Sunnyside/Jailside: the tale of the big house down the street

OpenSFHistory.org

Who would site “the Largest and Most Important City Subdivision” next to an extensive and notorious jail compound? That’s exactly what Behrend Joost did in 1890 when he created the Sunnyside district from a portion of the Rancho San Miguel land Leland Stanford sold off then. The choicer cuts went to other investors; this was no Stanford Heights (later Miraloma Park), perched on Mt Davidson. (Joost’s true aim was to be Baron of the Electric Rails, in any case.)

1891Apr26-Chron-ad-ALTEREDds
Half-page debut ad for Sunnyside, altered! SF Chronicle, 26 Apr 1891. Click for larger.

There had been a jail on this property in some form or another since the 1850s; the city originally bought the 100-acre House of Refuge lot in 1854, when it was far, far from the city. The 1905 view show below is now unimaginable: the Jail complex has been replaced by City College of San Francisco, and the narrow railroad tracks of the San Francisco-San Jose train line that passed directly by have been replaced by the Interstate 280 Freeway.

1905. View of Ingleside Jail from Ocean Avenue, looking northwest. Southern Pacific tracks run just below jail's white fence. Courtesy SFMTA. Cropped from U00341. sfmta.photoshelter.com
1905. View of Ingleside Jail complex (women’s on left, men’s on right). Looking northwest from Ocean Ave near San Jose Ave. Southern Pacific tracks run just below jail’s white fence. Courtesy SFMTA. Cropped from U00341. sfmta.photoshelter.com

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