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SOUTH PARK
THE OVAL PARK
Welcome to South Park, San Francisco.
This small neighborhood located in the heart of SoMa, is centered round a little oval-shaped park of the same name with South Park Street circling it. Because of its shape, buildings around the park create a particularly enclosed feeling and its hard not to love this little city oasis you will surely fall for South Park's picturesque scenery with its locally owned businesses and eclectic apartments lining the street. While much has changed, you can still find clues to the past when the park was modeled after a square in London. Originally, the English entrepreneur George Gordon created the South Park block, in 1852. The plan was to build an exclusive center consisting of 58 mansions and townhouses around a private green park. Back then, this area featured the first paved streets and sidewalks in San Francisco, and a windmill in the center provided water for the houses. Between the 19th and 20th century, this area was home to a large Japanese-American community and there was a plethora of Japanese businesses flourishing in the area. South Park lost its upscale status after the construction of Second Street, which made residents move to Nob Hill. The City took over the park, and decline proceeded further after the big earthquake when much of the neighborhood was destroyed. It was rebuilt with various warehouses, nightclubs and hotels, and the area became populated with the lower class. Eventually, in the 1970s, artists and young professionals began to move to South Park, and the little block took on a more hip vibe. During the dot-com boom of the 1990s, many tech companies moved in here thanks to the then low rent, and subsequently many of their workers became situated in the area. While much of the neighborhood has shifted throughout the years, the park itself remains largely unchanged except for recent park additions. Denizens can enjoy native plantings, a hummingbird garden, two fenced play areas and a number of cozy cafes. Whether you choose to live in the neighborhood or somewhere else, South Park is a spot for all San Franciscan's to appreciate at one time or another.
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