Historic Victorian to be Moved to Middle of Great Highway

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Not long after an 1880 Italianate Victorian home moved seven blocks in San Francisco, a historic apartment building in Pacific Heights is now being relocated to the Sunset district.  And the move is not without controversy.

The 110-year-old Pallesen Apartment building is crawling its way to Ocean Beach to be placed in the middle of the Great Highway also known as highway 1, in a final act of defiance against reopening the road to car traffic.  Sunset district residence have now ordered an entire building be placed in the middle of the highway to block traffic forever.

San Franciscans and visitors alike have been enjoying a ‘slow streets’ program along the beach ever since shelter in place was instituted.  The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is working on making three Slow Streets closed to through traffic during the pandemic permanent: Page, Shotwell and Sanchez streets.  Other slow streets are not so certain to stay that way.

The Great Highway was almost opened to cars again when Supervisor Gordon Mar complained that traffic was getting worse and more dangerous on neighboring residential streets. A town hall on the subject drew more than 400 participants. In response, the SFMTA added signage and other safety measures to slow traffic at more than 20 spots in the Outer Sunset.

But to insure the highway stay ‘pedestrian only forever’, residents have placed a 200k pound historical landmark in the middle of the road.  In fact the house/barrier came with several rent-controlled tenants who all have law degrees, in order to make an eviction nearly impossible!


Happy April Fools Day  San Francisco!

But seriously, although this story was made up, the Great Highway is still part of the slow streets program and in a recent survey a majority of SF residents want it to stay that way.  For all slow streets info visit


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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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