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Curbed SF’s most popular stories of 2016, from a Berkeley castle to Pokemon Go

These were the stories that had the most impact on readers this year

Patricia Chang

What did Curbed SF readers love in 2016? If the biggest stories of the year are anything to go by, then castles in the Easy Bay, small towns, tilting skyscrapers, and hunting for the elusive Pikachu. Here now are the 10 most read stories of 2016.

↑ 10. San Francisco and Oakland losing working class twice as fast as expected

While many knew Bay Area working class ilk were leaving in droves—and in most cases this move wasn’t a choice—few knew just had fast and furious the exodus was. Unfortunate? Sure. Terrifying? Absolutely.

↑ 9. Sunset District house hides a surprise behind modest facade

Sunset stunner grasped the imagination of many. From the outside, the house at 1915 22nd Avenue looks unremarkable, blending in with the rows of 1940-era stucco houses on both sides of the street. But step inside the front door, and you enter a high-end remodel the likes of which you might see in Noe Valley.

↑ 8. Pokémon Go in San Francisco: Everything you need to now

So popular it appears twice on this list, readers couldn’t resist the siren song of Pokemon Go. And we told you everything you needed to know about the game.

↑ 7. Stunning Berkeley castle goes on the market for $5M

This year’s ultimate daydream fodder, period. The home was designed by John Hudson Thomas in 1928 in the style of a 13th century medieval cloister in Toulouse, France. It was built for Samuel and Portia Hume; he was the head of University of California, Berkeley's Greek Theater Department, she was a respected psychiatrist. It's been an official landmark since 1985. It sold later in August for a regal $4,500,000.

Photo by Patricia Chang

↑ 6. An engineer’s short, simple explanation of Millennium Tower problem

Making two appearances on this list is the troubled Millennium Tower. Following Phil Matier and Andrew Ross’ big story, Iowa State University architectural design professor Tom Leslie explained, using the simplest and smartest analogy possible, how such a structure could sink and tilt with such alacrity.

↑ 5. 17 small Bay Area towns you need to visit right now

There’s an entire world outside of San Francisco and Oakland, and many readers wanted to know all about it. Well, they wanted to know all about the tiny, bucolic cities that dot the Bay Area landscape. And this map was the get-away piece to read in 2016.

↑ 4. 10 things you need to know about SF's Super Bowl City

Back in January, life was good. There was no Pokemon Go bedlam; folks scoffed and sneered at the mere concept of Trump becoming president-elect; and Prince, David Bowie, and Carrie Fisher were all with us. A lot has changed since those halcyon days of winter. Why, the only issue for many a San Franciscan to wring their hands over was Super Bowl 50, which didn’t even take place in San Francisco.

↑ 3. How much should you make to afford rent in San Francisco?

A whopping $216,219, at least according to one report. Alas. And the median household income in the city was only $78,378. Double alas.

Photo via Vanguard

2. Millennium Tower is tilting, sinking

Looking back, the schadenfreude that followed the luxury tower’s unfortunate revelation wasn’t fair. The Millennium Tower is a striking and gorgeous piece of architecture. However, no amount of amenities or sleekness could hide the fact that, in order to cut costs, Millennium Partners did not drill piles to bedrock. The story made headlines all over the world as an example of what not to do during construction.

1. Map: Where to catch 123 Pokémon in San Francisco

While some joy killers derided the game as obnoxious (at time, it certainly was, especially when pedestrians stopped on the sidewalk to catch them all), Niantic Labs epic game not only taught players about the city in which they live (the intel on local landmarks, both registered and unofficial, is a magnum opus), but it brought people out of their homes to play together. That was, until Mario Run came out.