Duboce Park area could become a landmark in San Francisco 

The Duboce Park neighborhood could become the first in nearly 10 years to be deemed a local historic landmark.

The four-block area being examined by the Historic Preservation Commission is bordered by Duboce Avenue to the south, Steiner Street to the east, Waller Street to the north and Scott Street to the west. There are an estimated 89 properties that contribute to the history of the area.

Click on the photo to the right to see a photo slideshow of the Duboce Park area.

That number “gives the district a remarkably high concentration of significant intact buildings,” according to the evaluation of the area. Most were built between 1897 and 1905 by Fernando Nelson, a prolific San Francisco builder in the late 19th century.

Such a distinction takes time and effort to gain, but in the end it is worth it to property owners and nearby residents. The designation would create tax breaks and offer protection to historic properties. Each property qualifies based on its architectural quality and integrity to the area.

“Only a fraction of a percent of the geographical area of The City is a local landmark,” said Dennis Richards, president of the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association. “It’s exciting.”

If the Historic Preservation Commission designates the area as historically significant, the designation will be scrutinized by the Planning Commission and then the Board of Supervisors. City Planner Mary Brown also said community meetings would be held to inform residents of the benefits of the distinction.

If both panels give approval, the Duboce Park Historic District would be the first created by The City since Dogpatch in 2003.

Other existing landmark districts include Alamo Square, Jackson Square, the Civic Center and Telegraph Hill. The largest is the Liberty Hill Landmark District in the Mission. It consists of 298 parcels on 10 blocks, and was approved in 1985.

With the historic distinction comes a level of protection for buildings when it comes to remodeling. Property owners also can qualify for various tax breaks to complete any necessary work, and they can get easements to preserve a building’s character.

Richards said there is a lot worth preserving in the Duboce area.

“They’re uncovering all kinds of things,” he said. “One building used to house an old society; it’s really interesting.”


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