Pacific Heights, San Francisco

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"Pacific Heights" redirects here. For other uses, see Pacific Heights (disambiguation).
Pacific Heights
Northern view from Alta Plaza Park. The Marina District and San Francisco Bay can be seen below.
Northern view from Alta Plaza Park. The Marina District and San Francisco Bay can be seen below.
Nickname(s): The Devil's Backbone
Pacific Heights is located in San Francisco
Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights
Location within Central San Francisco
Coordinates: 37°47′30″N 122°26′08″W / 37.7917°N 122.4356°W / 37.7917; -122.4356
Country  United States
State  California
City-county San Francisco
 • Supervisor Mark Farrell
 • State Assembly Phil Ting (D)[1]
 • State Senator Scott Wiener (D)[1]
 • U. S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D)[2]
 • Total 0.967 sq mi (2.50 km2)
 • Land 0.967 sq mi (2.50 km2)
 • Total 21,925
 • Density 22,677/sq mi (8,756/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP codes 94109, 94115, 94123
Area codes 415/628

Pacific Heights is an affluent neighborhood of San Francisco, California, which is known for the notable people who reside in the area. It is located in one of the most scenic and park-like settings in northern California, offering panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, the Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, and the Presidio. Its location provides a temperate micro-climate that is clearer, but not always warmer, than many other areas in San Francisco.

The Pacific Heights Residents Association defines the neighborhood as inside Pine Street, Presidio Avenue, Union Street, and Van Ness Avenue.[4] In 2013, Pacific Heights was named most expensive neighborhood in United States stating that if San Francisco's Pacific Heights had its own zip code, it would be the most expensive place to live in the United States.[5] The 94115 zip code includes both Pacific Heights' "Gold Coast," an area famous for its billionaire residents and record-breaking prices, and "The Western Addition," an area about 20 blocks away where real estate prices are significantly lower.

Pacific Heights is situated on a primarily east-west oriented ridge that rises sharply from the Marina District and Cow Hollow neighborhoods to the north to a maximum height of 370 feet (110 m) above sea level.[6] Pacific Heights features two parks, Lafayette and Alta Plaza. Visible to the north are the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, and Alcatraz Island.

Lower Pacific Heights refers to the area located south of California Street down to Post Street. Though previously simply considered part of the Western Addition,[7] this new neighborhood designation became popularized by real estate agents in the early 1990s.


The neighborhood was first developed in the 1870s,[8] with small Victorian-inspired homes built. Starting around the beginning of the 20th century, and especially after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, many were replaced with period homes. Still residential, the area is characterized by painted Victorian style architecture.

Attractions and characteristics[edit]

The oldest building in Pacific Heights, located at 2475 Pacific Avenue, was built in 1853, though the majority of the neighborhood was built after the 1906 earthquake. The architecture of the neighborhood is varied; Victorian, Mission Revival, Edwardian, and Château styles are common.

Several countries have consulates in Pacific Heights. They include Germany,[9] Greece,[10] Italy,[11] Portugal,[12] Russia,[13] South Korea,[14] and Vietnam.[15]

Most of the neighborhood's boutiques and restaurants can be found along Fillmore Street, south of Pacific Avenue. They include stores like Athleta, Prana, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Ralph Lauren. Other businesses in Pacific Heights are located on California and Divisadero Streets, as well as on Van Ness Avenue.

Pacific Heights is home to several schools, including the San Francisco University High School; Drew School (formerly Drew College Preparatory School); the Hamlin School; Convent of the Sacred Heart High School; Stuart Hall High School, and Town School for Boys, among others. The celebrated Grant Elementary School was open on Pacific Ave from 1922 to 1972. Its students included children of diplomats, the well to do, and the adjacent Presidio military base.[16]

Universities and colleges include Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, part of the University of the Pacific, and the Academy of Art University.[17]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The San Francisco Police Department Northern Station serves Pacific Heights.[18]

Notable residents[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ "California's 12th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  3. ^ Pacific Heights neighborhood in San Francisco, California (CA), 94109, 94115, 94123 detailed profile
  4. ^ "Mission Statement." Pacific Heights Residents Association. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  5. ^ "[1]." "Americas Most Expensive Neighborhood"
  6. ^ Bakalinsky, Adah (October 9, 2013). Stairway Walks in San Francisco. Wilderness Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-89997-637-2. 
  7. ^ O'Brien, Tricia (2008). San Francisco's Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights. Arcadia Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7385-5980-3. 
  8. ^ Richards, Rand (2002). Historic Walks in San Francisco: 18 Trails Through the City's Past. Heritage House Publishers. p. 305. ISBN 978-1-879367-03-6. 
  9. ^ "Address, Contact and Office Hours." Consulate-General of Germany in San Francisco. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  10. ^ "Consulate General San Francisco." Embassy of Greece Washington, DC. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  11. ^ "Welcome to the web site of the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco." Consulate-General of Italy in San Francisco. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  12. ^ "Portugal Visa Information." United Nations. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  13. ^ Home page. Consulate-General of Russia in San Francisco. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Welcome to Vietnam consulate-San Francisco,USA." Consulate-General of Vietnam in San Francisco. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  16. ^ "Classically inspired — and connected". Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "Academy of Art University Campus Map" (PDF). Academy of Art University. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  18. ^ "Northern Station." (Archive) San Francisco Police Department. Retrieved on September 1, 2013.
  19. ^ John Arlidge (March 17, 2014). "Jonathan Ive Designs Tomorrow". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Jay Paul". Forbes. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°47′30″N 122°26′08″W / 37.7917°N 122.4356°W / 37.7917; -122.4356