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Outside Lands Podcast Episode 512: Outer Richmond Residence Parks

There are a number of residence parks on the West side. Not all were finished. Nicole & Arnold talk with architectural historian Richard Brandi about Outer Richmond residence parks.
by Nicole Meldahl - Aug 12, 2023

Outside Lands Podcast Episode 512: Outer Richmond Residence Parks Outside Lands Podcast Episode 512: Outer Richmond Residence Parks

(above) Geary near 37th Ave, Feb 9, 1917

View looking West on Geary Blvd toward 38th Ave. [dpwbook18 dpw4039]
DPW Horace Chaffee

Podcast Transcription

WNP512 - Outer Richmond Residence Parks

Nicole: [00:00:00] It’s Outside Lands San Francisco, podcast of Western Neighborhoods Project. Your weekly dose of friendly neighborhood history.

And hello Outside Landers. I, of course, am your host Nicole Meldahl.

Arnold: And I, of course, am your co-host, Arnold Woods. And Nicole, I think we have a special guest this week.

Nicole: Yeah, we do. We're joined by one of my absolute favorite West side people. You know what? One of my absolute favorite people, period. Author, architectural historian, and so much more. We have with us Richard Brandi. Welcome, Richard.

Richard: Thank you, Nicole. Great to be here.

Nicole: I had a saucier introduction queued up, and Richard made me tame it down a little bit,, which I'm sad about, but I respect [00:01:00] immensely.

Arnold: And of course, Richard is here to discuss often overlooked residence parks. And specifically, we're talking this week about Lincoln Manor, Sutro Heights Park and Vista Del Mar. Because Richard is the expert in all things residence parks. You may have heard of his book. It's called Garden Neighborhoods of San Francisco, which we may be using in place of our traditional show notes tonight. And it is available at Green Apple Books and maybe, if you send us an email, you can get it directly from us as well.

Nicole: Someday our online shop is gonna be back in business. We, we actually do have a volunteer working on that right now. We do. So, stay tuned. You'll be able to buy all our merch once again. Anyways, this podcast is not about WNP merchandise. This podcast is about neighborhoods. So Richard, maybe you can start by giving us a little bit of an immersive [00:02:00] background on what the heck a residence park is.

Richard: Yeah, that's a great question. I was gonna start with that, based on what, what you were saying. They were, it's kind of in the title, they were a garden, an, an idea to create garden neighborhoods in San Francisco. That is a place where the houses, and these were for homes only, single family houses, would be like you were living in a garden or in a park. Hence the term residence park. To, and they were designed to have that feeling, by having detached houses, landscaping, setbacks on quiet streets, sometimes curved streets, big picturesque streets, so that you could think that you were, if not exactly living in a park, you were living in an area that was very different from the rest of San Francisco, with its very attached houses, rows on rows with very little [00:03:00] greenery.

Arnold: And this whole…

Nicole: And Richard, oh sorry Arnold.

Arnold: No problem. Richard, many of these residence parks started in the earlier years of the 20th century. And one of the things we've come to know about these early years is that there was often redlining involved with neighborhoods. And was that true of these residence parks?

Richard: So all the residence parks, yes, all these residence parks had deed, deed restrictions. That is when you bought the lot, and these were initially lot sales, you bought a lot and it had a bunch of conditions on it that were restrictions in the deed. I mentioned the setbacks before, earlier, you know, and you could only have a residential house, single family, no more than two stories. And you couldn't buy or have anyone live in the residence parks that were in, in this case, in San Francisco, either African-American [00:04:00] or Chinese or Japanese. They, those were the restrictions in, in San Francisco, although they used different terminology. And other parts of the country would, would also restrict or restrict and not allow Jews to own. But San Francisco did not have that, or the residence parks did not have that restriction. And I should add that this was very common throughout the United States, California and San Francisco. The fact of denying people a base, on the basis of race, a chance to buy a house, a lot in this case, in these residence parks.

Nicole: And that was a, a movement, to no longer allow that to happen, came about in the 1960s right. With the Fair Housing Act and things like that. But some of these practices still continued even though there was federal legislation, correct?

Richard: Yes. So, what happened in the residence parks, it's a little, this is a podcast audience, I know. They like all the [00:05:00] details. So…

Nicole: Oh yeah.

