Built on Beer: The Streets of Sunnyside and San Francisco Brewery Profits

Investment money that funded the Sunnyside Land Company in 1890 was largely sourced from the hefty profits of some of San Francisco’s biggest late nineteenth-century breweries: Philadelphia Brewery, Albany Brewery, and United States Brewery—all overseen by the Brewer’s Protective Association. Men who were heirs to these fortunes, or wrapped up in the racket of propping up prices and selling off franchises to foreign capitalists, were among the most prominent initial investors in the Sunnyside project.

Behrend Joost, President of Sunnyside Land Company, was a notorious and irascible teetotaler[1], but he had no problem accepting beer-drenched money from his investors, who altogether put in one million dollars to fund the property speculation project. In return, many got their names or the places in Germany they came from on the newly laid-out streets.

2015-signs-Mangels-Baden

Five of the original Sunnyside streets—Mangels Avenue, Spreckels Avenue, Wieland Avenue, Baden Street, and Hamburg Street—I trace directly to these men.

Portion of the original Sunnyside Land Company homestead map, submitted to the city in 1891. View whole map here. https://sunnysidehistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/1891-Sunnyside-homestead-map-sm.jpg
Portion of the original Sunnyside Land Company homestead map, submitted to the city in 1891. View whole map here. 

In addition, Edna Street is likely to have been named for the beloved daughter of one of these brewery men. Read more

Monterey and Gennessee: 1940 and Today

1940. Monterey and Gennessee. OpenSFHistory.org.

Move slider to compare photographs. Note spelling of Gennessee on sign; different spellings were used during the twentieth century until a permanent return to the original 1891 spelling in the 1980s (like ‘Tennessee’ with a G). View larger here.  Look at other comparison photographs here.

Monterey to Diamond: 1919 and Today

1919. Monterey toward Diamond. OpenSFHistory.org

Move slider to compare photographs. A succession of changes here including street-widening (1918), Bernal Cut widening (1927), Interstate 280 (1964), and BART (1972) make it nearly unrecognizable one hundred years on. View larger here. Look at other comparison photographs here.

 

Monterey at Joost: 1920 and Today

1920/ Monterey at Joost. OpenSFHistory.org

Move slider to compare photographs. Read more about the farm land just beyond the roadway.  View larger here.  Look at other comparison photographs here.