7.0 out of 10

Westwood Park

Ranked 58th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.7276133949039 -122.456383429145
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Safe & Sound
  • Clean & Green
  • Gym & Fitness
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Eating Out
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  •  

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+
Editors Choice

"A Bevy of Bungalows"

This clean and neat neighborhood seems to have taken a page from its more hoity-toity neighbor, Ingleside Terrace, especially in the racetrack-shape of its streets. The curved and rounded drives and avenues are about the only similarities between the two areas, however. While both neighborhoods grew out of the housing boom after the 1906 earthquake and fire, they developed along different lines, with Westwood Park marketed to “the family of average means”—despite its grandiose entry gates at Miramar and Monterey. This “down-scaling” resulted in the district’s modest bungalows (which could be purchased for $35 a month in the 1920s when they were built), rather than the mini-mansions and anything-goes architecture of Ingleside Terrace.

Today, the 700 or so dwellings in Westwood Park have taken a prominent place as San Francisco’s only intact collection of nearly all the bungalow styles of the early 20th century. Though the city is customarily touted for its preponderance of Victorian and Edwardian residences, Westwood Park is the only place where you can see example after example of Mission, Craftsman, Prairie, Colonial Revival, English Cottage and Spanish Revival bungalows, all with their own distinct detailing, as architect Charles F. Strothoff intended. Strothoff designed 500 of the houses here, most of them built from 1918 through 1923. Some of the architectural elements (at the time considered standard in an average home) include: oak floors with mahogany trim, built-in dining room buffets, wainscoting, French doors with beveled glass, cove ceilings, tiled fireplaces, sunrooms and multiple windows throughout. On the exterior, tile roofs were de rigueur, as were enclosed entryways and columned porches. And nearly every house has its own yard, front and back.The unique character of the neighborhood prompted the Westwood Park Association, formed in 1917 and still active today, to work with area residents in the last decades to ensure that this enclave of historic bungalows would be preserved by becoming San Francisco’s first residential character district.

The area’s 3,000 or so residents are, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a diverse group, composed as follows: 55 percent white, 30 percent Asian, 5 percent African American, and the remaining 10 percent of some other race or a mix of two or more races. The family of “average means” envisioned when the neighborhood was built has evolved over the last 80 years into one of “upper middle class” standing, the median annual household income hovering at $90,000. Nearly everyone (85 percent) owns his or her home.

As with the other neighborhoods fronting Ocean Avenue, the few stores Westwood Park claims are lined up along this diagonal thoroughfare—i.e., Westwood Beauty Supply, a Walgreens, and a few boutiques (including one of the city’s last remaining hat shops). For groceries, residents generally travel outside the neighborhood: a short walk to the Safeway on Monterey Boulevard in next-door Sunnyside or a one-mile drive to Trader Joe’s in Stonestown. Though the stretch of Ocean Avenue adjacent to Westwood Park is fairly vibrant (with a coffeehouse, a couple of restaurants—including one for Chinese food and an Italian sandwich shop—a gas station/garage, and a newly built branch of the public library), the avenue’s commercial scene suffers from a surfeit of tired storefronts and businesses in need of some sprucing up, beyond the city’s recent replacement of the old streetlights with vintage reproductions.

Public transportation options skirt the neighborhood rather than run directly through it, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The K streetcar runs along Ocean Avenue, providing access to points in other neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks before trekking downtown via the subway tunnel at West Portal. The No. 23 bus runs along Monterey Avenue before heading west to the Pacific Ocean or east to the Bayview District. The No. 43 likewise runs north and south along Phelan Avenue to both the Crocker/Amazon neighborhood to the south as well as the Presidio to the north. The Balboa Park station of BART is a few blocks away, giving a fast option to downtown, the East Bay, and SFO.

Although parking is generally fairly easy throughout the neighborhood, on-street spots fill up on weekdays in the blocks around the City College Campus. That’s why the San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic issues “V” parking permits to residents in the southern half of the neighborhood, enabling them to ignore the areas marked with hourly limits.

Westwood Park has no public schools within its borders, although one Catholic high school lies at its eastern edge: Riordan High, an all-boys 9-12 with a college-prep curriculum and a strong athletics program. Adjacent neighborhoods host the area’s public schools, such as Aptos Middle School, which got a 7 out of 10 rating by GreatSchools, in Balboa Terrace.

Crime in the area, especially along the residential streets, is light and of the relatively unserious disturbing the peace/vandalism variety, according to San Francisco Police Department stats, with the more serious car break-in or vehicle theft occurring occasionally as well (though not at the fast pace as elsewhere in San Francisco). But along the commercial corridor of Ocean Avenue, there are a small number of robberies and assaults in any three-month period. Otherwise, there is little violence, and there have been no homicides reported in the last three years.

Real estate in Westwood Park has rebounded modestly from the slump of the recent downturn, registering an 18 percent increase in home prices from late 2009 to late 2010. Though there are never a lot of homes for sale in any given period, they generally sell from $670,000 for a modest two-bedroom, one bath on Plymouth Avenue to $899,000 for a two-story, four-bed/four-bath home on Miramar. Rentals are not any more plentiful than homes for sale, and they are always single-family homes. A three-bedroom, one-bathroom house near Riordan High recently listed for $2,400 a month, while a five bedroom/four-bathroom split level house was asking $8,000 a month.