Richard: But, but without boring them, without boring you too much or getting into the weeds, in the residence parks because it, the, the restrictions or the discrimination was written into the deeds, the only way you could enforce that was to go to court. If you were a property owner in the residence park and someone wanted to sell to a African-American or an Asian person, you would have to go to court and say, listen, this is not allowed this because the deed doesn't allow it. In the court issue a, injunction a, a judgment against that. And that's different from either resident municipal segregation. Some cities actually would restrict certain areas of town from African-Americans or Jews or Asians from buying. This was not the case in San Francisco, it was private enforcement. And that's the key, because this Supreme Court outlawed government or municipal segregation in [00:06:00] 1917. But that didn't affect the residence parks because it was a private enforcement. So that took until 1948, before the Supreme, U.S. Supreme Court said that that was unenforceable. You couldn't go to court and have the, the court, that is the state enforce these discriminations. Now that's 1948. Things didn't change overnight cause there was, as you mentioned, there was informal discrimination by the realtors and other people living there and steering any African-American or Asian-American from wanting to buy these things. And that didn't change until, well, it gradually changed, but in your reference, California passed a, the Unruh Civil Rights Act in 1963 or ‘4. Which then said you couldn't refuse to sell your house to someone on, on the basis of race. So, we were a little early before the federal legislation. But anyway, that's, that's it, kind of in a nutshell.

Arnold: [00:07:00] In the end, despite the 1948 Supreme Court case, I think famously the big one in San Francisco was the Willie Mays case where he was attempting to buy a house, was it Forest Knolls? I don’t know the exact neighborhood. But because of those covenants the homeowner who wanted to sell it to them was being pressured by the neighborhood not to sell it to him. And it took intervention from San Francisco’s mayor for the sale to finally go through.

Nicole: So, these are unique spaces, unique neighborhoods in San Francisco with some complicated history. But maybe you could tell us a little bit now about visually what, what, what, how these aesthetically and in terms of landscaping and design, some of the neighborhoods on the west side came about.

Richard: So, if you, if everyone is, most people are familiar with St. Francis Wood. So that is an example of a residence park. It's kind of a classic one. Started in 1912. And if you've driven through it and you've [00:08:00] seen how it's laid out, how the houses are all detached and there's landscaping and, and, of course, they've kept it up very well. And the streets curve, if you've gone around driven around that, if visually you could think of that as, as the model, one of the models for a residence park. Now they all didn't come out like that, but that was the idea.

Nicole: Got it. So, let's get into the neighborhoods we're here to talk about today.

Richard: Okay.

Nicole: Where is Lincoln Manor located?

Richard: Lincoln Manor is located in Lincoln Manor, which is at roughly 36th Avenue and Geary. Goes between Geary and Clement. And it's a pretty small residence park.

Nicole: And was that former cemetery land or did I make that up?

Richard: No, it's not. It's just south of what was Harding, sorry, Lincoln Park. Which part of, was, part of that was a cemetery. But no, it was on land that was not, it was just in the [00:09:00] Richmond grid. So it wasn't, it was not a cemetery.

Arnold: So, when did Lincoln Manor get established and who was establishing it?

Richard: So, Lincoln Manor was launched in 1914 by Lyon and Hoag, who is not an, a household name. But they were a partnership. They, they were realty firm and they were very active in San Francisco and, and they were one of many developers that got on the bandwagon of these residence parks.

Nicole: Are you reading directly from your book, Richard?

Richard: No, I, I can't, I can't read and talk at the same time, unfortunately. So, oh, I, I got it right. It is, it is Lyon and Hoag.

Nicole: No, you know, I totally respect if you are. I mean, why do extra work when you've already done the work? Right?

Richard: Yeah. And they did several residence parks. It's between 38th and 36th. And Clement and Geary. And there's a street that runs [00:10:00] through it, A sub, special one block long street called Shoreview Avenue. And I guarantee you wouldn't, nobody would've, I, I can't imagine anyone would've known about that unless you actually were lived there or somehow got lost and went into that.

Arnold: Is there any significance to that name, Shoreview?

Richard: Well, yes. Thank you for asking that. It was many of these residence parks tried to take advantage of the terrain and have features and amenities that you couldn't get. So, this had a view of the shore. And by this, they actually meant, I was confused at first because when you go there, you can't see any shore. And if you go north, you can't see the Golden Gate. cause the, the ground goes up, you know there's a hill. But what they were referring to was actually, if you looking sort of south and a little west, you could see the Pacific Ocean. And particularly before all the trees were grown up, you know, and the plantings kind [00:11:00] of obscured that view. So, you do have a view of the shore of the Pacific Ocean on a good day when it's not foggy.

Nicole: I know I always think of the irony of calling the Sunset, the Sunset District. Because, you know, mostly it's just gray out here. But, but boy, when we get those sunsets there, they sure are beautiful. Okay, so Lyon and Hoag, they're developers, right? They're not architects designing the homes?

Richard: Correct. Yeah, they would buy the land, lay out the track come up with the, all the deed restrictions, do all the marketing, make the sales. And then, you know, they, one thing which is unique in these residence parks was that they were initially designed and marketed, as I mentioned earlier, to buy a lot. You were gonna be responsible after you bought your nice lot, which, by the way, had all the improvement, the improvements, they, as they call 'em, which meant all the utilities were in, the streets were [00:12:00] paved, the sidewalks were put in. And that was kind of unusual at the time because often the property owner had to pay for that either partially or, or completely or fight with the city over who's gonna pay the, pave the streets. So, you didn't have to worry about that. It was an improved lot, but you did have to find a way to build your house.

