Property Address Changes : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

How were house addresses assigned in the late 19th-early 20th centuries? In doing a little house history, the current address of my house apparently was not assigned until 1907 (post quake reorganization it seems). Prior to that, the same house seemed to have several different, but very close, addresses (4251, 4253, 4255) from 1897 to 1905. Little consistency and kept changing (the only other alternative is that the same guy kept moving from house to house!). Is this typical? How were house addresses determined before the "final" determination in 1907?

-- Bob Oaks (, July 08, 2001


I would guess that on any given block the first houses would chose approx.#'s of their position on the block. Then when a new house/s went up later they altered the #'s. Another would answer might be that a person owned 2 or 3 lots and sold them later(causing to change #'s) I know on my block in the Mission their are bigger houses that used to have large land on either side at one t

-- Craig Smith (, July 08, 2001.

Currently we associate house numbers with "the front door". This was not the case in the pre 1900s where the address was the "business or tradesman" entrance. Churches and Halls would have the front door on one street but the "address" was on a side or back street. Business-- including the post office-- called at this address.

-- Kurt Iversen (, July 09, 2001.

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