280 Freeway (by San Jose Avenue

greenspun.com : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

Hey! it's annyoing old me again! Answer this, Kurt: would you describe how the 280 freeway( the one by Glen Park and San Jose avenue ) was built? Thanks a lot if you answer, Kurt Iversen!

P.S. Describe how the bart system was built, too! Thanks!

-- Sean M. Hall (seanmhall@hotmail.com), September 20, 2002


Sean you are a persistent cuss.

The I-280 from the San Mateo County line to Glen Park follows the right of way of the Southern Pacific RR. The right of way was granted in 1860. The RR entered the Mission District through the Bernal Cut and wound its way to 3rd and Townsend by way of Harrison St.

The Cut is that part of San Jose Avenue that stretches from Dolores to I280 at Glen Park. It is called a Cut because Bernal Hill was cut through for the railway.

In the early 1900s the Southern Pacific moved to new tracks made possible by the Bayshore land fill. The new tracks made the old tracks obselete. (The San Francisco San Mateo Electric RR used the right of way for a while. This RR was the main-- pardon the pun-- artery for taking the embalmed from the Valencia Street Mortuaries to Colma).

When Bart was designed in the 1960s, one of the goals was to link San Mateo to the rest of the system. Instead of going through the Bernal Cut, they went under it.

Nothing really changes around this town.


-- Kurt Iversen (iversenk@aol.com), September 21, 2002.

Good News! I saw what this was like in a DREAM last night! I saw the area currently behind City College. I saw the 5000 block of San Jose avenue,too. I'm not sure if I can rely on this,though...

-- Sean M. Hall (seanmhall@hotmail.com), September 25, 2002.


Here's one for you. Before 280 was built, many of the streets that run east-west just south of the Monterey Blvd. exit were continuous streets. When the fwy was built, many of these streets lost their middle blocks or were terminated at the freeway. For a couple of streets, an overpass was built.

Rather than tearing down the houses that were to be replaced by the fwy, many homes were actually moved from the small streets like Paulding, Colonial, etc. to other locations closer to Glen Park. I lived in Mission Terrace, the neighborhood just east of San Jose Ave. where the old river used to flow into Cayuga Lake. For a time, it was a daily occurrence to see San Jose Ave. blocked off by a house being moved on skids.

Thanks for the memory!

-- LindaLou (wattybear@yahoo.com), October 22, 2002.

Lindalou, I can't tell you how much this answer means. My uncle used to talk about that, but he died 5 years ago, when I was 7. Now, I've never heard of Cayuga Lake. Thanx for bringing that up. My uncle said that the house on 544 Mangels was on San Jose before the 280 was built. It was probably moved there because, if I remeber right, my house, 538 Mangels, was the last house on the street. There was nothing after that.The Freeway really changed the Sunnyside area.

-- Sean M. Hall (sanfranciscofanclub@groups.msn.com), October 22, 2002.

I found a picture:

-- Sean M. Hall (TheSanFranciscoFanclub@groups.msn.com), November 15, 2002.

Have those who are interested in the 280 freeway question found how to research where a house was relocated? I asked SF Assessor's/Recorder office, not an easy thing to find. Looking for my grandfather's house that was on Pilgrim Ave (one block street between SP track and San Jose Ave, one block from Santa Rosa.

-- Betty Parshall (bparshal@flash.net), January 03, 2003.

This post reopened courtesy of the good people at SMHC!

Have fun!

-- Piano Man (seanmhall14@hotmail.com), January 13, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