Nicole: Yeah.

Richard: Subject to these deed restrictions. And the, and the, the idea going into this was that you would hire an architect and build a nice house, which many did. And not just in Lincoln Park, but generally. But they also, Lyon and Hoag also realized that, you know, these are, this is a small company and they just bought this land. And they had to pay, I don't know if they had to pay cash, but they had to raise the money somehow. And they had to make sales. They had to unload these lots. So, they would often sell lots to other builders or other developers. And they would, [00:13:00] these other people would actually be responsible for putting up the houses.

Arnold: In the, in the Lincoln Manor area, was there any specific architectural styles that were used there, or is it a mishmash?

Richard: So,  in Lincoln Manor, which is true mostly of all the other residence parks, because it was up to either the individual lot buyer to build their house or these other builders, there was no requirement to pick a particular architectural style. So, you'll see all the styles that were popular, say in 1914 through the ‘20s, which were examples of what's called Period Revival Architecture. Which means that it, it was a revival of previous historical periods, usually in Europe. So, you'll see sort of French or Tudor or kind of a vaguely Mediterranean Spanish colonial that we, that's been, come to now. You'll see a lot of that. [00:14:00] And so, you'll see a variety. You will see some houses that are look the same. You know, you might see two or three that are the same design, which means some builder threw up some and to, built, you know, hired an a, an architect to do that. And Arnold, I'm gonna anticipate your next question because in, in Lincoln Manor, one builder, prominent builder was the S.A. Born company, which is not a household name. They were very, they were involved in a lot of these residence parks. They built a lot of houses and they hired Ida McCain, a woman architect to design a lot of houses in Lincoln Manor. She was actually active in a lot of other residence parks as well. And so, some of those designs are, are the result of, of her work.

Nicole: I love Ida McCain. A historian friend of ours, Inga Horton, has done a lot of great work around homes [00:15:00] that she built, researching Ida McCain. And the day I knew that Inga liked me, Inga is German and she's very matter of fact, and, you know, when you're a young aspiring historian, you're like, oh, I hope all these incredible people like me. And I did research for your book, Richard. I helped with some of the architect biographies and I got so excited about the Ida McCain story. And I found a photo of her from her passport in the ‘20s, and it's the only photo we know to exist. I found it on Ancestry. Then Inga came up to me and she was like, where did you find this photo? And I was like, on the internet.

Richard: Because…

Nicole: She looks fantastic!

Richard: Because as it turns out, it, Ida didn't look anything like that photo, so. Just kidding. Wait, just kidding. I don't know if that came through. I knew Ida McCain and that was not Ida McCain.

Arnold: That's probably also a reference that'll get lost on people.

Nicole: It's a tough crowd here y'all. You see what I put up with [00:16:00] every time running Western Neighborhoods Project.

Richard: No, I thought, I thought you were the tough crowd on me.

Nicole: We're tough on each other. It's how we all keep each other honest. But anyhow, let's move into a different neighborhood. I think we're done with this neighborhood.

Arnold: Actually, one last question about it. Where, where's the, I, I have a, an idea, but specifically where's the name come from? Lincoln Manor.

Richard: Well Lincoln, I think because of Lincoln Park was right behind it and when I was leading the tour, you know, it's great on these tourists 'cause our members and our people that go on the walking tours are very knowledgeable and I think they pointed it out that it was, the park went in in 1909 and that is the birth date of Lincoln the president. Was it 1808 or 1809? Anyway, it's Lincoln Park. I think they said Lincoln Manor and Manor is just a name to evoke that this was like a special place. Manor. Some of 'em were [00:17:00] terraces. Some of 'em were park, you know, just to hit you over the head, so-and-so park. So you see a lot. Although Manor, I think there's not too many Manors in San Francisco.

Nicole: It feels like a throwback to, I know some of the, the, the style of building has its roots in, in England. Right? So, it feels like a throwback to that.

Richard: Well, it's a good point. It's a good point, Nicole. Because the residence park movement in the, in San Francisco as part of a national trend, we were late to the game, San Francisco really. Berkeley and Oakland were ahead of us. And the rest of the country was even further ahead of us in the 1880s, even earlier. And that is pre-based on precedence in England, even earlier. So, yeah.

Nicole: Lot of history in that name Whoof. Now, podcast listeners, you'll, you'll think of it every time you pass by this unmarked area, or is [00:18:00] it a marked area, Richard?

Richard: Well, I'm gonna ask Arnold on that because he was on the tour. Oh wait. Well, okay.

