If Alamo Square seems familiar, you’ve probably seen at least one of many films or tv shows that feature this stunning neighborhood. The central focus lies within Alamo Square Park, bordered to the east by the ‘Painted Ladies’: a terraced row of colorful Victorian residences that provide a stunning foreground to San Francisco’s shimmering skyline beyond. The high vantage point of the park allows extensive views over the downtown area and a real feeling of space within this second most densely populated city in the United States. On clear days you can even see the peaks of Golden Gate Bridge.
With a strong Spanish influence in the 1800s, and ‘Alamo’ translating to ‘poplar’ in the language, a large cottonwood tree at the brow of Alamo Hill inspired the name. The tree marked the spot of an essential watering hole along the horseback trail extending from Mission Delores to the Presidio. In 1856 Mayor James Van Ness acknowledged the importance of the oasis by applying the name to his recently completed park around it and Alamo Square was born. As well as providing a playground and tennis court, Alamo Square Public Park provides a dream location for lovers of architecture or simply a place to take a load off and smell the air.