Merced Manor is tucked into the northeastern corner of the expansive Lake Shore neighborhood. This compact community bubbles with charm and is at the top of the list as one of San Francisco’s best-kept treasures.

The houses here reflect the architectural styles of the early 1930s as well as the late 1950s, with a majority being fanciful storybook homes with archways. There is also a strong presence of Streamline Moderne buildings, a type of Art Deco architecture with characteristic curving forms, long horizontal lines, and even some nautical elements.

When the neighborhood was developed, the utilities were installed underground, ensuring its attractive nature for years to come. The homes were traditionally built with their garages at the back of the house, which could be accessed by alleyways, also contributing to a more alluring and uncluttered neighborhood image.

A well-known historical landmark located here is the Merced Manor Reservoir that was built in 1936 and is owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The pump house gained fame for its architectural features. Resembling a temple, sculptural details include fountains, Neptune’s trident, and an Old Testament high priest with an urn for a body.

The small neighborhood is burrowed in between larger, more urban-feeling districts that offer residents plenty of shopping and recreational outdoor activities. Both Highway 1 and I-280 are easily accessible and public transportation lines can get residents to downtown San Francisco within 30 minutes.

A truly hidden residential sanctuary, Merced Manor is an appealing neighborhood both for its location and its genuine small-town ambiance.