Alamo Square, San Francisco in Santa Cruz
Alamo Square is a residential neighborhood and park in San Francisco, California, in the Western Addition, a district of the city's fifth Supervisorial district, and are served by several Muni bus lines including the 5, 21, 22, and 24. Alamo Square Park consists of four city blocks at the top of a hill overlooking much of San Francisco, with a number of large and architecturally distinctive mansions along the perimeter. It is bordered by Hayes Street to the south, Fulton Street to the north, Scott Street to the west, and Steiner Street to the east.
Attractions and characteristics
The part of the Western Addition surrounding the park is often referred to as the Alamo Square neighborhood. Its boundaries are not well-defined, but are generally considered to be Webster Street on the east, Golden Gate Avenue on the north, Divisadero Street on the west, and Oak Street on the south. It is characterized by Victorian architecture that was left largely untouched by the urban renewal projects in other parts of the Western Addition. The Alamo Square area contains the second largest concentration of homes over 10,000 sqft in San Francisco, after the Pacific Heights neighborhood.
The park includes a playground and a tennis court, and is frequented by neighbors, tourists, and dog owners. On a clear day, the Transamerica Pyramid building and the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge can be seen from the park's center. The San Francisco City Hall can be seen directly down Fulton Street.
A row of Victorian houses facing the park on Steiner Street, known as the "Painted Ladies", are often shown in the foreground of panoramic pictures of the city's downtown area. A number of movies, television shows and commercials have been filmed in or around Alamo Square. The opening sequence of the American sitcom Full House (1987-1995) features a romp in Alamo Square Park with the famous row of Victorians in the background. There are many architecturally significant mansions on the perimeter of the park, including the Archbishop's Mansion, the residences of the Russian and German Imperial consuls in the early 1900s, and the mansions on the block diagonally across from the Painted Ladies.
The demographics of the neighborhood are characteristic of other urban neighborhoods that have undergone gentrification: many young people and upper-middle-class homeowners, in addition to a diverse older population. Divisadero Street, which divides Alamo Square from North Panhandle, is home to a number of small businesses including a growing collection of hip and popular restaurants and bars. Efforts on the part of Alamo Square and North Panhandle residents and merchants have led to restrictions on chain stores on the corridor. The Harding Theater on Divisadero, closed for many years, is a local symbol of the power of a number of non-profit groups to stymie development, in spite of efforts to put forward a variety of proposals to use this potentially valuable piece of property.
Neighborhood groups include the Alamo Square Neighborhood Association and the Haight-Divisadero Neighborhood Merchants Association.
Author Alice Walker lived in one of the "Painted Lady" Victorians across from Alamo Square park up to the mid-1990s.<ref name=sfgate/>
- Parks of San Francisco
- 49-Mile Scenic Drive
- Map of district 5 of the county, which Alamo Square is a part of (PDF file)
- Alamo Square Neighborhood Association
- History of Alamo Square, from Neighborhood Parks Council