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Blog

October 2018
October 2018
Illustrations by Pamela Baron

Enjoy the city’s stylistic diversity, from Queen Anne to contemporary buildings

The city by the bay is justly proud of its architectural heritage. Large swathes of its hilly terrain were rebuilt virtually overnight after the 1906 earthquake, firmly establishing its persona as one of Victorian homes, fire-resistant brick commercial buildings, and a classic civic center. In recent years, though, a forest of sleek skyscrapers have joined the city’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid, and curvaceous silhouette of the Snohetta’s addition to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) have raised the city’s cred as a place for contemporary design.

Here is a sample of some of the architecture styles you’ll find in San Francisco.

Read more...


October 2018
October 2018

J.C. Flood's home in menlo Park, California, circa 1890. Photo: Courtesy Of Bonhams New York

Photo: Courtesy Of Bonhams New York

 

In the last decade of the 19th century, a family of Swedes sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern United States. They likely traversed the major cities of the East Coast by train before steaming across the country to San Francisco.

What they did in the western boomtown is not known, save for one aspect of their travels. They purchased photographs of various San Francisco sights from Isaiah West Taber.

Massachusetts-born Taber first came to California in 1850 in search of gold. He made a livelihood out of another precious metal. Taber traveled around the country taking photographs and collecting glass negatives, which he printed upon silver albumen and sold to tourists and collectors from his gallery above Hibernia Bank.

Taber, age 76, lost nearly all of his collection in the 1906 fire that followed the great earthquake. He died six years later.

read more...


September 2018
September 2018

It's back-to-school season, and for high school kids, that means back to worrying about test scores and perhaps the looming specter of college applications. And at some Bay Area high schools, the standardized test scores are among the strongest in the state.

Annual data released by the state Department of Education in July revealed which public high schools had the highest percentage of students meeting the state targets for SAT scores.

The statistics measure how many students who take the SAT score hit certain score minimums for the reading and math section. For seniors, the target scores are 480 on the reading section and 530 on the math, for a combined score of 1010. For 11th-graders it's 460 and 510, for a combined score of 970; for 10th-graders, it's 430 and 480, summing to a target of 910; and for a freshman, it's 410 and 450, for a combined score of 860.

Read it on Flipboard


August 2018
August 2018

On the heart of San Francisco’s man-made Treasure Island, a chic restaurant has popped up inside a series of recycled shipping containers. In a nod to the city’s history as a major port, local design firm Mavrik Studio crafted the new eatery — named Mersea after an Old English word meaning “island oasis” — out of 13 shipping containers and a variety of other materials found on the island, such as reclaimed wood. The decision to use cargotecture was also a practical one given the uncertainty of development on Treasure Island; the restaurant can be disassembled and moved when needed.

Read it on Inhabitat.com


August 2018
August 2018

Due to the booming tech sector and strong foreign interest, northern California continues to lead in the luxury price growth across the U.S., according to a Realtor.com report released Thursday.

On May, 19 out of the 91 major U.S. markets Realtor.com tracks posted double-digit price growth in the luxury segment, which is defined as the top 5% of the sales in each market.

Six markets in northern California made the list: Santa Clara (14%), Santa Cruz (13%), San Mateo (13%), Sonoma (10%), San Luis Obispo (10%) and Sacramento (10%). In addition, Marin was ranked 20th with a price growth of 9.7%.

Read it on MansionGlobal.com


August 2018
August 2018

20. Albany High School
Down nine spots from last ranking
Academics score: A+
Teachers score: A+
Clubs and activities score: C
Diversity score: A
College prep score: A+
Health and safety score: A- Photo: Natasha Dangond, The Chronicle

Photo: Natasha Dangond, The Chronicle

Most public schools in the Bay Area will re-open for the upcoming school year at the end of the month, and ranking and review site Niche has released its analysis of the best public high schools for the 2018-2019 school year.

The rankings are based on "rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users."

In addition, Niche assesses the college readiness, graduation rates and SAT and ACT scores of students from each high school.

For the second-straight year, Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto was named the best public high school in the Bay Area, with several other Santa Clara County schools grabbing top spots.

 


 

The original article can be found here.


July 2018
July 2018

A short BART ride separates San Francisco from Oakland, but for many on both sides of the bay, the quick trip feels like a voyage into a different universe.

Oakland has long been thought of as the hipper, grittier sibling of San Francisco. It's where the artists live, the Burners party, the people not in tech cluster. Whether such characterizations are true or not is up for debate, but that perception accounts for what some consider a gaping distance between the cities.

