In 1916, one block of Edna Street north of Monterey was closed, and relocated 200 feet to the west–the dogleg portion.
Next week the San Francisco Board of Supervisors votes to approve changing the name of Phelan Avenue to Frida Kahlo Way. This is far from the first such change for this neighborhood’s streets, and a good occasion to look at the several other name changes over the years since its beginning.
In 1917, map publisher Herman Anton Candrian (1862-1928) introduced a novel graphical representation of streetcar lines for San Francisco’s transit riders that he called Car-o-Grams. These little glyphs made streetcar data visual and succinct.
1917c. Candrian’s Double Indexed Guide and Map of San Francisco and Daly City with Car-o-Grams. Pages 86-87. Note copyright. View larger.
Candrian’s company had been publishing city maps with transit routes since at least 1906. Every map had an accompanying pocket-sized booklet that indexed all the streets and gave streetcar information for each.
From the Oakland Tribune, 6 March 1909. View larger.
We have lost a few bits of the original streets. The blocks laid out by the surveyor in 1891 were perfectly rectangular and the streets die-straight. All the better to milk maximum profits from the sale of lots–no extra wedge-shaped bits, or wasteful little parks to clutter up the profit landscape. But reality meant changes had to be made in that rigid map in the course of building out the neighborhood in the twentieth century.
Before it was diverted into the drains–probably in the 1920s after improvements to streets and sewers–Sunnyside had a tributary of Islais Creek running through it. Sounds bucolic perhaps, but it seems mostly to have been a nuisance to residents, and for one man, his death-trap.