Nicole: No, he wasn’t. I think it was just me.

Richard: He wasn't on the tour. You weren't on the tour?

Arnold: Not on that one.

Richard: I thought he went on all the tours. Anyway, so that's maybe an, it's an unfair question. Yes, there is a, they are marked. In fact, they're, they're always visually marked with some sort of entry statuary. Well, they're called gates, like the pillars. There's some, in this case, in Lincoln Manor's case, there's some brick pillars and some other little associated structures to set, to set it off, so that when you're going out to 36th Avenue and Geary in 1914, when there's nothing around except Fort Miley with the gun, the cannons blasting every once in a while, you are gonna be reassured that this is a special place. This has a entryway. It's got, as I said, it's these improved [00:19:00] lots. This is a place where you should, you're not taking a risk. You should invest your money in something that's really going to be nice.

Nicole: Don’t worry, we got pillars. It's, it's gonna be, I swear, I swear it's gonna be nice. Don't worry. View of the shore. Okay, so that's Lincoln Manor in a, in a crazy nutshell. What's Arnold, where should we go next?

Arnold: Well, very close by is another neighborhood known as, funnily enough, Sutro Heights Park. And Richard, where might Sutro Heights Park residence park be?

Richard: So, if we we're at, at Lincoln Manor we're at like 36th, between 36th and 38th Avenue on Geary. So, if we walk on Geary west a few blocks until we get to 45th Avenue, now we're almost to the end of the avenues there, so we're way out. 45th Avenue and Geary. There's some more stone [00:20:00] pillars. So, now we know children, whenever we see stone pillars, brick pillars, that we might be approaching a residence park. And, lo and behold, we were or are. It was supposed to be a residence park. I got far as the pillars, but didn’t really follow through on the resident park ideals.

Nicole: And this, just to be clear, this isn't Sutro Heights Park, that like is a park owned by the National Park Service. We're talking about a neighborhood very close by to it.

Richard: Exactly. Yes. And I don't know if I should go into it now, but this area. 44th to 46th to 47th, Geary to Anza, is a site of several attempts to develop. And they started as an attempt to develop a residence park there. And it went through different forms of developers and we can [00:21:00] get into that later, but it's a kind of a hotbed of, of activity. And it mostly didn't work out very, to the idea of the goal of any of the developers.

Arnold: So, when did this, these attempts to start trying to develop it occur, and who was it that was trying to develop it?

Richard: So, it's in 1915. It's, and it's still, that's our friends Lyon and Hoag who, fresh from Lincoln Manor, which was going well for them, thought, well, hey, let's keep this going, you know, because we gotta strike while the iron's hot. So, they started in 1915. But unfortunately for them and all the other developers of residence parks and all the other developers of non-residence parks. This was the beginning of World War I, which I know everyone is familiar with, all the dates in World War I.

Nicole: We’ve, we’ve seen Downton Abbey. Yes.

Richard: So it, as everyone knows, the Guns of [00:22:00] August, you know that book, started in the, started in Europe in 1914, but we didn't get involved until 1917. However, the beginning of the war very quickly caused a big disruption in financial markets. And everything was topsy-turvy, even in this country before we were in the war. So, all the developers ran into a lot of problems. They couldn't sell these lots. It wasn't a depression, but it was a upheaval in the, in building.

Arnold: I think there was certain supplies that were, there was a reduced amount that were available to certain things, that kind of thing. Is that right?

Richard: That’s right.

Nicole: So, fits and starts. Sutro Park, Lyon and Hoag are, are trying, but then the war derails them a little bit. So, who picks up from Lyon and Hoag?

Richard: So, Lyon and Hoag, you know, they got, they built the pillars, the brick pillars, and if you drive by there, they use the same kind of brick as in Lincoln Manor, just coincidentally. So, you can kind of [00:23:00] tell. And they got that far then. But no, nothing much happened in World War, as I mentioned in World War I. You can actually see there are very few houses that look like they were built at that time. They, in turn after World War I ended, they turned the over the project over to Lang Realty, which I think our podcast people, some would know, another family run firm, but a big real, realty firm developers. And they took over the property. But they renamed it the Sutro Heights Marine View property, which is kind of an odd name. But not a residence park. You know, hey, it's just like we got property, we got a view, come on out here and we'll build a house for you or residence for you.

Arnold: They didn't change those stone pillars with the name Sutro Heights Park on 'em?

Richard: Well, they didn't change the pillars, but there's actually, see Arnold, I thought you were on the tour. cause if you were on the tour you would've seen that. There's no [00:24:00] name on the, on the pillars. But yes, it's a good guess. But no, there's no name. But yes, they left them, they left 'em as the, as the way they are. And can I, do I have time to go into a little more detail?

Nicole: Yeah. Bring it.

