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Some History on Fairmount 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: Bing Maps] Up at the tippy top of Noe Valley, before it transitions into Diamond Heights and Glen Park, sits a neighborhood known as Fairmount Heights. The neighborhood started up around the 1870s, but by 1929 it was still only sparsely developed. Today it's full of single family houses and apartment buildings.

The two main houses at the intersection of Laidley and Noe (or technically Harry Street) in the 1929 photo are still there - the one on the left built in 1913, and the gabled house (which you can barely see peaking above a neighboring building) was built c1900. Around that time the neighborhood started to grow, with sewers, streets, and sidewalks installed a block at a time. The Gray Brothers Quarry dominated the hill above til about 1914, where it was abandoned, eventually becoming Billy Goat Hill Park. By the 1950s, the neighborhood had been pretty fully developed.

1950 Sanborn Insurance Map [Photo: ProQuest Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970]
· Fairmount Heights [Found SF]
· Billy Goat Hill Finds Friends and Funding for Trails [Noe Valley Voice]