In spring 2012, the Planning Department (Department) developed a Historic Context Statement (context statement) focused on the Sunset District's prolific builder developers and residential tracts constructed from the mid-1920s into the post-War era. The context statement documented the development history of the neighborhood, identified key builders and architects, documented the primary architectural styles and character-defining features, and, importantly, provided a guide for the survey evaluation of buildings constructed during this era.
In summer 2012, the Department initiated an evaluative survey of 2,762 single-family houses in the Sunset District constructed from 1925 to 1950. The Sunset District Historic Resource Survey (Sunset survey) documented clusters of eligible historic districts and eligible individual historic buildings. Importantly, the Sunset survey also documented and evaluated buildings that do not qualify as eligible historic resources.
Data collection was completed during the summer of 2013 and the results, including evaluations of buildings within the survey area, are contained in the following searchable map.
The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) adopted the Sunset survey findings on September 18, 2013.
The Sunset survey was funded by a grant from the California Office of Historic Preservation. Similar architectural surveys are underway, or were recently completed, in the Mission District, Japantown, Oceanside, South of Market, Bayview, and Glen Park.
This searchable map contains evaluations for all buildings surveyed as part of the Sunset District Historic Resource Survey. Click here to view evaluations for individual buildings and historic districts
In addition to topics covered by the FAQs
, the following questions and topics were recently raised at community outreach events related to the Sunset District Historic Resource Survey. Please check this update section over the coming month as the Department adds information of interest to property owners and history buffs alike.
What impact does historic resource determination have on property value?
Independent studies across the country have examined the impact of property values in designated historic districts. These studies indicate that the value of properties in landmark districts appreciate at a slightly higher rate than similar building stock outside the district. Please note: Although the survey identified three historic districts that appear eligible for listing in the California or National Registers, these districts have not been formally designated.
“Property Value Study: Houston”
In 2010, the University of Houston’s Hobby Center for Public Policy (HCPP) released a study illustrating the impact of historic district designation on property values. The results of this study clearly illustrates the positive impact historic district designation has on property values in Houston.
“Property Value Study: New York City”
The New York City Independent Budget Office conducted a financial study to determine the correlation between historic district status and property value. The study found that Landmark designation did not decrease property values and that property values trend slightly upwards in designated districts.
Will inclusion in a historic resource survey require me to restore my building to its original appearance?
No. You are not required to do anything to the property except maintain it to the minimum standards of the building code, something that is required of all property owners in the City and County of San Francisco.
If my property was identified as historic, will my property taxes increase?
In no circumstance will inclusion in a historic resource survey or identification of a property as a historic resource increase property taxes.
Where can I find historic photographs of my building?
The San Francisco Public Library recently processed a new batch of historic photographs from the 1940s to 1950s, with many images of individual houses in the Sunset District. Visit the library’s website
to see if your house is included in the photograph collection. These photographs are not yet posted online. To view the collection, visit the History Center at the main library. Another good source for historic photographs is www.oldsf.org
To be added to the mailing list and kept informed of the survey progress, please send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions or comments, please contact:
San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103
To speak with a Chinese-speaking Department staff member, please call (415) 558-6476 or email email@example.com