Richard: It's block. 44th, 45th Avenue. There's even little pillars every so often, which is like more expense that Lyon and Hoag put in, and they, it looks like there was a little lamp of some sort on some of these pillars, that there's none left, but there's people that put little things on 'em, little doodads anyway, so they, they tried. But Lang Realty tried. They left the pillars and they kind of built out because in the ‘20s, there was a housing boom and you know, you could, any idiot could, could do okay, in the ‘20s.

Arnold: Yeah. I think…

Richard: Very podcasty about it.

Arnold: I think there's a, a, I wanna say a brick pillar at like Anza and 45th or 46th and [00:25:00] somebody had just plopped a statue on top of it.

Richard: Yeah.

Richard: Yeah.

Nicole: It looks great, and they have really beautiful, they have really beautiful tiles, like Spanish, sort of ceramic tiles that are inset into some of them.

Richard: Yeah.

Nicole: Oh, go ahead, Richard.

Richard: Go.

Nicole: I was gonna say, once you all listen to this podcast and you go out into the neighborhood to look at them, you won't ever be able to unsee them. It's the beauty of it. Yeah.

Arnold: So, how did Lang Realty do in terms of getting this area developed?

Richard: Well, they, I, you know, they did fairly well. But there was still land available, sort of to further towards what is, you know, now, Sutro Heights Park. The Park park. The city owned park. And another developer got in the act. And they called the area from 45th Avenue to 48th Avenue, so that's right at the end. Again, Anza to [00:26:00] Clement, they went a little bit further and they called this track, the Vista del Mar.

Nicole: Ooh.

Richard: Yes. And let's see. Vista. Vista of the Sea is that, I don't speak Spanish, but is that Vista Del Mar?

Nicole: Sure. Yeah.

Richard: Vista of Del, this must be of the shore.

Nicole: I took French in high school, so.

Richard: Okay. So, none of us knows what we're talking about, but that's again, the beauty of a podcast. No, it was Vista Del Mar and it had, this was in the ‘30s, actually at the beginning, 1931. Which is a bad time to, again, timing is everything in real estate, bad time to be launching Vista del Mar or anything else in 1931 because of the depression just started at the end of 1929. But, you know, they had high hopes and they were very optimistic. And they opened a model home in December of 1931. And Mayor Rossi showed up. And [00:27:00] actually, the land was still owned by the Sutro heirs. Adolph Sutro, who owned a lot of land all over San Francisco, including this area, and it's right next to the Sutro Heights Park. Which, I think by 1931, the family donated or sold it to the city for the park. Anyway, so it was a big deal. They were trying to get, you know, people to come out. You know, they're trying to hype it because they're trying to get stuff sold and to hire people because they were, the developer, in a statement, said that, don't work, they're gonna start work, construction work in the winter, instead of waiting for the spring of ’32, in order to give work to men who would otherwise be unemployed. So, it was very noble. So, come on down and buy a lot and you know, participate here.

Nicole: Yeah. It feels like during the pandemic, when it felt heroic to order takeout.

Richard: Yeah.

Nicole: Just supporting [00:28:00] local businesses. So I, I have to order these tacos.

Richard: Yeah. But they did, and the name of the company that did this, which I had never heard of before or after, were Kiernan and O'Brien. Just some kind of partnership. And one other thing I should say, you know, this a hundred years ago, there were, most of things were built by small companies or family-owned businesses or individuals, so they didn't have a lot of money. They had a, you know, they were all in. There was no public-private partnership. There was no federal money. There was no state mrah, mrah, mrah. You had to do it yourself. You could, and you sunk, sunk or swim. And there was no well, by the ‘30s, there were more planning rules than, than there were earlier.

Nicole: Right.

Richard: But they still had to do it. Now there was this, these developers, Kiernan and O'Brien, did in fact build some kind of nice houses in a kind of a Spanish colonially, Mediterranean revival style. And they gave him romantic names, which is [00:29:00] common in many of these developments. Del Mar, La Belle Normandy, Casa Cordoza, and La Florentine. So, let's see, we have French. Spanish and Italian maybe, you know, for your, for your pleasure. But they look at least very nice from the street.

Arnold: You know, I'm sure we'll get emails in terms of what the correct Spanish translation of Vista del Mar is.

Richard: Good.

Arnold: Wanna mention that, you know, Mayor Rossi showing up when they were opening it is not uncommon, because Mayor Rossi never met a photo op that he didn't like.

Nicole: That's true.

Arnold: He's out for, we have photos of him on OpenSFHistory at all kinds of things.

Nicole: Yeah, he loved wearing outfits too. He was like, well, I'll put on these dungarees and pretend like I'm, I'm, I'm boring out a tunnel or whatever you need me to do, I'll carry an axe or I'm here for it. We even have a photo of him putting socks on. He's like sitting on the floor with someone else and they're both putting socks [00:30:00] on. I have no idea what that's about, but.

