Alamo Square Neighborhood Association (ASNA) is a volunteer-run organization of tenants, homeowners, and other neighbors who live, work, and socialize around Alamo Square Park. We are a non-profit group dedicated to building and nurturing community, creating a safe neighborhood, conserving our local history, and maintaining and improving our park.
The Alamo Square Neighborhood Association (ASNA) was formed in response to large community issues. In 1963, the city planned to flatten Alamo Square Park and turn the beautiful neighborhood green space into soccer fields. Plans were already set in motion when a neighborhood architect took a closer look at the sketches and realized what the renovation would involve. The neighborhood banded together to fight the city on the changes, and ASNA was born.
The fight to preserve one of our city's most famous parks energized ASNA's membership base, and ASNA quickly began focusing on other projects of similar scope. There was the freeway revolt, where ASNA opposed plans to run a highway through the Panhandle. The Fillmore redevelopment was also a rallying cry for ASNA when the city moved forward with a plan to demolish 2,500 Victorians which in turn displaced and devastated San Francisco's historically Black neighborhood. ASNA was able to help save many of the old buildings in the neighborhood from demolition, making Alamo Square the neighborhood in San Francisco with the largest number of historic Victorian houses today.
With three huge accomplishments at the forefront of its founding, ASNA became an important neighborhood presence in city politics. Our borders extend three blocks out from Alamo Square in every direction creating overlap with other neighborhood associations like Hayes Valley Merchants & Neighbors Association, Lower Haight Merchants & Neighbors Association, and North of the Panhandle Neighborhood Association.
Today, ASNA is still active in building community and providing connection for neighborhood visitors and residents. Currently led by president Jason Jervis, ASNA is always working to increase engagement from the neighborhood. Becoming a member of ASNA offers an affordable way to invest in this historic neighborhood while staying in the loop on proposed changes and a variety of events around the neighborhood. A member-driven organization, ASNA is interested in receiving input and representation from renters, homeowners, and merchants.
Small neighborhood, BIG ❤️
ASNA Board of Directors
2021 ASNA Board Officers & Board Members At Large
Jason has lived in the neighborhood for fifteen years and has served as the board President since 2019. In this time, Jason has focused on modernizing ASNA's operating infrastructure as well as reviving membership engagement through community meetings and neighborhood events. Jason has focused on ASNA's transition in evolving with the neighborhood by producing community-centered events such as the Alamo Square Neighborhood Picnic, ASNA's Evening with the Candidates, and Final Friday Happy Hours.
Cynthia has served as an ASNA board member since 2016 and board Vice President since 2019. In that time Cynthia has grown ASNA's premiere volunteer event "First Saturdays" to a very successful monthly gathering. Cynthia has also helped organize and manage ASNA's general meetings at The Archbishop's Mansion. Cynthia has been involved with popular community events such as First Saturdays Volunteer Gardening, Toddlers of Terror, Evening with the Candidates, the Neighborhood Picnic, and Final Friday Happy Hours.
AJ Thomas has served on the ASNA board since 2019 and board Secretary since February 2021. AJ is an active community member volunteering his time to provide technical and logistical support at ASNA meetings and events.
Tarik O'Regan has been a board member of ASNA since 2019. In that time Tarik has been instrumental in lending his talents to help improve the ASNA membership experience as well as providing technical and planning assistance on several of ASNA's events such as Evening with the Candidates and Final Friday Happy Hours.
Lisa has lived in the Alamo Square neighborhood and served as an officer of the ASNA board for many years. Lisa has served as a former ASNA President and has been instrumental in uplifting the community through her work with the Divisadero Corridor, park preservation, public safety, and public art.
J. Lee Stickles
Location: Hayes & Steiner Streets
Trolley Lines: #21 Hayes, #22 Fillmore
Anything but Square
View of Downtown San Francisco from Alamo Square in 1906. For three days, San Franciscans, many with only the clothes on their backs, gathered at Alamo Square and watched as the city burned.
Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
Its checkered history is far from square. Alamo means poplar tree in Spanish and in the early 1800s, the lone cottonwood on Alamo Hill marked a watering hole along the horseback trail from Mission Dolores to the Presidio. Mayor James Van Ness set aside 12.7 acres of the hole in 1856, naming it Alamo Square. Confirmed by the state legislature the following year as a public park, Alamo Square and its Victorian residences started down the potholed road to Historic District, over 100 years later.
In 1860, county clerk Thomas Hayes stretched his Market Street Railway up to the Square’s southern border and gave the street his name. But the land itself was dangerously inaccessible, inhabited by “Dutch Charlie Duane,” a known killer and tenacious squatter. The city finally ousted him in 1868, and in 1892, began grading and landscaping the rocky hill, laying out the curving pathways, and constructing stairways and a masonry wall. Merchant businessmen, lawyers, doctors and teachers flocked in, hired architects and built homes. Among them was Matthew Kavanagh’s endlessly-reproduced “Postcard Row” of Queen Anne houses, the “Painted Ladies.” By the early 1920s, apartment buildings began to appear and families moved into the elite community. Violinist Yehudi Menuhin (who lived nearby as a child) remembers “the large beautiful park on a hill whose lawns and thickets were familiar to my sister and myself.”
In the ‘50s the beautiful park slid into two decades of deterioration. Homeowners moved away and sold their Victorians to entrepreneurs who divided them into multiple-bedroom rooming houses, many illegal and substandard. Some became halfway houses, drug rehab centers, or boarding houses for hippies. Displaced residents seeking housing flooded in when the Redevelopment Agency demolished large sections of Western Addition. Safety in the park became a serious issue.
The Alamo Square Neighborhood Association was founded in the early ‘60s when a group of concerned neighbors banded together to fight the City’s plan to slice off the crest of the hill, level it for playing fields and construct a large field house. The protest of outraged residents, the media, and Mayor Joseph Alioto defeated the passage of ill-conceived Measure D. In the early ‘70s, when ASNA’s president complained to the police about an epidemic of drugs, burglaries and muggings, the department stepped up patrols, day and night. Over the next decade, conditions improved, and in 1984, thanks to the energetic efforts of a few key ASNA homeowners, Alamo Square’s 12 blocks became a Historic District.
The 1990s were marked by an unsuccessful grant application to the Recreation and Park Department for park beautification and failed requests for maintenance and repair, including the dilapidated playground. A Park Committee of ASNA worked closely with NPC to encourage workdays and to lobby for playground funds. After Props A & C passed in the 2000 election, Rec and Parks’ Capital Improvement Plan allocated $1,270,000 to Alamo Square. Sue Valentine, then ASNA president, and parks committee chairman Emmett Gilman listed 14 key issues, secured agreement on them with project director Marvin Yee, and followed up, point by dogged point. The results are in full view throughout the park: the new children’s playground, picnic tables, benches and lighting; ADA pathway at Hayes and Steiner, and dispensers for dog waste bags. The new wrought iron fence around the playground required a $36,000 subsidy from ASNA to upgrade the chain link version.
— Jeanne Alexander, SF Neighborhood Parks Council
North by Turk Street
East by Buchanan Street
South by Page Street
West by Baker Street
District 5 Map
Alamo Square is part of the
Western Addition in District 5 of
San Francisco's 11 Supervisorial Districts
Public Safety Directory
Understand the right numbers to call for the appropriate response
ASNA' s two police districts, northern and park station
Northern Police Station
San Francisco is divided into 10 police districts. Alamo Square lies mostly in Northern District since 2015.
1125 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
Non-emergency call: (415) 553-0123
TIP LINE: (415) 822-8147
Captain: Paul Yep
Park Police Station
The neighborhood west of Divisadero is part of the Park District.