Developed: Laid out in 1916, between 27th and 32nd Avenues, Lincoln Way to Irving Street.
Primary developer: Fernando Nelson and Sons
Fernando Nelson placed curved ornamental benches to serve as welcoming entryways on the corner lots of Parkway Terrace facing Lincoln Way. Over the years some of the property owners have kept the benches in their original state, while others have buried them under lawn hillocks, fenced them in, or adorned them with potted plants. (The bench in the photo of 1201 29th Avenue above is very well kept.)
Promoted as a "residential park"---as any development larger than a few houses apparently was at the time---Nelson advertised that he would sell the homes of Parkway Terrace only to whites. Some of the properties, especially those bordering Golden Gate Park, are striking with their hints of country hunting lodges, tudor cottages, castle battlements---all perched on small rises from the sidewalk. The lower-priced and humbler offerings of the "terrace" stretch down the avenues toward Irving Street.
Nelson had started the project and built himself a house in Parkway Terrace at 2701 Lincoln Way, but a bigger opportunity became available in 1916 and he needed to get the capital to buy the property on the north side of Portola Drive, outside the west entrance to the Twin Peaks Tunnel. So Nelson only ended up building the first three blocks of Parkway Terrace, from 27th Avenue to 30th Avenue, before selling the remaining blocks to other contractors. He then concentrated his efforts on a new development: West Portal Park.
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Page launched 1 July 2002; Updated 7 July 2008.