving Street memories. The nagging question of what type of gas station was at 16th and Irving was answered, it was a Mohawk.


I have a couple named apartments to add to the list:

The Georgia Lee Apartments on Taraval (the building to the right is identical, but that name has been removed from the plaque.)

and the La Playa Apartments:

That reminds me, a reader remembered delivering newspapers on Cutler and thought the building on the northwest corner had a name. I went and checked, but couldn't find one.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More Tile

I just found this unfinished post in my drafts. What I was waiting for I don't know. Here are two homes with neat use of tile.

The first is in Golden Gate Heights at 14th and Mandalay Lane.

The second on 17th Ave near Judah is pretty unassuming.

Until you look closely at the ececlitic mix of tiles.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I want to thank Donald for waking me out of my blog fog. He pointed me to this photo on Caliber. Interesting theory about why names are stamped on San Francisco streets.

Back in January I walked the length of 36th Ave. and found a bunch of concrete markings.

A couple weeks later I decided to check out 37th Ave., just curious if the other side of Sunset Boulevard was poured by the same people. The coolest thing I found was a Works Progress Association stamp from 1941. First I've seen of these. I almost walked right over the first one because it was filled with dirt. I spent quite a while using a stick to clean it out enough to decode it, only to find several nice clean ones further down the street.

These are between Lawton and Ortega. I didn't find any other new marks on 37th Ave.