The Western Addition is a rather plain moniker for a vibrant and multifaceted neighborhood. Coined back in the 1850s, the name simply described its status as the latest addition to San Francisco, whose western border was then Larkin Street. The Western Addition stretches roughly from Van Ness to Divisadero and from Fulton to Geary, bumping up against Civic Center, Lower Pacific Heights, Anza Vista, NOPA and Hayes Valley. It includes part of the Fillmore District – famous for its rich African-American, Japanese-American and jazz history.

There are whole, undisturbed blocks of magnificent Victorians here as well as historical landmarks, entertainment venues and public art. Some examples are the houses on the 1300 block of McAllister, the murals at 485 Scott, the sarcophagus of Thomas Starr King at Franklin and Geary, the “Hard Bop” sculpture at Fillmore Center, the Fillmore Auditorium, Yoshi’s, and beautiful St. Mark’s Church (whose cross famously melted from the heat of the fires following the Great 1906 Earthquake).

Victorian and Edwardian buildings abound, despite the destruction caused by mid-century redevelopment projects. Architecturally significant and centrally located, Western Addition real estate is surprisingly affordable, especially when compared with housing in adjoining, trendier areas. It’s a secret-in-plain-sight neighborhood tucked right in the heart of San Francisco and it has something to offer everyone.

 

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