War broke out in 1914 just as the first residential lots in St. Francis Wood were offered for sale, and it wasn’t until five years later, in 1919, that new home construction would begin to take off.
For its early residents, however, it was well worth the wait.
Here, tight restrictions on what builders could and could not do were strictly enforced. Off limits were apartment buildings, stables, saloons, and mortuaries, as were any structure that blocked a neighbor’s view or sunlight (including overhanging extensions and balconies).
What resulted were homes that, much like Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights to the north, were built to the highest standard, with no luxury spared.
Today, St. Francis Wood remains as elegant as it was first imagined, drawing discriminating yet friendly buyers who are proud to make this enclave in the City their home.
In a Word
While everything you need can be found just minutes away, the streets of St. Francis Wood themselves are purely residential.
Here, you’ll see fountains and ornate gateways, Eucalyptus shade trees and towering pines, buried utility lines (evidence that planners intended to create a distinctive home environment), and beautifully landscaped curving lanes that lead to distinguished, grand-scale homes.
John Galen Howard, the noted Beaux Arts-era architect, designed the gates at the St. Francis Boulevard/Portola Drive entry, as well as the fountain in the circular plaza on St. Francis Boulevard.
Why St. Francis Wood?
From its earliest days, St. Francis Wood was developed with the intention of designing homes that lived in harmony with the area’s natural settings. Here, large homes rest on spacious parkland (the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., the visionary behind Central Park and the public spaces at Yosemite National Park, were charged with ensuring this balance) and are loving cared for by friendly neighbors who know just how rare a gem their City neighborhood is.