The Sunnyside neighborhood of today is vastly different, yet still similar, to that of the old. Presently Sunnyside boundaries run from Baden to Ridgewood and Circular to Mangels and are the result of an 1891 subdivision. In the 1890s, The Sunnyside Land Development Company divided our neighborhood into lots for sale. Behrend Joost was a part owner of the company. The Company took cabbage fields and converted them into lots, serviced by a new streetcar line that took residents down San Jose Avenue to downtown.
The 1960s brought a huge gash to our neighborhood with the development of the 280 Freeway. Many blocks were bulldozed with hundreds of residents being displaced via eminent domain.”
The streets were named alphabetically to the west. Acadia (cut in half by freeway development in the 1960s) was first and Hamburg (now Ridgewood) was last. The streets to the north were named after significant people.
Initially, the lots sold slowly until the Great Earthquake of 1906 and then filled quickly until the Great Depression. After World War II, the final lots were sold to build badly needed housing for returning service people. City College was built in the 1930s on the old San Francisco Jail land. From the 1920s through 1970s, Monterey Boulevard (which was originally Sunnyside Avenue) still had vacant land, as well as many shops including a bakery, butcher, sewing store, etc.
Safeway was built in the 1940s. The 1960s brought a huge gash to our neighborhood with the development of the 280 Freeway. Many blocks were bulldozed with hundreds of residents being displaced via eminent domain. The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association (SNA) was formed in 1975 to assist with the urban decline of the area, post freeway existence, as well as to save the Sunnyside Conservatory, the pride of our neighborhood. SNA has been the voice of the neighborhood continually ever since. Today Sunnyside is truly diverse and a hidden gem.
Sunnyside Neighborhood Association (SNA) is a valuable tool that brings residents together to preserve, enhance and empower the livability of Sunnyside. SNA is a non-profit community organization providing a place for discussing local and citywide issues. SNA also sponsors neighborhood activities, including the Halloween party and garage sale, which directly benefit the area.
For more information on SNA, visit www.sunnysideassociation.org.