Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sutro Heights

While not in the Sunset, I'm sure a lot of us have visited Sutro Heights. I vaguely remember going there once as a child and got reacquainted with it when I worked at the V.A. Hospital and got interested in the Ferries & Cliff House Railway which Sutro built to take people to the Cliff House and the gardens. But that's another story.

Obligatory photo of Diana.

Always check to see if more or less of this tile is covered.

I wonder when this fire hydrant was put in? I couldn't read the writing.

I wonder what this was? There is another about ten feet away, next to the right-hand trail down to the parking lot across from Louis'.

There is a photo album at the Western Neighborhood Project. And history of the whole area including the garden in several bits at the bottom of this page.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Francis Scott Key Annex

This school is located at 1351 42nd Avenue. It is now The Principal Center Collaborative Campus, providing services to youth in the juvenile justice system.

The old front door is behind these "temporary" buildings. That one is labeled "main office".

According to the "Architectural and Historical Resources of the Sunset District:
The Oceanside Neighborhood" published by SPEAK and available in web from at the Western Neighborhoods Project, this was the Francis Scott Key Annex, built in the late 19- teens or 20's, with 12" redwood planks on the upper floor. (Here is the current Francis Scott Key Elementary).

You can imagine it was quite lovely.

Here's a photo from the S.F.P.L. Collection, and the same view today:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

That Double Vision

It's funny, I jog by these houses three times a week but only noticed them today. I thought they were identical homes, painted identically. No wonder people say all the houses look alike out here.

Of course, on closer inspection, you can see they are slightly different. But the paint color is identical, as are the vertical blinds.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stair Tiles

The red stairways with decorative tiles really add to the Mediterranean look of the homes out here. Most of them are red like this:

And this:

Poking around I found these. The colored tiles are pink Art Nouveau or Arts & Crafts looking. I wonder if they are original.

Then I saw these solid pink tiles and thought for sure they weren't original, and don't think they look good with the primary-colored decorative tiles.

However, there is a whole block with a large concentration of tile stairways, including these green ones. They look good when the house is painted the right color.

But these tiles at the end of the stairs are my favorite.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


All this looking down at the sidewalk has got me noticing all kinds of things. I know there are some mis-spelled street name impressions out there.

I haven't found any yet, but I did find these which look like they had the wrong number dug out and repaired.

And these names put in upside down.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Sidewalk Markings

Since my last post I decided to focus on these concrete contractor markings. It really has to be a conscious decision to constantly look down at the sidewalk instead of up while walking.

I had to run an errands near 30th and Ortega and 22nd and Irving yesterday. I walked from home to both of those and back. I didn't see a single one.

What's the deal? Where did they go? Here are my theories:
There weren't that many to start with. It was just a warped kid's memory.
There were more in the Inner Sunset
They have been eradicated due to the curb cut-ins for ramps at the corners
They have been eradicated by utilities work
I had noticed one along Sunset last week, so I took my camera out and hunted these up:

This is at Santiago and Sunset:

And Pacheco and Sunset:

I think the ramp theory is most likely. These are both on the "bridle path" side of Sunset, where several intersections don't have ramps. (Edited 3/24/08 - this marking is also on the center islands and west side of Sunset)

I'm going to investigate further. My husband said he saw Lawrence Kornfield, the chief Building Inspector, talk about these and the plates and such on SFGov TV.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Possible New Obsession

Walking with a toddler reminds me of when I was little. Closer to the ground everything looked different. I happened to see this imprint and flashed back to when I was a kid and tried to count all the different names I could find in my neighborhood. Maybe it's time to do it again.

This is at the corner of 32nd and Judah Edited May 26, 2008 on 33rd Ave between Judah & Kirkham.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fairy Tale

When I was a little girl I would dream about what kind of princess lived in this kind of house:

and I would imagine her sitting in this window seat:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Past Life

I wonder what this building was in a past life? It is on the corner of 31st and Judah. According to City records it was built in 1937. I don't find a photo of this intersection in the S.F. Historic Photo Collection. It looks like it could have been a grocery store, but I know there was a Safeway at 30th & Judah later. Hmm, now that I think about it, is the Gymnastics club in the old Safeway building? Need to investigate.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


This building on Judah has a lot of neat details.

I like the round windows, the little balconies, and the wavy rooflines.

But I especially like the knights.