In case you missed it, there was a spiffy little overview article in yesterday’s print edition of the New York Times about St. Mary’s Park, the cute micro-’hood in the southwest corner of Bernal Heights.
St. Mary’s College of California opened here in 1863, offering Catholic-based education far from downtown San Francisco temptations. In 1889, fog and wind prompted its relocation to Oakland, and in 1928 a move farther east took the college to its current home in Moraga.
LEAVING A MARK
After the college left San Francisco, some of the land it had been on was farmed. In the 1920s, the city’s Roman Catholic archdiocese subdivided and sold some of the property. Mark Daniels, an architect, planned the subdivision’s trademark shape, a nod to an original college church bell. Mr. Daniels’s influence can also be seen in many other local neighborhoods, like St. Francis Wood, Sea Cliff and Forest Hill.
HANGING THEIR HATS
Many of the red-tiled-roof homes in St. Mary’s Park are occupied by grown children of the first owners, and several centenarians are in residence. The original Irish and Italian community has diversified: Latinos and African-Americans have moved in. Newer residents include a lesbian rabbi.
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