Welcome to Year in Curbed, wherein we close out 2014 by asking local design, real estate, and media luminaries to reflect on the highlights and lowlights of a year's worth of development in San Francisco. The answers are in no particular order; all responses have been cut and pasted unabridged, below.
Q: What was your favorite neighborhood in 2014 and why?
David Baker, principal at David Baker Architects: Hayes Valley. Getting the four-way crossings at Hayes, the filling out of Proxy, all this wonderful new architecture—with affordability at 50%!
Denise Cherry, principal at Studio O+A (and Curbed Young Gun): We just bought a place off Fillmore Street and it's been great rediscovering the area—literally everything I need is within walking distance. Including the new Rag & Bone store.
John King, urban design critic at the San Francisco Chronicle: Strange to say, the area around First and Fremont, Mission and Howard. Strange to see tomorrow's epicenter as a mess of cranes and excavation, life around and within it nonetheless.
Marc L'Italien, principal at EHDD: Some folks in our office disagree on this one. Phoebe Schenker and I think Dogpatch deserves kudos because of its nice balance of comfort and grit and the potential of Pier 70. Kevin Killen swears by Hayes Valley because of its scale, new spaces, and businesses.
Allison Arieff, editorial director at SPUR: My neighborhood, Glen Park, not least for its incredible bookstore (Bird & Beckett, a treasure), locally owned grocer (Canyon Market) and the staggeringly beautiful Glen Canyon.
Kevin Ho, broker associate at Vanguard Properties: The Castro finally got a long-needed nip and tuck with new sidewalks, a rainbow crosswalk intersection (18th and Castro) and ever-changing LED street lights. It adds a breadth of newness and allows for better parking and walking, paradoxically.
Anne Fougeron, principal at Fougeron Architecture: North Beach. We just moved our office to Francisco Street at Mason. This is where I first started working over 25 years ago on Vandewater Street. I've lived in Noe Valley, Russian Hill, SOMA and the Embarcadero but in North Beach: I am home.
Joel Goodrich, luxury real estate specialist at Coldwell Banker Previews International: Always Nob Hill—it's like being in Paris—best classical architecture in San Francisco, New York-style views of the bridges, skyline, city and bay—and location close to many of the city's world-class restaurants, hotels, shopping and cultural amenities—and 10 minutes away from the huge SOMA & Mid-Market technology hub.
Cliff Kuang, articles editor at WIRED: Probably Hayes Valley, which sounds lame and familiar, but I just find the design of the park, how it interacts with the neighborhood, and its scale in relation, to be the most elegant piece of urban planning that I've come across in SF.
· Year in Curbed Archives [Curbed SF]