Dogpatch History

Excerpted and revised from the Dogpatch Historical District Application.

Read the entire article here, The Story of Dogpatch.

Explore history right where you find in through our History Hunt Walking Tour of Dogpatch and Potrero

Historical Dogpatch is an approximately nine-block enclave of industrial workers’ housing located east of Potrero Hill, in San Francisco’s Central Waterfront district. The neighborhood is comprised of almost one-hundred flats and cottages, as well as several commercial, industrial and civic buildings, most of which were erected between 1870 and 1930.

 

The neighborhood is significant under National Register Criterion A (Patterns of History) and Criterion C (Design/Construction). The neighborhood is significant on the local city level under Criterion A, within the category of Industry, as the oldest and most intact concentration of industrial workers’ housing in San Francisco. No other district of San Francisco or California was industrialized to the degree of Potrero Point during the last quarter of the 19th Century.

 

The shipyards and other maritime-related industries of Potrero Point required a steady supply of inexpensive immigrant labor in an area that was geographically cut off from the rest of the city. Local developers and landholders, including Santa Fe Land Improvement Company, filled this need by constructing rows of inexpensive cottages and selling individual parcels to laborers and their families, allowing the neighborhood to develop as an informal company town.

 

Dogpatch is also significant on the local level under Criterion A, under the category of Exploration/Settlement, as the first housing developed in the Potrero District. Initially developed in the early 1870s, Dogpatch became the nucleus of the Potrero District that would evolve after the 1906. Finally, Dogpatch is significant under Criterion C as a moderately intact district of mostly Victorian and Edwardian-era era workers’ dwellings constructed between 1870 and 1910. The district has several clusters and pairs of identical dwellings, including a group of thirteen identical Eastlake-style cottages based on the plans of San Francisco architect John Cotter Pelton, Jr. While the significance of Union Iron Works/Bethlehem Steel is national, the significance of Dogpatch is local.

 

The period of significance for the survey area dates from 1867, the opening of Long Bridge and the beginning of construction in the neighborhood, to the end of World War II.

 

DNA works to save historic resources within the District and along the adjacent Central Waterfront.

DNA sponsors activities that bring all those who live, work and play in Dogpatch together.