SF Survey logo - background of city credit istock / starcevic
Photo: iStock/starcevic (background image)

Citywide Historic Context Statement

The Citywide Historic Context Statement forms SF Survey’s foundation for decision-making by providing a comprehensive framework for identifying and evaluating San Francisco's historic and cultural resources.

San Francisco’s Citywide Historic Context Statement, begun in 2020, forms the foundation for future fieldwork and decision making for SF Survey. It builds upon the Department’s past historic context and survey efforts and incorporates recently completed and in-progress historic context statements. 

According to the California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP), “historic context statements are intended to provide an analytical framework for identifying and evaluating resources by concisely explaining what aspects of geography, history, and culture significantly shaped the physical development of a community or region’s land use patterns and built environment over time, what important property types were associated with those developments, why they are important and what characteristics they need to have to be considered an important representation of their type or context.”

San Francisco’s Citywide Historic Context Statement aims to determine the significance and rarity of properties across San Francisco. The in-progress Citywide Historic Context Statement consists of contexts, sub-contexts and themes which are organized within four broad categories of Architectural, Cultural, Thematic, and Geographic contexts. Components of the Citywide Historic Context Statement will be completed over the next several years and can provide important historical information about properties and sites across San Francisco. Consult the How To Use The Citywide Historic Context Statement as a guide to using the Citywide Historic Context Statement. To track progress on the Citywide Historic Context Statement, please visit the In-Progress and Completed tabs of this webpage. 

Details of this Timeline are the same as for SF Survey.

Event information is available on the SF Survey program webpage.


The following historic context statements are currently in progress. Links will appear as drafts become available:

  • none currently
  • Gardens in the City - Residence Parks in San Francisco, 1906-1940, HCS
  • Developer Tracts: Streetcar Suburbanization (1880-1920)
  • Developer Tracts: Auto Suburbanization (1920-1950)
  • 1906 Earthquake and Reconstruction 
  • Early Residential Development (1848-1899) 
  • Large Apartment Buildings (1915-1978) 
  • Commercial Development & the Automobile (1848-1979) 
  • Public Art & Monuments
  • Early Residential Development Styles 1848-1880
  • Modern & Postmodern Architectural Styles (1960-2000)
  • Bay Area Tradition Styles (1880-1970)

Please email CPC.survey@sfgov.org or leave a voicemail at (628) 652-7573 if you’d like to contribute information or to learn about contexts and themes under development.