Arnold: And he is always driving streetcars through newly opened tunnels.

Nicole: Yeah. I mean, to be fair, if I was mayor of San Francisco, I'd be like, I wanna drive this streetcar. What else can I pilot? Can I, can I, can I drive a ferry boat? Can I do that too? It sounds like fun.

Richard: Well, and in spite of the best efforts of Sunny Jim Rolph, who was running, gonna run for governor about that same time, Kiernan and O'Brien couldn't make a go of it either, and they sold out to the Marion Realty Company. Which is not a well-known name, but it is owned by, well-known people in the Sunset. They were owned by the Rousseau brothers who were architects and builders. And they bought the land and they said, hey, we're gonna knock this out. We're gonna build some houses and build them fast. So, I'm not sure how much they did because [00:31:00] they went bankrupt too, shortly thereafter. So, the ‘30s were a tough time. There was, there were houses were built in the ‘30s. It was beyond the scope of the residence park thing. But the FHA, and there were, there was how housing activity, particularly the mid to late ‘30s. So, it wasn’t like a desert. But boy, the beginning of it was pretty bad. And that’s when these residence parks and later non-residence parks started. So, if you walk around this area today you, you won't, I mean, you'll see something that looks a little, maybe out of the ordinary, but in no way does it look like, say a St. Francis Wood or a Lincoln Manor.

Nicole: Yeah. And if you wanna hear more about the Rousseau Brothers, we actually recorded a whole podcast. There's some drama in the brothers’ history because, you know, family, families get funny sometimes. You know what I'm saying? Not the WNP family. We're all very straight here. But.

Arnold: And if you're looking for that podcast, it's episode [00:32:00] 393. Some years back, but easy to find.

Nicole: Also, fun fact. As a nod to naming houses on the west side whimsical things, I am in a Spanish Mediterranean revival home in the Sunset District, and I have named her Casa de Lladro because I inherited all of my mother and my grandmother's porcelain figurines called Lladros. And that's mostly what you see here. So, Casa de Lladro is what the official name of my house is, but enough about me.

Arnold: Yeah. So Richard, any other nice tidbits about any of these three residence parks?

Richard: Well, I, I sound like I'm, ,I'm repeating myself, but when the Rousseaus went bankrupt in 1933, six years elapsed, and then another developer got involved [00:33:00] in the remaining lots in Vista Del Mar. The Arco Building Company, which again is not a household name. I've never run into them before or after. But the president of the company, a Mr. Jesse Horn said, and this is 1939, he said he was gonna build 22 houses. And again, war, World War II is starting now. This time in Europe. And there were rising prices already then because of the war in Europe in 1939. So he said, you know, that because of this situation, the rising prices in Europe, now is the best time to buy.

Nicole: Oh yeah. Smart. Boy, those, those fellas sure knew how to sell a parcel. Am I right? I could never, with a straight face encourage [00:34:00] people to make risky choices like that. Could you, Richard?

Richard: What are we talking about? Yeah. No. Well, it, yeah. I mean, it turns out real estate is, has been. I'm not a realtor, but it has been a, a way that a lot of people have earned capital and passed it on to, to, you know, their children. If you can wait it out, you know, if you long, the timeframe is long enough.

Arnold: And eventually all of these lots in Vista del Mar get built upon, cause it's…

Richard: Yeah.

Arnold: It's all built up now.

Nicole: It's beautiful and like home prices around, like when they were first sold, they were like, what, like $2000 to $6,000 or something?

Richard: Well, yeah. It depends A lot less, there's so much less than today. It, it's meaningless really. I mean, you can't, you know, it's in this time period, well, in the teens, World War I, a $10,000 house was a very, very expensive house. You know, maybe $4 or $5,000 was a [00:35:00] nice house that now would be a million and a half, you know, nothing big.

Nicole: Yeah.

Richard: But, and oh, I should add that these residence parks were not designed for the super wealthy. They were designed for professionals. Doctor, lawyers, presidents of local companies, maybe. So, they had to work for a living. And, but they were nice. They were not middle-class housing. It was a little more expensive than that.

Nicole: Yeah.

Richard: And the one big exception, of course, is Presidio Terrace.

Nicole: Oh, yeah.

Richard: And you said, oh yeah, do you, do you know about that, Nicole?

Nicole: I’ve, I've walked by it a few times. They have a very fancy guard that sits in his Ford Explorer outside of the gates that does not feel very welcoming.

