The Central Waterfront / Dogpatch neighborhood is nestled on the eastern side of the city between San Francisco Bay and Potrero Hill. Because the area survived the 1906 earthquake relatively undamaged, the Central Waterfront / Dogpatch offers some of the oldest existing architecture in San Francisco, some dating back to the 1860€²s. But few know of the diverse and storied past of the bay-facing neighborhood.

A popular question many San Franciscans find themselves asking, is €œWhy exactly is it called the Dogpatch?€ Well, that’s a simple one. The Dogpatch received its name for the typical sight of wild dogs sniffing around the outdoor butchers and markets of the area in the early 20th century. With roots as an informal company town, and home to immigrant laborers that worked the docks and shipyards, the Dogpatch was once a colorful meeting grounds for a multitude of ethnic groups in the budding city by the Bay. From the early 1870’s, the neighborhood was one of the first housing developments in the Potrero Hill area, with most of the modern organization of the neighborhood stemming from these initial layouts.

Situated in one of the most easily accessible ports on the San Francisco Bay, ship building technology played an important role in driving the Dogpatch’s development at the turn of the century. With the headquarters of naval manufacturers, Union Iron Works, the Dogpatch served as the building and launching site of America’s first great naval force, The Great White fleet, which Theodore Roosevelt used as a show of military power during his Presidency. As jobs for blue collar workers grew, the neighborhood saw an expansion, with more industry and naval works taking root throughout the World War I and II eras.

Following the end of the War, the Dogpatch saw a decline as jobs dried up at the shipyard and as various other industries moved overseas. Becoming somewhat of an underused residential sector during the 1960’s, San Francisco city planners considered rezoning the area as an industrial park, but never went through with plans. The 1980s saw a revitalization of the neighborhood, drawing artisans and independent workers in search of inexpensive housing, much like the Oakland of today.

Today, the area still offers affordable homes, some remaining industry, and an exciting budding arts district with tons of local flavor. With easily accessible transportation to San Francisco’s downtown via Municipal Railway lines and Third street, and local stores and services, the Central Waterfront / Dogpatch offers the convenience of city living with a quaint slice of San Francisco that you simply won’t find else where in the city.

Check out the full, fascinating history of one of San Francisco’s little known neighborhoods here:

Read up on the most recent new construction project in the Dogpatch: Millwheel SF

For information on homes in the area, or if you are interested in purchasing a new construction condo, loft, or home put your trust in the #1 broker for the Central Waterfront/Dogpatch, South Beach, Yerba Buena, and Mission Bay. Please contact me 24/7 at 415.203.6022 or email at

Climb Real Estate provides this information to the public and our clients and does not guarantee its accuracy. Climb Real Estate does not necessarily represent the seller nor the marketing company in any way. For buyer representation, contact Climb or learn how to buy new developments.

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