Benches of the Inner Sunset

Have you ever walked down Irving St. in the Inner Sunset and wondered where the benches came from? Well, wonder no more! Neighborhood resident C. Duderstadt is the genesis of these comfortable and beautiful neighborhood benches. If you want to bring a bench to your own neighborhood, they’ll probably make one for you at no cost.

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Public Bench in Inner Sunset neighborhood along 9th Ave. at Irving.

We had a few questions for Mr. Duderstadt about the benches, and his answers are below:

1. How did you come up with the idea?

Back in 1976 a friend asked me to design and make wall mounted seating for his veterinary clinic–so he could easily mop the floors. Since then I have studied benches, literally all over the world, and the contour refined to make it as comfortable as possible.

In 1978 I put one on the front of our house on 10th Ave and have lived with a public bench since then. In 2003 I approached the SF Rec and Park Dept with a offer to make and install benches at the skating area at 6th Ave. They demanded that I use 2 x 4′s rather than the 2 x 3′s and the current contour was refined and 4 benches placed in Golden Gate Park. In January Adam asked if a freestanding bench was possible and using a structural design I found looking at old images of the Park I developed the current bench.

2. Do you plan to expand beyond the Inner Sunset?

There are benches in San Rafael and overlooking Muir Woods as well. I’m always interested in good locations.

3. Do you make the benches yourself?

Adam has made three, I taught a 5 year old friend to make one, but to date I have made 20 more.

4. How long does each take to make?

It takes ME about 1.5 hrs, actual labor, to make one bench. Paint and collecting materials, about another hour.

5. If someone wants a bench, how do they go about getting one?

The benches are only available to be placed into the public realm, in front of private homes or businesses. We first ask that they be “fostered” and if there are no problems, they then are “adopted” and custom paint is possible. People can contact me (via the website) and I will check out the location and put them in the loop when a bench is available, depending on how busy I am, I do have other pursuits.

6. Anything else we should know about you, the benches, the feedback you’ve been getting?

These benches are my retirement plan. I’d like to have them as common as Starbucks. Where ever you are sitting on one you can see the next one to walk to. Adam has put up a website with pictures of most of the benches.

The one in front of Le Video in the Inner Sunset made it through fostering and I painted it such that it is now always sunny on 9th…

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Golden Gate Park Benches. Image Source Unknown.

 

What you need to know about District 2: Single Family Home Sales 2012

District 2 on a San Francisco real estate map encompasses the central-west side of the city, and includes the following neighborhoods:

Most of district 2 housing stock is made up of single family homes, although their size, age of construction, and style do vary between the neighborhoods. A few unit buildings, condos, and TICs are sprinkled here and there in the various neighborhoods, but the number of these is pretty much dwarfed in comparison to single family homes.

Looking at the stats, what can we say about real estate in District 2? On a median price basis, Godlen Gate Heights had the best showing of all the neighborhoods in 2012, coming in at a median sales price just shy of $960,000. On a price per square foot basis, though, they came in behind the Outer Sunset, which came in with the highest median price per square foot of $564. Which make sense when you know that homes in Golden Gate Heights tend to be newer and larger than Outer Sunset homes, and also that many homes in District 2 have “non-conforming” in-law units that are not reported in the square footage, thus making the $/Sq.Ft. metric a not very useful stat for this neighborhood, since there is a fairly high chance that the usable space being purchased is larger than reported. District 2 2012 market stats

District 2 2012 market stats

Days on Market was down across the neighborhoods, but the number of sales wasn’t necessarily up year over year, with Golden Gate Heights, Outer Parkisde, Outer Sunset, Parkside, and Inner Parkside reporting fewer sales in 2012 than in 2011. District 2 2012 market stats District 2 2012 market stats
What are your thoughts about real estate in District 2 over the past several years? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. As always, no spam and play nice!

Hello, Golden Gate Park Community Garden!

I promise to get back to 2012 market stats very soon, but first I wanted to post an update about the on-going drama at the recycling center in the Inner Sunset neighborhood known as HANC. I’ve written about the site before, and the efforts made by the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council to keep the recycling center, and why I disagree with those feelings. In true San Francisco fashion, the whole saga has finally come to a close, with the recycling center being evicted over the holidays.

With the closure of the recycling center finally complete, the SF Rec and Park department is finally moving ahead with plans to convert the industrial spot into something that belongs in a park, namely a true community garden.photo 1

The project can be found on the SF Rec and Park website as the Golden Gate Park Community Garden, and according to the project website, the community garden will start with 40 gardening plots, although the site could eventually support as many as 120 garden plots. In addition, there will be a gardening-tool lending library and access to common landscaping materials like mulch and chips.

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The Phase 1 timeline is 8 – 10 weeks, so it is possible that the site could be open to the neighborhood in the spring of this year, perhaps as early as March.

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Above are a few more pictures of the site as it currently is, with the green fence protector removed and all of the industrial recycling containers removed. Even without the installation of the community garden, the site already feels much more connected to the neighborhood and surrounding area. I’m looking forward to seeing the Golden Gate Park community garden when it is complete, and I might even put my name in the hat for a gardening plot.

What are your thoughts about the new community garden?  Feel free to leave a comment below, but please, keep it respectful!

Scenes from the N-Pocalypse

For those of you who haven’t heard, the N-Pocalypse is upon us! The N-Judah has been closed since Friday evening with service closed through 5am on Monday, June 4. I prefer to think of the N-Judah being shutdown until Monday afternoon on the 4th, because every San Franciscan knows that while our bus drivers are awesome at texting while driving, they aren’t so good at the fundamentals. You know, things like showing up even remotely on schedule.

Since the weather was beautiful yesterday, and I couldn’t ride the train anywhere (and something about San Francisco buses scares me), I took some time to walk along the N-Judah in Cole Valley and the Inner Sunset to take some pictures of the N-Pocalypse in progress. I’m happy to report that they’ve definitely succeeded in ripping things up quickly. Now the question is – will they be able to put it all back together in time?

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As you can see from the pictures, they’ve got the N-Judah track and surrounding street pretty well ripped up. As for why? According to muni, this extended shutdown of the N-Judah will allow them to bring muni riders:

  • New track for a smoother, faster ride on Muni [um, doubtful. - ed]
  • Bulbouts to enhance safety and boarding at N Judah Line stops
  • Curb and ramp upgrades
  • Water and sewer improvements
  • Pole replacement

It also makes a great photo opportunity!

I don’t know what the work schedule along the track is, but I noticed high-intensity lights along the street. I hope that they aren’t doing construction 24/7, as they are at the Transbay Center, but couldn’t find the posted construction hours on the SFMTA’s site.

Has the N-Pocalypse caused major headaches in your life? Or have you just been waiting at a muni stop since Friday evening, cursing muni for running such bad service without even being aware of the shutdown? Either way, we hope you are having a great Memorial Day Weekend!