The transformation of San Francisco's Sunset District from a seemingly uninhabitable, windswept realm of sand dunes and shrub to a comfortable residential and commercial neighborhood is one of the city's most surprising stories. Originally outside of San Francisco's boundaries on federal land, the district was part of a large tundra-like expanse then forbiddingly called the "Outside Lands." As changes overtook the established parts of the city around the turn of the century, the industrialized eastern edge seemed less hospitable to many citizens. These people looked to the Sunset's open spaces and saw there a perfect place for building homes, shops, churches and schools.
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