Indeed, there are glaring differences between the two. Oakland housing is more affordable (just barely), and spacious backyards are more commonplace. There's greater racial diversity in Oakland compared to San Francisco (though Oakland is experiencing rampant gentrification and the white-washing that comes with it). And there's the weather; without the obstruction of San Francisco's mythic fog, sunshine reigns.

READ IT ON SFGATE.COM


July 2018
July 2018

The Bay Area is so expensive, earning $117,400 a year qualifies you as "low income" in some counties. Every year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development releases "income limits," the minimum income level required to qualify for some affordable housing programs.

To be considered "low income" in San Francisco, San Mate, and Marin counties, a family of four must earn $117,400 a year. "Very low income" is considered $73,300. The Bay Area figures are the highest in the country and continue to increase year after year. Income limits in some Bay Area cities increased by 10 percent just in the last year.

Read it on SFGate.com


June 2018
June 2018

Photo: Paul Chinn / Photos By Paul Chinn / The Chronicle

 

Get ready, Sunset and Ingleside commuters.

After celebrating its hundredth birthday in February, the Twin Peaks Tunnel will be shut down for a good chunk of the summer starting in late June to make some already-delayed improvements, the SFMTA has announced.

For two of the lines that run through the tunnel — the L-Taraval and the M-Ocean View — buses will replace regular Muni metro service for the duration of the 60 day shutdown. The buses are scheduled to run every 5 minutes during peak hours and at 8 to 15 minute intervals during midday and evening hours.

The K-Ingleside line will operate along a modified route. Trains will operate between the Sloat-St. Francis and Balboa Park stations, continuing on the J-Church line after Balboa Park. Riders can also transfer to the shuttle buses at Sloat-St. Francis or to BART at Balboa Park. A map of the routes is available here.

 

READ IT ON SFGATE.COM


May 2018
May 2018

Rob Rogers, principal at Domain San Francisco has just closed the record-setting, highest-ever sale at Zephyr Real Estate. The grand residence on Sutherland Drive in Atherton, and all its 3.45 acres of buildings and grounds, sold for $31.5 Million.

Combining the elements of the California lifestyle and the European countryside, the estate is a showcase of style and elegance inspired by 18th-century country homes across the pond. The home was recently fully renovated and expanded and includes the main residence with five bedrooms, five full baths and five half baths, a formal library, two elevators, nine fireplaces, courtyard, rooftop deck with panoramic views, pool and spa, lush landscaping, and a fully self-contained guest house.

Read it on kfmbfm.com


May 2018
May 2018

Anyone who has sold a home knows there’s a fair amount of uncertainty in the transaction between receiving an offer and actually closing the sale, which can take as long as 90 days. A buyer’s mortgage application could unexpectedly be denied, or the buyer could walk away from the deal at the last minute, forcing the seller to start the whole process over again by putting the home back on the market.

It’s no wonder then that when armed with an all-cash offer on a home, the offer is 97 percent more likely to be accepted, according to Redfin. Cash offers remove much of the time and uncertainty associated with obtaining a mortgage for the transaction, allowing sellers to move in short order and on coordinated timelines.

 

Read it on Curbed.com


May 2018
May 2018

There’s a lot of hype about turning a property into digital tokens and trading it on a blockchain—but so far no one is actually doing it. That’s going to change this year, says “PayPal Mafia” member David Sacks, and the first thing we’ll trade are real estate tokens.

Sacks is worth heeding. He’s best known as the first COO of PayPal—where he built a payment giant alongside other mafia members like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel—but is also a serial entrepreneur who recently launched a $350 million venture fund focused on crypto.

Read It on Fortune.com


May 2018
May 2018

For some American families, one kitchen is apparently not enough. What is wrong with having just one kitchen? Well, people cook in kitchens, and when they cook in kitchens, they make messes, and then, to make matters worse, if their kitchen is in full view from the rest of the house—as many today are—their mess is out in the open visible as they eat their meals, hang out with their families, entertain their guests, and go about their lives.

That is why one company, Schumacher Homes of Akron, Ohio, has a fresh new design on offer: a house with an open floor plan, with its kitchen, dining area, and living room all flowing into one another. But then, behind the first kitchen, lies another. A “messy” kitchen. There, the preparation for or remainders from a meal or party can be deposited for later cleanup, out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

Read it at The Atlantic.com


April 2018
April 2018

The opening date for the subway has been a point of dispute. An independent monitor has projected the opening by the end of 2019 in recent reports, but subway contractor Tutor Perini told members of the Board of Supervisors in December that opening might be delayed to 2021. Standing where the tracks will pass through the Chinatown station, Ed Reiskin, the MTA’s transportation director, said the end of excavation was a significant milestone and that the project is moving ahead.

Read it on sfgate.com


February 2018
February 2018