Potrero Hill, San Francisco


Potrero Hill is a neighborhood in southeastern San Francisco, east of the Mission District and south of the Bay Bridge. It is sandwiched between two major freeways: the 101 to the west and the 280 to the east, which separates the area from the San Francisco Bay waterfront.

Neighborhood Profile: In "The City", this is "The Hill"

Partly because of street and freeway configuration, partly because of topography, The Hill is an out of the way community even though it has close proximity to some of the most active parts of The City. There are only a few streets that circumvent the freeways that allow traffic through to The Hill via somewhat circuitous routes.

The neighborhood has seen many changes over the last 100 years. Originally a goat farm, Potrero Hill developed into a quiet community primarily of Russian Immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. It was served by small community churches, grocery stores on almost every second corner, and two strips of small businesses: 20th Street on either side of Connecticut and 18th Street east of Connecticut which were dotted with a small library, several barber shops, real estate office, butcher shop, sandwich shops, pharmacy, restaurants, a bar, hair salons, and various other services befitting a small community.

The locals also referred to it as "Russian Hill" because of the large population of Russians, but since that name was taken earlier because a Russian Sailor was buried on the other hill, it was simply called "The Hill".

The schools originally were Patrick Henry Elementary School and Daniel Webster Jr. High. The former is now a specialized High School, the latter was converted to an elementary school in the 60's and Potrero Hill Junior High was completed around 1974 and since renamed the Enola Maxwell Middle School then the International Studies Academy. Patrick Henry is now the Downtown High School.
Some notable residence of Potrero Hill have been O.J. Simpson and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Vermont Street also boasts a street that might even be more crooked than the noted Lombard Street which is dubbed "The Crookedest Street in the World".
Parks in the area include Jackson Playground and McKinley Park, and the Potrero Hill Recreation Center.
The Neighborhood House on Southern Heights and DeHaro and St. Theresa's Church on Connecticut and 19th Street have traditionally been two of the main gathering places for community meetings and neighborhood feedback.
Because of its location and view, there have been many movies, TV advertisements and Television shows filmed on The Hill. Some of these include: The Streets of San Francisco, San Francisco Beat, Nash Bridges, the chase scene from Bullitt, Pacific Heights, to name a few. (The Karl Malden character from SoSF was on DeHaro and 19th Street).



Each source is referred to by the same number every time it is cited. Please keep citation style consistent.
[1] Potrero Hill Neighborhood Stores. SF Real Estate Report. May 14, 2009.


Pictures are cited in the order they appear above. Please keep citation style consistent.
[1] Potrero Hill - Late Afternoon. Photo by J.G. in SF via Flickr.
[2] Potrero Hill. Photo via neighborcity.com.



San Francisco, neighborhood, freeways