Richard: Well, it's, it's funny you should mention that, because the residence parks in San Francisco, the only one, the only one that has a private streets is Presidio Terrace. Although the residents didn't know that they owned the streets and they were, [00:36:00] didn't pay taxes on it. And the city sold the streets out from under them just a couple years ago. I'm, I'm sure people have heard about it. And then when they found out, they said, wait a minute, we, so the Board of Supervisors got involved, lawsuits, was a big deal. And that's why they have a, that is truly, Presidio Terrace is truly a gated community. And Presidio Terrace, you know, Woody always, and I forget to do this, give the address or the location. So, it's not Presidio Avenue, almost to, it's up against the Presidio.

Nicole: Yeah. Shares a wall.

Richard: Lake Street. Lake, Presidio. Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: We, we actually have a podcast on Presidio Terrace a long time ago, back in 2016. It's episode 158. So, you can learn all the details about that place there.

Nicole: Fantastic. Well do, do any of us live in residence parks? Oh, casual, Richard does. And is that [00:37:00] maybe how you got into this whole residence park business?

Richard: Well, I, Nicole, I thought everyone lived in a residence park. I mean, come on. No, no. I didn't out, so I, I didn't know that I lived in one. Yeah, I live in Greater West Portal. I can't say the address. But it turns out that, yeah, there's some, this was also several, actually, three or four residence parks were initially started in, around West Portal, around the tunnel. But they never made it as a residence park, and it just became known as the greater West Portal area. But if you look at the deed, the title to property now, the assessor's maps, you can sometimes see in the upper right hand corner, they have these names. And sometimes that would be the well, it's usually the, the name of the area, like the Western Addition, you know, or whatever. And sometimes you'll see these names like Claremont Court, was a residence park. Merritt Terrace. And there was [00:38:00] even a West Portal Park that, that the name West Portal survived, but not the park.

Nicole: You know, it feels like we can just keep chugging through these neighborhoods on future podcasts, Richard?

Richard: Well, it’s funny, you, it is funny you should mention that again. I keep saying that, but it's very funny. I guess we're the only ones laughing, but there were 36, 3-6 of these residence parks that were planned or launched and not all of them made it. But it was a very popular idea. So, they're, they're all over the western part of San Francisco and even in the Marina, and even in Visitation Valley and over Twin Peaks. And actually, since I wrote the book, I discovered a couple more that were launched and didn't, didn't make it. So, it was a very popular idea.

Nicole: I look forward to recording 4,000 more podcasts with you in the future cause this has been delightful.

Richard: Thank you.

Nicole: You're welcome. And now [00:39:00] Richard, we're gonna, we're gonna slog through a lot of WNP business, but you're welcome to stay on the line and chime in with colorful commentary if, if it so moves you to.

Arnold: But now it's time for Say What Now. And Nicole, we're gonna talk about some people this week. I'll let you take the first one.

Nicole: Oh yeah. Thank you for this distinct honor. So, Lincoln Manor has had several prominent residents. But three are probably most notable. One is former supervisor, former state senator, and former judge Quentin Kopp. And if you've ever driven on Interstate 380, that super short stretch of road between Highway 101 and Interstate 280, near the airport, it was named after Kopp. Strangely, although a long-time resident of and politician in San Francisco, when he was named a Superior Court judge, it was in San [00:40:00] Mateo County. And I believe he was on a podcast with our friends over at TotalSF, if you're interested in hearing a first-person interview with Mr. Kopp.

Arnold: Secondly, we've got someone who, a lot of people who were kids in the 1950s and ‘60s will recognize. And that would be Norman Rosenberg, better known as King Norman of King Norman's toys.

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: So besides owning a house in Lincoln Manor and his toy store, King Norman also had a Saturday morning children's TV show on KGO Channel 7, that began in 1954, in which always had a live studio audience made up of kids. So many of you listening probably watched that show. Or you got toys from the King Norman's toy store on Clement. And you can learn more about King Norman in podcast episode 357.

Nicole: Finally, we've got [00:41:00] Fred and Bernice Linz. And you might be thinking, who are those folks? Well, they were two of the earliest Lincoln Manor residents, moving in there in 1916. Fred was a prominent local auto dealer, but we're here to tell you about Bernice. She was a pioneer advocate for the idea of women driving and racing cars, having learned to drive sometime prior to 1905. After the 1906 earthquake, take a drink, she spent two days driving women, children and exhausted soldiers to shelter. And she complete, also competed in a number of road races and later founded and was president of the California Women's Auto Association. In fact, she became known as California, California's most famous woman motorist. And I am done speaking now

Arnold: Thinking she may deserve her own podcast sometime in the future.

Nicole: Oh yeah, that sounds great. Bookmarking that for deeper research later. [00:42:00] And now that we've gotten through Say What Now, it's time for listener mail. All right, Arnold, how does one send us listener mail?

Arnold: Well, as always, you can send an email to podcast@outsidelands.org. You can send a snail mail to our office at 1617 Balboa Street. You can take advantages of our posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and post podcast comments there. Those all go back to me and Nicole somehow and we will note them, cause we do post podcasts on most of these places, if not all of them on occasion.

