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Ever a house of healing

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY The Romanesque Revival, L-shaped building with the colorful garden courtyard at the corner of Bush and Octavia Streets was originally built nearly 90 years ago as Greens’ Eye Hospital. Doctors Aaron S. and Lewis D. Green, of Latvian heritage, came to San Francisco shortly after the 1906 earthquake to intern with […]

Grand in a very Victorian way

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY The Payne Mansion at 1409 Sutter Street, on the south side of Sutter between Franklin and Gough, is a distinctly visual reminder of the city’s Victorian past. Recently renovated to accommodate the boutique Payne Mansion Hotel, the building was constructed in 1881 and survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. It was […]

Classically inspired — and connected

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY A headline in the November 15, 1922, edition of the Chronicle proclaimed: “Board of Education Cites Pressing Need for Additional Quarters.” The ensuing article provided a long list of “needy schools.” City Architect John Reid Jr., a hometown boy who graduated from Lowell High School and UC Berkeley, was faced with […]

Architect to the stars

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY The house at 2555 Divisadero was designed by an “important, neglected California designer,” the Planning Department’s Citywide Historic Building Survey in 1976 noted. That architect, Paul Revere Williams, has since been rediscovered. Williams, one of the few African-American architects working in California in the decades before World War II, is now […]

Father-son architects left their mark

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY The apartment building at 2360 Pacific Avenue, near Fillmore Street, was built just prior to the 1929 stock market crash as an intense period of apartment development in Pacific Heights was ending. The building, with both Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Revival influences, is a somewhat schizophrenic remnant of the Roaring […]

Library a treasure in terra cotta

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY The terra cotta clad treasure that sits at the southwest corner of Green and Octavia Streets is often mistaken for a bank. This exquisitely designed building was built in 1918 as San Francisco’s fifth branch library funded through the Carnegie Corporation’s Library Program. Designed by architect Ernest Coxhead, known primarily for […]

The castle on Vallejo

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY Some buildings stop you in your tracks. That’s what happened to me the first time I walked by 1729 Vallejo, between Franklin and Gough Streets. Often referred to as Digby’s Castle, the complex of buildings evokes something out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Built into the hill, with a stone retaining wall […]

‘Exposition Church’ inspired by the Swiss

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY Constructed a century ago amidst the frenzied preparations for San Francisco’s 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition — and conveniently located near the bayside fairgrounds — St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church soon became known as the “Exposition Church.” The church opened with a celebration mass on October 26, 1913, about 16 months […]

Benevolent spinsters’ home now Allyne Park

LANDMARKS | BRIDGET MALEY A llyne Park, at the corner of Green and Gough Streets, is a San Francisco gem for which I have a strong affection. It’s across the street from our home. The park, adjacent to the historic Octagon House, is a little plot of green that is a daily gathering place for neighborhood […]

Historic houses and the stories they tell

FROM VOL. 1, NO. 1, in June 1986 until her death in 1999, historian and preservationist Anne Bloomfield, a neighborhood resident, wrote a column every month for the New Fillmore called “Great Old Houses.” Many of her columns were collected into the 2007 book, Gables & Fables: A Portrait of San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, with […]