The Dogpatch neighborhood is now home to cocktail bars, arts and crafts, and the Minnesota Street Project arts center, which opened in 2016. A decade-long construction boom has peaked in almost a dozen new residential complexes since 2018.

The recent changes offer a provocative case study of how neighborhoods can absorb growth as they develop. It helps that the architectural batting average for new buildings is above average here (maybe no home runs, but several solid doubles). More importantly, planners and local residents have used the construction boom to improve the public landscape, adding everything from alleys in the middle of the block to a waterfront park.

The combination makes a great excuse to explore a part of the city that you may or may not know. As these eight stations show, many of the recent changes are for the better – though more still needs to be done.

If Dogpatch has a Main Street, it’s this personable strip with the Dogpatch Saloon on one end, a Muni warehouse center on the other, and a variety of stops including a Boba shop, pottery gallery, and rickshaw bagworks. Another piece of local flair? Completed in 2018, the green remodel, funded in part by developer fees, includes portions of the old sidewalk erected to keep dogs away from the large plant beds, granite-paved bulges that were once curbs, and horse chestnuts that were already flourish.

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The best thing about this 100-unit residential complex, which was completed last fall, is the Artwalk, which creates a pedestrian passage between the streets of Tennessee and Minnesota. Not even superficially; The design by Fletcher Studio, who also worked on 22nd Street, beckons you with zigzagging granite stacks that provide seating, while illustrative panels by Hughen / Starkweather convey the neighborhood’s history with abstract art.

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These college dormitories on 18th and Minnesota Streets were designed for the UCSF by Kieran Timberlake of Philadelphia. The company is not lazy – its work includes the U.S. embassy in London – and this is serious architecture that includes walls made of precast concrete molded into thick horizontal waves that also act as sun protection and shade the naturally ventilated apartments. The deep bands also resemble furrowed brows – that’s how I still look at the complex two years after it opened

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Even if Stanley Saitowitz’s buildings win architectural awards, they can exude a austere atmosphere. Not here: This humble take of mid-block apartments under construction is a creamy indulgence, with five stories of angled white bay windows running past each other across the sidewalk, casting unexpected shadows. There’s nothing like it in the neighborhood, and that’s perfectly fine.

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Ghosts of the past haunt this five-story apartment complex – in a good way. The corner area of ​​the previous owner, a brick building from 1926, was preserved intact by the architects of the BDE and then hollowed out to serve as a public outdoor space. If you doubt me, read the sign on the outside wall by the entrance – then take a seat on the long bench inside while you enjoy a coffee or check the news.

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Woods Bagot’s architects and developers, Align, created the rare dogpatch addition that not only pays tribute to the neighborhood’s industrial heritage, but also makes you believe the hype with six muscular stories skinned from bronze anodized aluminum with popping window cubes are. But the eye-catching element of the assertive show is the 5-story wall unit from Habitat Horticulture; On a gusty day, when the vines and fuchsia rustle, the colorful swirls bring the whole block to life.

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This small but handsome mission-style building on 3rd and 20th Streets opened in 1912 to a design by John Reid Jr., the town’s architect at the time. The police moved out decades ago and now it’s fenced in and derelict, despite being owned by the city. Here’s an idea: turn it into a community center and neighborhood hangout.

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Even in bad weather, this 7-acre park along the bay on 19th Street is irresistible: There’s a cozy sandy beach, lawns that beckon, and a large biosale that also doubles as a jagged maze for young children. If you have not yet seen this naturalistic landscape designed by AECOM for the Port of San Francisco, you are overdue.

The gated parking lot and road next to the park are part of public improvements to Pier 70, a 66-acre former shipyard currently being converted into offices, apartments and waterfront parks. Dogpatch is mostly built up today – but San Francisco is a city that, despite its density, continues to expand before our eyes.

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