Nicole: Yeah and our dear friend Margaret said, and I quote, “I'm stomping everything to make sure I tell you how much fun it was listening to you talk about the Odd Fellows Cemetery. Your bad, bad puns had me giggling out loud as I walked the old [00:43:00] hound.” Who is Charlie the history poodle for folks who don't know “What a whopper of a Say What Now that was, it's a story I've heard before, but you two really brought it to life and pulled in so much extra context to drive home the insanity. Loved it. Thank you for being awesome.” End quote. And thank you, Margaret, for being equally awesome.

Arnold: And the Say What Now she was referring to was the incredible story of Charles de Young attempting to get, to murder somebody and then getting murdered himself.

Nicole: Perhaps the longest Say What Now to date. Probably should have been its own podcast, but we'll cross that murderous bridge when we come to it next time, perhaps.

Arnold: And, of course, our good friend Margaret is a member of the Western Neighborhoods Project.

Nicole: She sure is. She's one of our best members, Arnold. And because she donates annually by clickity, clickity, clacking the big orange button that says Become a Member at the top of any page on our [00:44:00] websites, that's outsidelands.org or OpenSFHistory org, she gets a quarterly membership magazine. Which is in full color and very glossy, and one of Chelsea Sellin’s pride and joys. And she also gets discounts on events and other exclusive perks. But, you know, it also supports all of the good work that we do and make available for free online. This podcast, OpenSFHistory, which is just thousands of photos that you can peruse and download and use however the heck you want. We don't even ask you questions. The Cliff House and so much more. So, please, if you have a little extra to spare, please consider donating. You don't even have to join the club or be a member. No signups necessary. You can just throw money at us. Or become a member and, and experience what it's like to be part of the family.

Arnold: And whether you become a member or just donate, [00:45:00] you can find out about all the different things we do, because we have some announcements.

Nicole: So, announcements include the fact that August and September are actually a little bit of a quiet time for us, for Chelsea and I and all of our hardworking volunteers. We kind of get to catch our breath and prep for a really big finish to the end of the year. So, we are working on so many collaborations right now. We are doing oral histories every month, thanks to one of our volunteers, Sarah. We're working on exhibitions. Thanks to Lindsay Hanson and Gary Parks, we'll have an Alexandria display in the front windows of our Balboa clubhouse soon. And thanks to another amazing volunteer named Joe, we're gonna have the Cliff House collection back up on exhibition, and actually interpreted. And speaking of the Alexandria, we're working to help coordinate, you know, I was gonna say hundreds, but that's a complete lie, [00:46:00] several, several community history groups to come together in November to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Alexandria. I can't announce more than that yet, but it's gonna be super fun. And I mean, we've also got Shipwreck Week that's coming in October, which we just solidified the keystone program for. There's gonna be a happy hour, there's gonna be podcasts. It's gonna be like Shark Week, but it's gonna be about shipwrecks, in a respectful but entertaining manner. We're so excited. It's gonna be fantastic. I can't even believe it. And where do you learn about all of these cool events that are happening Arnold?

Arnold: Well, Nicole, we actually have all of our events on our website. You go to outsidelands.org/events and you can find out about all our history walks or other things coming up. You can also sign up for a monthly email blast. You can also go on to Eventbrite [00:47:00] and follow us there. So, you become one of the first people to hear about our events as they get posted, as they hit the internet, as they say. So, join us at any of those places so you can find out about all of our events.

Nicole: The history walks are some of my favorite. We've got so many more coming up before the end of the year, and some of them might even be led by Mr. Richard Brandi. So, you could meet this celebrity in person. Iconic. Alright, I think, I think we're done for the evening. Richard. It's been wonderful to have you with us tonight.

Richard: Thank you. I enjoyed it. It was good. Well, is this, is this on the podcast?

Nicole: Yeah, it will be on the podcast because we still have a preview for next week.

Richard: Good. Okay. I'll see you later then.

Nicole: Okay. Are you ready for the preview friends?

Arnold: We are.

Nicole: We are going to medieval Japan, if [00:48:00] you can believe that. So, tune in to hear what the heck that has to do with the Outside Lands. Until next time, I'm Nicole Meldahl.

Arnold: And I'm Arnold Woods.

Nicole: And this has been another episode of Outside Lands San Francisco. Thanks for being with us history friends.

Ian: Outside Lands San Francisco is recorded by Ian Hadley. Content creation and media production at ihadley.com.

Nicole: To learn more about the Western Neighborhoods Project and more on San Francisco history, go to Outsidelands.org. You can also find us on social media at Facebook, which is outsidelands with an S, at Twitter, which is outsidelandz with a Z, and on Instagram, which is outsidelandz, also with a Z. And check out our historic San Francisco images website at OpenSFHistory.org.

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