Russian Hill I Summit Walk (Vallejo Crest) – Overview
Russian Hill’s Summit includes the highest point in Russian Hill, at 343 feet. More significantly, it includes some of the most important architecture and history of Russian Hill. Because of its historic significance, the area covered by this walk, the Vallejo Street Crest Historic District, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
This walk starts at the corner of Jones and Vallejo Streets. It includes the 1000 block of Vallejo Street, Russian Hill Place, the Vallejo Steps Garden descending to Taylor Street, Taylor to Broadway, Broadway to Florence, the Florence Street Steps, and Florence Street.
Powell-Hyde Street Cable Car from the corner of Vallejo and Hyde Streets (walk up hill two blocks to Vallejo and Jones Streets); #45 Union-Stockton bus from the corner of Jones and Union Streets (walk up hill two blocks to Vallejo and Jones Streets).
What You Will Discover On This Walk
- some of the most dramatic vistas the city has to offer
- a taste of San Francisco history’
- a unique “city in the country”
- an enclave perched on the top of a hill
- outstanding examples of San Francisco architecture
- the home and gathering place of distinguished Bay Area Bohemians: artists, writers, and architects from 1888 to 1939
- some of the earliest examples of Craftsman, shingle-style architecture and its successors, First and Second Bay Area Traditional Styles
- Pueblo/Mission Revival and Spanish/Mission Colonial Revival styles
A Fortress, An Enclave, A “City In The Country”
As you walk around the Summit, note the fortress or enclave-like feel of the area. This is largely a result of the geography and is reinforced by the development of the Summit. Outside, you find massive retaining walls on Taylor and Broadway, four-story houses on Jones Street (reminiscent of Italian hill towns), and the Beaux Arts entrances to Vallejo Street from both Jones and Taylor Streets. Inside, you find a quiet “city in the country” neighborhood with exceptional, yet understated architecture and landscaping. Two of the three entrances to the Summit are by stairway.
The Beginnings of Russian Hill
The history of Russian Hill and the Summit began in 1850 when a minister, Bayard Taylor, discovered grave markers of Russian merchant sailors. The development of Russian Hill began shortly after, in 1853. It is believed that Russian Hill takes its name from the Russian sailors’ graves.