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Russian Hill: Who Was Macondray?

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Macondray Lane can be tough to find. But if you look for tourists darting in and out of what appears to be a parking space off Jones or Leavenworth, there it is, the geographical touchstone for Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. From the long-gone days when anyone could live on the north slope of Russian Hill with a landlady who rolled her own. Thanks to our Russian Hill Neighbors, now we know who Macondray was:
Sandwiched between Green and Union Streets and between Taylor and Leavenworth Streets, Macondray Lane is a secret find. The block between Jones and Taylor is most significant. Macondray Lane has long captured the hearts of San Franciscans and visitors for its woodsy enclave with charming cottages, interesting new buildings, and most special of all, gardens on the south side of the public path. As you traverse the lane you will find many different garden areas, yet they all seem to fit together. This was an early enclave for artists and writers including Ina Coolbrith and, for many years, some of the city's leading newspapermen. In 1912, its name was changed from "Lincoln" to "Macondray" to honor pioneer San Francisco merchant Frederick W. Macondray. The informal landscaped gardens began early in the twentieth century.
Listed last week for $1.495M 74-74A Macondray Lane was on the market for a while a few years ago, but it may have been attached to another property from which it now seems to have been severed. It may or may not have two or three bedrooms and two baths. And it's exactly what you'd expect- a charming workman's shack that's been haphazardly but sweetly remodeled with architectural fragments and stained glass, a terrace and a view, plus an independent studio downstairs. Not wildly enthused about the kitchen, but hey, at least it's recent. Miraculously, the property includes a deeded garage space around the corner. Open Sunday August 15, which you can take in while doing this self-guided tour.
· 74-74A Macondray Lane [Redfin]
· Green Street/ Macondray Lane Walk [Russian Hill Neighbors]

74 Macondray Lane, San Francisco, CA 94133