Best of the Bay 2013: Bayview Fix-ups

Ben Christopher | July 6, 2013 | Lifestyle Story City Life

Just a few blocks down from the Bayview library, Third Street offers up yet another improbably swank center of learning: the new Bayview College Track Center. The collegeprep facility, which opened last September, comprises more than 13,000 square feet of exposed beams and unvarnished wood, with a massive sunlit common room that will eventually provide tutoring services, arts classes, and higher education advice to some 500 kids from neighborhoods like the Bayview, Visitacion Valley, and the Excelsior, where college may not seem like a viable option. The brainchild of Laurene Powell Jobs (Steve’s widow), the center has a SoMa startup vibe that makes studying suddenly seem cool.

Mold-ridden, dripping with sewage, and isolated at the top of a hill, the notorious Hunters View projects used to be the poster child for how not to design public housing. But this January, at last, new digs for the long-beleaguered occupants opened their doors. The first of three construction phases, the 107 LEED-certified, neo-Victorian units face a tree- and garden-lined avenue. There’s also a community room, a playground, and a terraced park that offers views rivaling those from Millennium Tower.

No overview of the Bayview culture scene would be complete without mention of the Bayview Opera House—the epicenter of neighborhood dance, drama, partying, and politicking. Two years after earning federal historical monument status, the worn and torn building is getting a muchneeded face-lift this coming winter, with plans to revamp the entrance with a glass walkway and add an outdoor amphitheater.

Read more Best of the Bay
Best of the Bay 2013: Bayview Fix-ups
Best of the Bay 2013: Brunch Without Borders
Best of the Bay 2013: Game-Changer Bars
Best of the Bay 2013: New Subspecies
Best of the Bay 2013: Upgraded Napa Agenda
Best of the Bay 2013: Culture
Best of the Bay 2013: Food
Best of the Bay 2013: Recreation
Best of the Bay 2013: Socializing
Best of the Bay 2013: Style

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of San Francisco

Have feedback? Email us at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Ben Christopher on Twitter @BenCAbbr


Photography by: