This piece originally appeared in the April-June 2021 issue of Heritage News. See the full newsletter here.
By Woody LaBounty
One of Heritage’s first efforts after forming as an organization was to save some of the Victorian houses remaining in the Redevelopment Agency’s A-2 Project Area in the Western Addition. Heritage board members submitted bids to the city on a dozen buildings, with eight of the twelve located on a block being cleared for the Opera Plaza development bounded by Turk Street, Van Ness Avenue, Golden Gate Avenue, Franklin Street, and the bisecting alley of Elm Street. The Redevelopment Agency secured a grant to pay for relocation and over three weekends in November 1974 a line-up of houses crept west to new homes. Heritage oversaw restorations, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, and transfer of the buildings to new owners that included protective facade easements held by Heritage in perpetuity.
Most of the buildings were resituated in what was christened the Beideman Place Historical District between Eddy, Divisadero, Scott, and O’Farrell Streets. One went to the the 1700 block of Webster near Bush Street (and famously had to be squeezed into its slot with 2x4s), and two became neighbors on the 1000 block of Broderick Street.
The Heritage newsletter had its one and only real estate section in August 1975. The four-unit 1239–1245 Scott Street was the highest priced offering at $138,000 with rehabilitation included. It required imagination to see potential in dilapidated, century-old houses propped on wood blocks. One wag quipped to a reporter of the move, “Man, instant ghetto.”
But the buyers made good investments. In March 2021, two of the four units of 1239–1245 Scott Street were listed for sale at $2.29 million.