East Slope Bernal Heights

Unfinished History

March 4 1915 Islais Creek San Bruno nr Cortland (sunken street) dpwbook11 dpw2275 wnp36.00732.jpg

San Bruno and Cortland Ave., 1915, looking north with Bernal Heights rising to the immediate left and Potrero Hill in the distance. Islais Creek wetlands occupy today's Bayshore Blvd. industrial zone. These wetlands also drained Precita Creek, which ran down beneath Army Street on the north side of Bernal Heights. The old H streetcar is visible running along San Bruno Avenue just east of Bernal Hill, just west and above the still un-"developed" wetlands of Islais Creek.

Photo: OpenSFHistory.org wnp36.00732.jpg; DPW Book 11 DPW 2275

Oakdale-pre-fwy-from-Bernal 2999.jpg

View of Oakdale and Bayshore Boulevard from slopes of Bernal Heights before Highway 101 was built, c. 1950.

Photo: San Francisco Planning Commission archives


San Bruno Avenue north near present-day Alemany Blvd intersection. Bernal Heights east slope is the hill, 1927.

Photo: San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library


1997 Eastern view from Cortland Avenue over today's industrial zone in the former wetlands. The double-decker freeway in the distance is I-280, which predictably suffered structural damage in the 1989 earthquake due to its construction on former bay mudflats.

photo: Chris Carlsson


East on Cortland Ave. from Nevada Street, July 31, 1931.

Photo: Jesse Brown Cook collection, online archive of California I0052329A

March 16 1926 View West on Oakdale near Toland. Old Clam House at the intersection of Bayshore (then San Bruno Avenue). Bernal Heights and site of US101 freeway in background. Oakdale Ave to Bernal dpwbook36 dpw10221 wnp36.03371.jpg

March 16, 1926, view west on Oakdale near Toland. Old Clam House is at intersection of Bayshore (then San Bruno Avenue). Bernal Heights and site of US Highway 101 in background.

Photo: OpenSFHistory.org wnp36.003371; DPW Book 36, DPW 10221

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