Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project


Home of a co-leader of America’s first suffrage march, the first human to soar in a fixed-wing craft at high altitude, origin of the first electric railroad in San Franciscothat was partially funded through investment in the first phase of the Panama Canal, a gem of mid-20th century architecture, one of the oldest planned neighborhoods in San Francisco with a link to the American Civil War, and the first dynamite factory in America personally licensed by inventor Alfred Nobel, the San Francisco neighborhoods of Glen Park, Glen Canyon Park, Sunnyside, Fairmount Heights, and Diamond Heights are located immediately south of Twin Peaks in the heart of San Francisco. The Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project is working to rediscover our forgotten histories, document our living histories, and share our histories with others to help preserve these histories for this and future generations. The Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project is fiscally sponsored by Independent Arts & Media, a California non-profit corporation.

Featured Fun

For San Francisco History Days 2020, Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project is presenting the following videos and other resources. Learn more about the histories of Glen Park, Glen Canyon Park, Sunnyside, Fairmount Heights, and Diamond Heights at!

The Glen Park Suffrage Movement and America’s First Suffrage March

The Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project is a Partner of the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Task Force and the National Women’s History Alliance, organizations committed to preserving women’s histories. Visit our Glen Park Women page to learn more!

America’s First Suffrage March and the San Francisco Women Who Led It. Virtual presentation by Evelyn Rose, August 27, 2020. Topics include the work of San Francisco suffragists, including development of the California Plan and work in a public health crisis, leading up to the march.

Emboldened Women: The First Suffrage March in the U.S. Virtual presentation by Evelyn Rose, May 12, 2020. Topics include a broader history of suffrage in addition to the march itself.

You can also read articles on Glen Park Resident Johanna Pinther and the First March for Suffrage in the United States and The Suffrage Movement in Glen Park: Backstory to the First March for Suffrage in America available through their website.

Virtual History Walk Through San Francisco’s Glen Park

Take a walk back through time with GlenPark historian Evelyn Rose to learn more about how San Francisco’s indigenous people, the Ohlone, likely hunted and gathered in the region, Glen Park’s link to the El Camino Real, the days when milch ranches dotted the landscape, the first dynamite factory in the United States, the a hold-up at the Gum Tree Saloon, the electric railroad that once passed through, how Glen Park got its name, how homesteads, women’s clubs, and earthquakes began setting the foundation for today’s endearing character of Glen Park, and how four housewives saved Glen Park from freeways.

This presentation is viewed in 2 parts:

Glen Park and the San Francisco Freeway Revolt

Wonder Women! Glen Park’s Gum Tree Girls, Minnie Straub Baxter, and the San Francisco Freeway Revolt. Read the story of how neighborhood housewives, Minnie Straub Baxter and later, the Gum Tree Girls –  Zoanne Theriault Nordstrom, Joan Seiwald, and Geri Arkush – saved Glen Park from being bisected by the Circumferential Expressway. See video clips of the Gum Tree Girls as they provide their oral histories.

History of Diamond Heights by Architectural Historian Hannah Simonson

Modern Diamond Heights: Dwell-ification and the Challenges of Preserving Modernist, Redevelopment Resources in Diamond Heights, San Francisco. Virtual presentation by Hannah Simonson, February 11, 2020. This UC Berkeley Environmental Design Archives Gallery Talk explores the transformation of the craggy, windswept hills of San Francisco’s Diamond Heights to a Modernist neighborhood unit in the 1960s and 1970s. Drawing from several EDA collections, the talk will highlight the idealistic Diamond Heights Redevelopment Project master plan by Vernon DeMars, the Red Rock Hill design competition with entries by high profile architects such as MLTW and Mario Ciampi, an unusual tract designed by Claude Oakland for Eichler Homes, and a sculptural playground by Robert Royston.

Red Rock Hill Design Competition. Virtual presentation by Hannah Simonson, April 25, 2020. This presentation takes a closer look at this 1961 event that kicked off redevelopment in Diamond Heights and brought national attention to the district within the architecture community. Hannah also highlights the design and politics that shaped the built and unbuilt schemes in the competition.

Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 1:00PM – (Virtual) Legacy of the Glen Park Curve: 250 Years of Transit History in the I-280 Corridor with Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project

Join Glen Park historian Evelyn Rose, Director of the Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project, as we recall a major route of our local transit history. There have been many changes in the Glen Park-Sunnyside-Fairmount district over the past 200 years yet a familiar and recognizable curve in the road has persisted. We’ll discuss the earliest traces and trails, including the El Camino Real, that would lead to the San Francisco-San Jose Rail Road, later the Southern Pacific; the city’s first electric route, the San Francisco-San Mateo Electric Railway; the Geneva Car Barns that later became the MUNI yards; the construction of Interstate 280; and finally, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System.

This event is free but pre-registration is required.