Western Addition

David Kipen

in San Francisco in the 1930s

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268807
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948877 | DOI:
Western Addition

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Like the backyard of some imposing but superannuated mansion, the Western Addition is cluttered with the discarded furniture of the city's Gilded Age. It is a curious district whose claim to distinction is its disdain of all pretense. It is not beautiful, and yet San Franciscans refer to it almost affectionately as “The Fillmore,” the name of its busiest thoroughfare, and love it, as Charles Caldwell Dobie says, “for its supreme grotesqueness.” Once it was what its name implies—the “western addition” to the old town. Its eastern boundary is the broad traffic-thronged artery of Van Ness Avenue, “automobile row.” Westward it spreads as far as Lone Mountain's vanishing old graveyards, once far out of town in a sandy brush-grown wilderness. Northward it extends to the heights above The Marina, and southward almost to Market Street.

Keywords: Western Addition; Gilded Age; San Franciscans; The Fillmore; Charles Caldwell Dobie; Van Ness Avenue; Lone Mountain; Market Street

Chapter.  8969 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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