Pacific Heights was developed in the 1870s, after the Gold Rush of 1849. Originally, small Victorian homes lined the streets. But after the devastating earthquake of 1906, many were destroyed and replaced with homes designed in early 20th century style. These days, many “painted ladies” share the streets with homes in the Victorian, Mission
Revival, Edwardian and Chateau styles.
During the 20th century, the area became home to many foreign consulates, including those of Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam. Several schools are also found here, like the San Francisco University High School, the Drew School, the Hamlin School, Convent for Sacred Heart High School, Stuart Hall High School and Town School for Boys. The dental school of the University of the Pacific is located in Pacific Heights, in addition to the Academy of Art University.
Though the area shifted more and more toward millionaire and billionaire residents as the 20th century progressed, it’s remained devoted to preserving its architecture. Many notable personalities have called Pacific Heights home over the years, such as Jonathan Ive, chief designer at Apple, and Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal.
The Academy of Arts University Automobile Museum is located on the edge of Pacific Heights, just off Van Ness. Smaller galleries like Cottage Industry, Winterbranch Gallery and Abigail Greene Ryan’s Vintage Posters take up the slack with unique home goods, jewelry and accessories featured alongside paintings, sculptures and photos for sale.
The area’s annual Fillmore Jazz Festival draws big crowds each summer, to hear the best talent the Bay Area has to offer. From jazz fusion to Latin jazz and old timey crooners covering standards, this world-class festival has food vendors and a street fair atmosphere for locals and visitors alike.