The small neighborhood of Telegraph Hill received its present name in 1862. Telegraph Hill is home to Coit Tower, one of San Francisco’s favorite and most recognizable landmarks. While mostly a residential area, Telegraph Hill is in close proximity to the North Beach shops and restaurants. The coveted area between Broadway, Columbus, and Grant are equally enjoyed by residents of North Beach and Telegraph Hill. Telegraph Hill enjoys its reputation as one of the oldest neighborhoods and features many old, Italianate homes as well as some newer additions by various notable architects. Real estate is diverse in the area and property is highly valued.
Originally named Loma Alta ("High Hill") by the Spaniards, the hill was then familiarly known as Goat Hill by the early San Franciscans, and became the neighborhood of choice for many Irish immigrants. The neighborhood bounds are Vallejo Street to the south, Sansome Street to the east, Francisco Street to the north and Powell Street and Columbus Avenue to the west.
The hills name is derived from a semephore, a windmill-like structure erected in September 1849, for the purpose of signaling to the rest of the city the nature of the ships entering the Golden Gate. The pole-and-arm signals on the Telegraph Hill semaphore well known to townspeople. Sailing ships brought cargo to San Francisco, but needed ballast when leaving. Rocks for ballast were quarried from the bay side of Telegraph Hill. Telegraph Hill is registered as California Historical Landmark #91, marking the location of the original signal station.
In the 1920s, Telegraph Hill became a destination for poets and bohemians. Telegraph Hill is primarily a residential area, much quieter than adjoining North Beach with its bustling cafés and nightlife. Aside from Coit Tower, it is well known for its gardens flowing down Filbert Street to Levi Plaza.
Feral Parrots of Telegraph Hill
Presently, Telegraph Hill is known for supporting a flock of feral parrots. These are Red-masked Parakeets (Aratinga erythrogenys), that descended from escaped or released pets. The birds, known in the bird trade as Cherry-headed Conures, are native to Peru and Ecuador; they have established a breeding colony, with the support of some residents, as reported in the film The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.
The History of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers
Without the hard work and support of the volunteers and members of THD, Telegraph Hill and North Beach would be vastly different from the beloved and special places they are today. Iin 1954, the Telegraph Hill Dwellers (THD) was founded and is one of the oldest, largest, and most widely respected neighborhood organizations in the nation. During its nearly six decades, THD has led the way to celebrate, beautify, and protect San Francisco’s unique and historic neighborhood.
Some accomplishments of THD are:
Restaurants and Nightclubs
Andrew Jaeger's House of Seafood & Jazz
300 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133
Creole Restaurant with Jazz and Cajun inspired food.
1707 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
Friendly, casual, affordable ingredient-driven American food.
759 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133
Paul Mogannam and his familyr are proud to serve one of a kind burgers!
2500 Washington St., San Francisco, CA 94115
Casual, elegant and modern French style restaurant inviting diners to experience both new and familiar tastes.
Citizen Thai & the Monkey
1268 Grant Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
Upscale authentic Thai restaurant with a classic twist.
Coi Restaurant Incorporated
373 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133
Minimal, organic, and elegant.
565 Green Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
An intimate wine bar.
Horizon Restaurant & Lounge
498 Broadway Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
Seductive culinary affair in American Food
501 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133
Impala offers flashy nightlife and a exciting food scene.
415.982.5299, VIP Bottle service: 415 690 6426
Jitney's Bar & Grill
501 Broadway Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
Mostly a party spot featuring nightly live music, big screen TVs and a happening singles scene.
25 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Asian tastes: Burmese, Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, Thai, Tibetan, Singaporean, and the Middle East.
59 Columbus, San Francisco, CA 94111
Chickenwch, Fishwich, and slow roasted garlic rosemary baby back ribs.
1337 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
Cuban / Latin plates
North Beach Pizza - North Beach
1499 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
Pizza made right.
O'Reilly's Irish Bar & Restaurant
622 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Pub food and beer
42 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94111
Another great burger joint.