From industrial shipyard to dining & shopping mecca, Dogpatch is one SF neighborhood that has experienced great change. The piers along the waterfront attracted the first industrial workers to the area in the mid 1800s. The dock workers homed in small, simple cottages near the waterfront. The area began to shift to industry and the Dogpatch dwellings began to shift to larger family cottage homes for the industry workers in the 1900s. This transition and building boom was aided by architect Jon Cotter Pelton Jr. who provided designs for free, which made a new home a financial reality for working families. A collection of thirteen of these cottage family homes are still standing.
The steady residential growth of the previous era slowed from the mid to late 1990s, then erupted into a building spurt of “live-work” residential lofts. The development of these lofts quickly changed the look and feel of the neighborhood. In addition to the loft developments, the 300 acre Mission Bay began during this time and remains the largest mixed use (residential, retail, recreational) development in San Francisco.
Even with the changes in residential development of the 1990s to present, the Dogpatch was designated as a San Francisco Historic District . This accreditation is due to its diverse representation of residential architecture that were built during these differing periods of growth for Dogpatch – Classical Revival, Queen Anne, Greek Revival and combinations. This preservation is in part due to the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association. This association came to life in 1998 to bring about some oversight to the rapidly growing community. The group coordinates with city departments involving urban planning and historic protection.
While the architecture is well documented, the ponderous name of this quaint neighborhood is still debated. Whether it is nicknamed for dog packs that frequented the area to feed on scraps from ‘Butchertown’, as FoundSF reports or the abundant dogfennel once wild growing, or possibly after the Li’l Abner comic strip, there is a resource to support each of the many possible name origins.
Considering a home in the Dogpatch? Checkout the condo and single family home listings now on the market. We love the 7×7 Neighborhood Guide: What to do in Dogpatch, it has a fantastic to-do/to-visit list that is spot-on; check it out before you go out to eat or shop.