South Park

The area of San Francisco known as South Park gets its name from the 550-foot oval-shaped park at its heart. The neighborhood is located within SoMa, the "south of Market Street" district, and bordered by Second, Third, Bryant and Brannan streets. The grassy park dates back to 1855, when it was constructed as the centerpiece for a very exclusive residential community. Modeled after London's Berkeley Square, South Park was initially made up of 58 mansions and townhouses.

Some 130 years later, South Park had fallen into decay, its aging residences taken over by drug dealers and addicts. But the 1990s ushered in a new era of urban renewal. The neighborhood's buildings were converted to house small offices and start-up companies, and soon South Park became known as "ground zero" for the Bay Area's explosion of dot-coms.

The New Media wave as since come and gone, but many Internet companies still remain headquartered here. The park is a pleasant place to sit on a sunny day, walk a dog, or enjoy a sandwich. There are coffee shops and boutiques for shopping nearby. A few restaurants have opened recently, too, catering to Giants baseball fans that pass through the historic neighborhood en route to AT&T Park.

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