FEBRUARY 23, 2017 BY CHRIS COLE
Glen Park is one of the southernmost neighborhoods in San Francisco but it is, just south of Noe Valley. Depending on where you are in this lovely San Francisco neighborhood, you may have spectacular views of either the Southern Hills to the south or the downtown skyline to the north.
The majority of homes in Glen Park are single family homes, with a wide range of styles. Early on small cottages built for the working class. Then during the 1910s and 1920s when the narrow streets of Glen Park were augmented with larger Arts and Crafts and Mission, Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean Revival dwellings. New residents, some of whom were more affluent, constructed larger two-story Arts and Crafts residences on some of the remaining, undeveloped parcels, such as the attractive dwelling at 2 Van Buren Street. This house is archetypal of the Arts and Crafts style with exposed rafter ends, struts and distinctive double-hung windows that have multi-paned upper sashes. Some speculators purchased frontages of 100 or 150 feet, and they constructed rows of Arts and Crafts style residences. One of the largest clusters is a row of houses with identical floor plans built around 1919 on the south side of the 700th block of Chenery Street.
The Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean Revival styles were also popular in Glen Park during the late 1910s and 1920s. As Glen Park’s business district expanded east along Chenery and south along Diamond during this period, several large Mission Revival style commercial buildings were erected, including the finely detailed structure at 666-668 Chenery. This building is a particularly fine example of the Mission Revival style, with its sculpted parapet roof, Spanish tile roof cladding and wrought iron balconies. Several dozen Mediterranean Revival dwellings were constructed as well. An excellent example is the dwelling at 46-48 Wilder, with its Moorish corner turret, Spanish tile roof and decorative tile work. The decade of the 1920s witnessed the largest amount of construction in Glen Park, including the neighborhood’s first large apartment house, a seven-unit building at 201 Roanoke Street. although you do have some condominiums in smaller buildings, Most homes are on 25′ wide lots (like much of San Francisco), usually touching the homes they are adjacent to. The success of Glen Park in attracting new residents has been a major factor in its increasing lack of affordability.
The neighborhood’s attractiveness, combined with its location on Interstate 280, has made it a popular destination for well-paid high technology professionals in the South Bay who want to live in San Francisco. This group pushed the housing prices even further during the 1990s, making it well nigh impossible for working and middle-class residents to buy homes in Glen Park. While Glen Park has slowly evolved from a humble yet picturesque working-class community into the increasingly affluent community that we see today, the author hopes that it manages to retain its distinctive characteristics defined by small cottages, lushly landscaped yards, towering eucalyptus groves and a cozy village-like atmosphere.
Shopping options are somewhat limited, if you are close to the commercial hub (centered around Diamond and Chenery, you will have a few options, but the hills and relative scarcity of neighborhood stores makes it harder to live without a car.
Transit Options are fantastic thanks to the Glen Park BART station, and there is also an I-280 freeway interchange on the edge of the neighborhood, making the commute from San Francisco to Silicon Valley a (relative) breeze. Glen Park Recreation Center, Park and Canyon are incredibly popular outdoor spots. The Park has an outdoor playground, tennis courts, and a baseball field. The recreation center offers community meeting space and a basketball court. The canyon offers miles of trail walks, and is incredibly popular with dog owners and nature lovers throughout the city.
The weather in this neighborhood has a reputation for being fairly sunny, although fog does creep in to the district more often than some of the other central neighborhoods.
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