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The ’89 quake in the Fillmore

ON OCTOBER 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake shook the Fillmore and the rest of the Bay Area. The neighborhood was spared major damage, but felt the effects of the quake in ways large and small. The most visible local damage was at St. Dominic’s Church, where the top of the tower was lost and […]

Third home’s the charm for St. John’s

By BRIDGET MALEY Sometimes mistaken for an Episcopalian church, St. John’s Presbyterian, the eclectic Shingle Style landmark at the corner of Lake Street and Arguello Boulevard, does indeed have its architectural roots in the Episcopal building tradition. And it has a rich history. The story begins in March 1870, when a newly established Presbyterian assembly […]

From the ashes of St. Paul’s

ARCHITECTURE | BRIDGET MALEY Since it opened in June 1941, touted as the city’s “newest drive-in market,” the Grand Central Market, now Mollie Stone’s, at 2435 California Street, has been a bustling neighborhood grocery. The News Call Bulletin declared that “a program of entertainment would signalize its opening.” A photograph appearing with the article showed […]

He scraped the gingerbread off

ARCHITECTURE | BRIDGET MALEY “For some 14 months now the normally placid Pacific Heights intersection of Washington and Maple Street has been host to what might be described as a perpetual traffic jam,” reported a Chronicle article on June 17, 1951, headlined “A King-Size House That Floats on Stilts: Mendelsohn Creates a Landmark.” Architect Erich […]

Versailles on the Heights

By BRIDGET MALEY with KAMALA MOSTERT Having recently visited Versailles, it is easy to see how Corrine Koshland became so enamored with the estate’s Le Petit Trianon that she commissioned a copy as her family home in San Francisco. In September 1900, Corinne and Marcus Koshland, their three young children, Daniel, Robert and Margaret, along […]

‘From the girl to the dial’

ARCHITECTURE | BRIDGET MALEY The imposing and somewhat out-of-place building at the southeast corner of Steiner and Pine Streets was completed in 1932 as a Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co. switching station, a function that continues today. Designed by architect Edwin V. Cobby, the building both blends in to the streetscape, with its neutral terra […]

When a cemetery became an office park

ARCHITECTURE | BRIDGET MALEY In 1940, after years of efforts to ban cemeteries in San Francisco, workers began exhuming bodies from the Laurel Hill Cemetery for reinterment outside the city limits. The cemetery occupied a large site bounded by California Street on the north, Presidio and Parker at the east and west and an angled […]

Three temples on Geary

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY Since 1904, the south side of Geary between Fillmore and Steiner has been graced with a series of temples: a fraternal temple, a temple of worship and a majestic temple of entertainment. It’s a tale of three buildings, two earthquakes and one dangerously zealous religious leader, along with many other characters […]

A lodge with a view

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY Just before the Fourth of July, the lucky first guests checked in to the Lodge at the Presidio, a new addition to the collection of overnight accommodations available in San Francisco’s Presidio. The stunning renovation of a former army barracks provides a unique urban park experience with world class views of […]

The St. Dominic’s Block

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY One of San Francisco’s most impressive interpretations of Gothic-inspired architecture, St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, at the corner of Steiner and Bush Streets, is the fourth ecclesiastical structure to stand on this site.