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The Winding Roads of Golden Gate Heights

Public spaces change fast here in San Francisco, and for better or worse, it can be pretty crazy when you see what the City used to look like. Every week, we'll bring you Then & Now, a comparison of historic photos of the Bay Area with current views from the same perspective. Have a suggestion for a photo comparison that looks totally different (or shockingly the same)? Drop us a tip in the Curbed Inbox or leave a comment after the jump.

Quick note: See that vertical green bar in the middle of the then and now photos? You can move it horizontally to see the photos side by side.





[Then photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY/ Now photo: Google Maps] Golden Gate Heights, the hilly neighborhood south of the Inner Sunset and northwest of Forest Hill, is full of steep one-way roads, secret stairway shortcuts, and views for days. Laid out in 1927, the neighborhood's windy streets hug the hills and break the strict grid overlaying most of the city.

The area was once sand dunes with peaks that are now the sites of Grand View, Golden Gate Heights, and Hawk Hill parks. Carl Larsen, an early settler in the Sunset who came to San Francisco from Denmark in 1869, began buying large amounts of land in the dunes of the Sunset. In 1924, he donated land at the eastern edge of the Sunset to the city, land now known as Golden Gate Heights. Some homes were built in the 1930s, but most date from the 40s and 50s. FoundSF has a great story from one man who first moved there as a boy in 1932.

Golden Gate Heights in 1948 [Photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY]

· The Changing Physical Landscape of the Sunset District: The Late 1800s through the Mid-1900s [Encyclopedia of San Francisco]
· Growing up in Golden Gate Heights [Found SF]