San Francisco Landmarks: Alamo Square District




Alamo Square is a residential neighborhood and park in San Francisco, California, in the Western Addition. Its boundaries are not well-defined, but are generally considered to be Webster Street on the east, Golden Gate Avenue on the north, Divisadero Street on the west, and Fell Street on the south. Alamo Square Park, the neighborhood’s focal point and namesake, consists of four city blocks at the top of a hill overlooking much of downtown San Francisco, with a number of large and architecturally distinctive mansions along the perimeter, including the “Painted Ladies”, a well-known postcard motif. The park is bordered by Hayes Street to the south, Steiner Street to the east, Fulton Street to the north, and Scott Street to the west. Named after the lone cottonwood tree (“alamo” in Spanish), Alamo Hill, was a watering hole on the horseback trail from Mission Dolores to the Presidio in the 1800s. In 1856, Mayor James Van Ness created a 12.7 acre park surrounding the watering hole, creating “Alamo Square”. -wiki


The Westerfeld House and Postcard Row are as identified worldwide with San Francisco as the cable cars and Coit Tower. With a variety of architectural styles, the district is unified in its residential character, relatively small scale, construction type, materials (principally wood), intense ornamentation (especially at entry and cornice), and use of basements and retaining walls to adjust for hillside sites.

San Francisco Landmarks: Albion Brewery Hunter’s Point

San Francisco Landmark #60
Hunters Point Springs-Albion Brewery
881 Innes Avenue at India Basin Shoreline Park



John Hamlin Burnell purchases property on the edge of San Francisco Bay to obtain rights to the natural springs which run underneath. He builds the Albion Ale and Porter Brewing Company in a traditional Norman style using stones which may have been recycled from ships’ ballast or may have been quarried locally. Later he builds the Albion Water Co. next door to sell bottled spring water.


The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within…the United States,” thus destroying Albion Ale and Porter Brewing Company after its successful run of almost fifty years. The brewery structures fall into ruin.


Adrien Alexander Voisin, a sculptor, purchases the property and spends more than twenty years restoring and remodeling it for his studio and home.


The property remains a private residence and studio.



San Francisco Landmarks: Alhambra Theatre




The Alhambra Theatre is a Moorish Revival movie theater building at 2330 Polk Street in San Francisco, California, that opened on November 5, 1926. The theater was designed by Miller & Pflueger (architect Timothy L. Pflueger also designed the Castro Theater and the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California). In the 1920s, movie palaces created fantasy environments to match the movies on screen. The Alhambra’s Moorish castle decor was part of a trend to build theaters that conjured romantic, far away places: Mayan temples. Oriental palaces, ancient Egyptian tombs. Serving Cow Hollow, Russian Hill and surrounding neighborhoods, the Alhambra Theater provided an alternative the larger, swankier movie theaters on Market Street while still offering its patrons fantasy and elegance.