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.