Westwood Park, though offering no exclusive amenities, does retain its early 20th century charm, and that, coupled with the quiet streets, active neighborhood association, and involved parents’ group, makes this an ideal location to raise a family—if you can get your hands on one of those historic bungalows.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Safe and serene"

Westwood Park has a very vintage suburban feel. Most original homes throughout Westwood Park were built during the 1920’s. During 1924-1929, 283 homes were built along the slopes of Mount Davidson to create Westwood Highlands. Overall, Westwood is an affluent neighborhood full of beautiful homes and wide streets that all seem to end in the suffix “wood”. Developed for well-to-do families, Westwood Park has nearby schools, parks and plenty of shopping along Ocean Avenue and Monterrey Boulevard. The neighborhood is very safe and its residential streets feel far-removed from the hustle and bustle of city-life.

Westwood Park borders the City College of San Francisco, the largest community and junior college in the United States. City College has a reputation for being a progressive educational institute. The College established on of the first Women’s Studies programs in the United States and boasts a Queer Resource Center that serves San Francisco’s LGBT community.

Due to its location next to City College, Westwood Park enjoys great access to public transportation. BART and MUNI trains stop at nearby Balboa Station and the MUNI K Line and 43 Masonic Bus make stops throughout the neighborhood. Downtown is approximately only a 20-minute ride away on BART.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Egg Shapes?"

One thing I can say for sure about Westwood Park are how nice and extravagant the homes. To some these homes may not be extravagant, but to me they are. The homes here are the ideal living place for many. These houses in Westwood Park are suburban styled, separated, and vary with style/model/design as you go down the street. Even the front garden/lawns of these homes just help make the homes and neighborhood look even more beautiful. I know I may be focusing a lot on the homes, but the homes are practically the main attraction to this neighborhood. Aside from the homes there isn’t anything else really noteworthy, unless you want to take the parking lot of City College of San Francisco as one.

Although you don’t notice at first when going through this neighborhood (as did I) is the fact that the whole Westwood Park neighborhood is shaped in a very funny shape. If you look on a map, you’ll see that the neighborhood is shaped circularly to what seems like three eggs layered on top of each other. Going back to City College of San Francisco, you’ll occasionally see college students on school days as well as possibly some high school students in uniforms because the private high school Riordan High is right next to the city college.

But to end this review, I really recommend living in Westwood Park if you ever get the chance. It is the ideal place to live and raise a family!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Historic Bungalows near The City College of San Francisco"

Westwood Park is a affluent neighborhood. It was created in the early 20th century, and, as a result, you will see a lot of bungalow houses. I really like this style of home. There is no doubt that the bungalows are very quaint.

This neighborhood is adjacent to the City College of San Francisco. Obviously, if you are going to school there, this is a great place to live (if you can afford it.) This isn’t a particularly large neighborhood. According to City Data, less than 2000 people live here. Keep in mind, this isn't like a typical "college" environment. You won't see a lot of hip coffeeshops and funky stores. Westwood Park is really more subdued.

There isn’t too much to do in Westwood Park aside from the school. But the school does mean that you are walking distance from the BART, you have bookstores and ample parking. You can even take advantage of the school’s night classes, which cover a wide variety of topics.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"Hilly Terrain and Tons of Trees"

As a whole Westwood Park is a nice quiet neighborhood to live. The "upper" areas, north of Wildwood, are less dense and have fewer cars parked along the street. The homes near Miramar are larger and the area itself is very quiet. The neighborhood has tons of trees, nicely manicured front yards, and feels very suburban.

The commercial areas on Ocean Boulevard (to the south) and Monterey (to the north and east) are within walking distance. There are also great shops in nearby West Portal. I

The neighborhood is very hilly, and if you don't care for hills this area is not for you. Due to the hilly terrain, most homes have great views. The two flat streets in the area are Southwood and Greenwood. The flat area also boasts San Francisco City College, and with it brings increased traffic and some parking issues.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"Traffic & City College"

Westwood Park is in the southern part of the city. On the east side of this neighborhood is the active City College campus where lots of folks around create a hustle and bustle. It's somewhat young though not necessarily what would be described as "hip" -- rather it seems a bit more utilitarian and functional.

Ocean Avenue throughout this area is somewhat crazy to drive on, though public transit may be a bit better. If you're going through here by car though, leave lots of time because things just seem to take a while on Ocean.

One of the cooler spots nearby for those who like to stay active is the 24 Hour Fitness up the road on Ocean just a little bit. It is one of the largest (if not THE largest) one of their facilities in San Francisco.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Best Streets in Westwood Park

1

Granada Ave

3/5
"A nice residential street off of Ocean"
37.7242586965703 -122.457318369312
2

Miramar Ave

2.5/5
"Hill on a street near Ingleside library"
37.7304358147079 -122.458168051854
3

Ocean Ave

2.5/5
"Street off of Ocean Ave. has access to many things."
37.723862085688 -122.45590338727
4

Montecito Ave

2.5/5
"Very nice residential street off of Monterey"
37.7308168195669 -122.453981588244
5

Phelan Ave

2.5/5
"Right by City College"
37.729461999999 -122.452441

Unranked Streets in Westwood Park

Colon Ave

3.5/5
"A beautiful residential street"
37.7300003959569 -122.455787043579

Eastwood Dr

3.5/5
"One half of a full circle"
37.7276051315137 -122.457382080029
"Peaceful street near a baseball field"
37.728844842501 -122.455214861643
"A great street in a friendly neighborhood"
37.7301325430324 -122.454172067826

Judson Ave

2.5/5
"Residential street in Sunnyside"
37.7283028587681 -122.452329119332

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