Pacific Heights is a neighborhood within San Francisco's 7-mile by 7-mile city limits. It is named after Pacific Street, which is the street with the highest elevation for part of its length. The neighborhood is located along a ridge (highest elevation is 370 feet above sea level) that runs East-West and rises above the surrounding neighborhoods in the Northern part of the city, offering great views. The terrain is traversed with a grid of streets about 13 blocks long and 9 blocks wide, covered with an eclectic mix of mostly historic residential buildings; some are detached large homes, others are connected lowrise and midrise blocks, while a scattering of highrises from the 1920's to the 1970's completes the variety. There are also numerous small schools (mostly private), churches, and even some foreign consulates. In general, the density of development and highrises is greater toward the Eastern side of this high-end area. I consider the boundaries of the neighborhood to be Green Street on the North; Lyon Street on the West; Pine Street on the South; and Franklin Street on the East. Three of the boundary sides are highly debatable, especially with the interfaces with sub-neighborhoods known as Cow Hollow and Lower Pacific Heights. By my definition, there are 117 city blocks within the boundaries, only 8 of which lack buildings and are park space. However, part of the Western boundary adjoins another neighborhood, the Presidio, which is essentially a massive park. Also on the Western boundary is Presidio Heights, a neighborhood that continues the impressive high-end detached home assortment of the Western side of Pacific Heights. To the South is Japantown and the Western Addition, to the East is the busy Van Ness/Polk corridor, and to the North is the Marina.
One of two parks in the neighborhood that each occupy a space of 4 city blocks, this one features formal stepped terraces with views across the Southern part of the city as well as a playground and tennis courts.
The other park is the same size but less formal in its arrangement.
View of Gough Street, from Lafayette Park:
Views of Broadway Street:
This stretch of the East-West street is towards the higher density Eastern side.
Views of Vallejo Street:
Another high density block on an East-West street.
Views North of Laguna Street:
The North-South streets are mostly very steep, especially on the Northern face of the ridge as it descends down to the Marina and San Francisco Bay.
View North of Pierce Street:
View North of Lyon Steps:
This street on the Western edge of the neighborhood is pedestrian-only for a few blocks due to its steep grade.
Views from the North:
These are from the Marina looking toward the Northern face of the ridge of Pacific Heights.
The large detached homes in this area are certainly close together as each block looms over the next. The eucalyptus trees of the Presidio in the distance form a definite boundary to the neighborhood.
Pacific Heights was developed starting in the 1870's, and there are many houses of various Victorian styles from the early decades.
Arts and Crafts and Various English Revival Styled Houses:
Most of the neighborhood's structures date from after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, including these.
Most date from the early 20th century in emulation of European historical styles.
St. Brigid Catholic School, 1928:
The houses, apartments, schools, and consulates that follow are indicative of the overall neighborhood: historic and well-tended and predominently pre-WWII. Very few modern buildings exist. Major styles represented include Mediterranean Revival, Beaux-Arts, Art Deco Spanish, and Art Deco Zigzag, but there are plenty of exceptions.
All photographs taken in 2011 (except a few from 2010) by geomorph.