Earning its name from the Cyrillic-inscribed gravestones discovered at its peak by California gold rushers (Cyrillic script is a writing system employed across Eastern Europe), Russian Hill has long been prized for its history, elegance, and stunning views.
But when it comes to the style of homes that hug the area’s steep slopes and surround its tiny parks and manicured gardens, you’ll have to look beyond Eastern Europe for influences. Here, cottages and mansions alike take their design from Spanish Colonial, Italianate, Neo-Georgian, Mission Revival and Arts and Craft architectural styles.
It’s been well over a century since the last Russian crew members found their final resting spot on this hill (don’t worry; the cemetery has since been moved), but the name that they inspired remains.
Russian Hill residents include the well-to-do as well as a young, hip and affluent white-collar crowd. However diverse, all are drawn to the array of fine restaurants and boutiques that line Russian Hill’s main shopping district, Polk Street. Here, your options are many and varied:
Armistead Maupin drew his inspiration for his groundbreaking newspaper-serial-made-novel, Tales of the City, from Russian Hill’s winding, wind-swept streets.
Impressive architecture and a fine style of life. Need we say more?