Where are the borders of the neighborhood? Links to historical maps follow.
The boundaries of Sunnyside
When Sunnyside was laid out by the Sunnyside Land Company in 1891, a plat map showing the streets, lots, and boundaries was submitted to the city. These are the original boundaries.
All the way from Joost and Monterey [then Sunnnyside Ave] on the far east point, down to the south at Marston and Havelock, and up to the northwest to Melrose and Ridgewood [then Hamburg].
These boundaries have been chipped away at in recent decades–by residents and real estate agents–for reasons that entirely escape this writer. Sunnyside is older and has more intriguing history. Why abdicate your origins?
The Sunnyside Land Company reproduced the original map (with a few misspellings) on their big splashy half-page advertisement in the SF Chronicle to announce the property speculation project in April 1891.
The San Francisco Planning Department in the twenty-first century has a different set of boundaries displayed in their SFFind map, somewhat more generous than the original ones, which puts City College, Dorothy Erskine Park, and all of Sunnyside Playground inside the borders. This bit of political jiggery-pokery artificially boosts the open-space-to-resident ratio for this neighborhood. The establishment of City College in 1937 on the greater part of the previously dedicated  Balboa Park removed a major local public green space.
Real estate agents have at various times had a different take on Sunnyside boundaries, edging away at the north and east a bit, as (apparently) putting a “Glen Park” or “Miraloma Park” or “Westwood Highlands” label on a house in these areas draws a bit more cash. We pity their lack of appreciation for Sunnyside’s unique and exciting history–and future.
Some links for exploring old maps of San Francisco, including Sunnyside, found on DavidRumsey.com. All linked maps contain a navigation slider to allow zooming in.
- 1938 aerial photo-map of San Francisco
- 1929 Board of Public Works (MM O’Shaughnessy) San Francisco
- 1924 Rand McNally San Francisco
- 1915 Chevalier Map of San Francisco, gorgeous, colorful, fun
- 1905 Sanborn Insurance Maps (check index; Sunnyside found 715-719)
- 1899 San Francisco Sewer Map (includes streets & topographical lines)
- 1892 HW Faust Map of San Francisco (lots of streets never built, aka “paper streets”)
- 1887 Britton & Rey’s Guide Map of the City of San Francisco (before Sunnyside laid out)
- 1881 Bancroft’s Official Guide Map Of City And County Of San Francisco (also before Sunnyside)