San Francisco native Emma Bland Smith grew up only a few milesbut several hillsfrom Glen Park. For this historical survey of one of San Francisco’s “cities within a city” (locals call the small but bustling commercial crossroads “the village”), she interviewed passionate amateur historians and asked residents to scour their basements for old photographs. Poignant black-and-white pictures tell a story of a real neighborhood where immigrant families could afford to live both in the city yet in relative peace.
San Francisco's Glen Park and Diamond Heightsby Emma Bland Smith
isolated that only farmers would settle here. Life revolved around Islais Creek, which ran through the canyon and provided water for the dairies. Then, in 1892, a
Hemmed in by steep hills, Glen Park is defined by its quintessentially San Franciscan topography. Only 120 years ago this area, as well as neighboring Diamond Heights, was part of the "Outside Lands," so
isolated that only farmers would settle here. Life revolved around Islais Creek, which ran through the canyon and provided water for the dairies. Then, in 1892, a German immigrant named Behrend Joost founded the city's first electric streetcar to shuttle residents to jobs downtown, and a neighborhood was born. As peak-roofed wooden cottages and houses began to fill in the valleys, the urban, homey, and decidedly livable Glen Park that we know today began to emerge.
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