Richmond District

Commonly referred to as Richmond, this district is a primarily residential area located between the Presidio and Golden Gate parks. It is known for its often foggy weather and colder climate due to the proximity to the ocean as well as its ethnic character, eclectic food scene and a plethora of outdoor activities.

It is said that this district was given its name by Australian immigrant and art dealer George Marsh, one of the neighborhood’s earliest residents, who called his home “the Richmond House” after Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Until the late 19th century most of this area was rolling sand dunes. Adolph Sutro became the first large-scale developer of the area, building the Sutro Baths on the western end of the district (near Ocean Beach) as well as making the area accessible by a reliable rail car service. Following the 1906 earthquake and fire, the need for development increased to provide replacement housing. In 1917, the district was legally named “Park-Presidio District” to distinguish it from the city of Richmond across the bay. This had little effect on the area’s residents who continued to refer to it as “Richmond” and it 2009 city’s Supervisor officially renamed the area the Richmond District.

Richmond’s diverse ethnical character was influenced by several factors. Initially, it was a mix of Irish, German and Jewish families. The Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent civil war brought many Russian refugees into the area. In the 1950s and especially after the lifting of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1965, Chinese immigrants arrived - today, Chinese of birth and descent comprise nearly half of residents in the district.

Richmond District encompasses several neighborhoods - Inner, Central and Outer Richmond, Sea Cliff, Lake Street as well as Jordan Park and Lone Mountain.

Inner Richmond is a diverse neighborhood with sizable Asian and Eastern European population. Geary, Clement and Balboa streets are the hubs of this neighborhood and are known for its excellent Burmese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian cuisine. Central Richmond’s main arteries are Geary Boulevard and Clement Street (between 22nd and 26th avenues), it has a large Chinese population and houses several top-rated Chinese restaurants. Outer Richmond borders the Ocean Beach and the famous Cliff House (now operating as a restaurant) to the west. Lincoln Manor is a select corner of Outer Richmond known for its old and gracious family homes.

The Lake Street District is located south of Presidio of San Francisco and north of Inner Richmond. It is an affluent neighborhood boasting many Victorian and Edwardian mansions. Lake Street is this neighborhood’s northernmost east-west artery. Sea Cliff is a small enclave sitting on the northwestern cliff of the district, in close proximity to China and Baker beaches, where the Golden Gate meets the Pacific Ocean. It offers some of the most magnificent views in San Francisco and mostly consists of exclusive mansions. Jordan Park is a genteel neighborhood with mostly detached, nicely landscaped homes. While in close proximity to the district’s commercial areas, it retains its small-town feel. Lone Mountain is one of the taller hills of San Francisco and gives name to the neighborhood immediately surrounded by University of San Francisco campus, also known as “University Terrace” because of the terraces that connect the two USF campuses.

The Richmond District and the neighboring Sunset District (on the south side of Golden Gate Park), are often collectively referred to as “The Avenues” as the majority of both areas are spanned by numbered north-south avenues. When these neighborhoods were initially laid out, the avenues were numbered 1st to 49th and the east-west streets were lettered A to X (with many streets bearing the names of the Spanish explorers).

Richmond is home to many parks such as Lincoln Park and Golf Course in the Outer Richmond (home to California Palace of the Legion of Honor museum), Mountain Lake Park, Sutro Heights Park as well as Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

This district has an average Walk score of 97 and an average Transit score of 76.

The below link provides further details on this neighborhood and its attractions:,

The content displayed above was partially derived from,_San_Francisco as well as book by Gerald Adams “A San Francisco Neighborhood Guide”. 



About Kate

As a long-term resident of San Francisco, Kate is well familiar with the city’s past and present. With her professional background and deep knowledge of the local housing market, Kate is in the position to best assist with your real estate needs. Should you be looking for a recommendation on the upcoming cultural or social events and/or if you need a trusted local real estate advisor, ask Kate – San Francisco is her HOME.

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