1164 Fulton Street

As we reported earlier this week, the buyer of the Alamo Square building at 1164 Fulton Street has proposed a restoration of the building’s façade, taking cues from surviving architectural elements and a historic photograph of Fulton Street in the 1920’s.


A plugged-in tipster has since delivered the aforementioned historic photograph.


And according to our tipster, while the garage at 1164 Fulton Street will remain, the plan is to bring back the grand stairs to the street as part of the restoration as well.

5 thoughts on “Architectural Inspiration: Fulton Street Ninety Years Ago and Today”
  1. My third grade daughter has been studying San Francisco history with her class this year; they have all learned to identify Victorian architectural features like sunbursts, fish scale shingles, quoins, dentils, capital types, etc. Just this week, I accompanied them on a tour of the remarkable Haas-Lilienthal house (click my name link). Afterwards, my daughter was asking me why they stopped building Victorians. Styles changes, costs go up, and materials get harder to find, but it’s hard to imagine anyone ever thought the remuddled shingles, aluminum windows, tacked on fire escape/balconies, etc on this building were an improvement.

  2. I live near this property and walk by it every day. Delighted to see it has been bought (finally) by someone with pockets deep enough to renovate it properly.
    The property was being offered for sale in a somewhat hostile form of sale that required a judge to review and mitigate across multiple parties. It has been an eyesore among some of the nicest homes in SF for many years.

  3. What a nice addition those two trees make to the cityscape. Although missing from the 1920s image, they make the street so much more inviting.

  4. And who cares about restoring the ground floor, right? Not like any passers-by pay attention to that.

  5. It looks awful right now, especially compared to the houses to the left and right. Here’s hoping that the Historic Preservation Commission works with the new owners and a respectful architect to get this place back to its former glory.
    In the previous thread (link above), Dan wrote:

    Converting the building from 4 units to 2 units would allow larger units and ease condo conversion…both changes would increase the return on the building.

    Posted by: Dan at May 1, 2013 10:47 AM

    Emphasis mine.
    This place, as well as 33 Valley Street in Noe (“Purchased as a vacant two-unit building…in 2010”) from Wednesday came to mind when I read Felix Salmon’s piece yesterday, Why America’s population density is falling. The relevant ‘graph:

    These rich…have two important effects on urban density. Firstly, they decrease density just by moving to the city: they do that by dint of the fact that they live in larger homes with smaller families. My apartment in New York’s East Village, for instance, is in a 1920s tenement building, which was converted into condos in 1984. During the condo conversion, the old layout, of four apartments per floor, was scrapped in favor of a new layout with only two apartments per floor. But the number of people per apartment didn’t go up. And if the conversion were to take place today, the building would almost certainly be converted into “full-floor luxury residences”, with a keyed elevator opening directly into monster spaces. Again, without any discernible increase in the number of people per apartment.

    Rich people like to maximize the amount of space they live in, whether they’re buying suburban McMansions or downtown lofts. As a result, higher property prices in dense urban areas are prone to making those areas less dense

    Again, emphasis mine. The effect he describes is of course in no way specific to that area in the borough of Manhattan in New York City.
    Some people like to say “they aren’t making more detached SFH’s in San Francisco”, but of course since dwelling unit mergers for high-end units aren’t controlled, the rich can always take a multi-unit building and get the low-density building or SFH they want by combining units and forcing up the price of property even further by reducing supply.
    All the people advocating higher density as a way to enable more people to live in S.F. and perhaps slow the ascent of prices without government involvement? This is how your theory gets invalidated in practice, at least for the neighborhoods the rich want to live in.

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