Timeline for the property at 3861 24th st.

Information gathered from San Francisco Property Information Map


Quick Facts

Address: 3861 24th St. San Francisco, CA 94114

Cost of Land: $4,066,714

Improvements: $348,216

Year Built: 1960

Area: 10,829 square feet






A gasoline station was constructed.



The gasoline station was leased to Shell Oil Company.



Shell Oil Company ceased operation.


July 19, 1993

A permit was held to excavate the site at the cost of $25,000. All four underground gasoline tanks were removed.


Jan. 5, 1994

A project to discontinue the service station, as well as discontinue the sale of gasoline was filed by Fred Hornblower, station owner. Over 600 signatures were collected in support of the proposal from residents and businesses.  The location was to be transformed from a service station, to an auto repair facility. The auto shop would focus on engine tune-up, oil change and break service.


Mar. 24, 1994

The San Francisco City Planning Commission adopted the previous motion.


Sept. 20, 2001

The Noe Valley Ministry purchased the lot and proposed a project to demolish the existing auto repair structures and build a new parking lot.


Dec. 12, 2001

The parking lot proposal was approved.



Oct. 8, 2002

A permit was filed to demolish the existing auto service, canopy and shed.


Aug. 29, 2002

A permit was filed to construct a 29 stall parking lot with a 8’X14’ kiosk at the cost of $70,000.


Oct, 24, 2003

A one story attendant kiosk and employee toilet was built for the parking lot.


Feb. 26, 2004

With the help of Peter Gabel, a community activist, an open-air farmer’s market was proposed to take place on Saturdays at the existing parking lot.


Mar. 30, 2004

The famer’s market was approved.


June 4, 2013

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to purchase the parking lot from the Noe Valley Ministry for $4.2 million and list the lot as an official park.


Sept. 19, 2013

A project was proposed to change the use of the parking lot to an open space for park purposes. The seating area with benches was to remain in the same location. The private paid parking operation was to end. The site would continue to be used as the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market. This would mark the beginning of the Noe Valley Town Square.





History of the lot that will become Noe Valley’s very own town sqaure

From gasoline station to auto shop to parking lot, the space at 3861 24th street has transformed time and again.


According to property records, the lot was first used as a gasoline station in 1930. In 1980 Shell Oil Company ceased its operation.


The lot later became Dan’s Auto Shop in the early 1990s when all four underground gasoline tanks were removed. Owner Fred Hornblower collected over 600 signatures from supportive residents and business owners to transform the space into an auto repair facility.


In 2001, the spot was again up for sale. Keenan Kelsey, former pastor of the Noe Valley Ministry said about the lot, “It was a gas station which was defunct and about to be sold as dense high rises to a developer.”


At the time, Kelsey was fairly new to the Noe Valley Ministry, and heard complaints from the church goers about feeling land bound, due to lack of parking. When Kelsey found out the last open space in the community was getting built on, she led an effort to buy the land and gift it to the ministry, in the hopes of giving the church a feeling of empowerment.


Although the parking lot didn’t raise attendance at the ministry, it brought the church and neighborhood communities together by expanding the lot into a weekly farmers’ market, according to Kelsey.


On Dec. 6 2003, the Noe Valley Famer’s Market was born. The market itself was created as protest against Real Foods Company, a local health foods store, due to their abrupt closing that left employees who were trying to form a union without a job, according to Peter Gabel, co-founder of the farmers’ market.


Gabel, along with support of the ministry and community was able to create San Francisco’s only volunteer run farmers’ market.


Today, the lot is one step close to becoming the Noe Valley Town Square. Todd David, president of the residents of Noe Valley, says he hopes to “expand that amazing sense of community at the farmers’ market to seven days a week.”



Town Square Coming Soon

The Noe Valley Town Square is to be built on the lot purchased by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors after a unanimous vote to turn the property at 3861 24th street into a public park.


City officials were able to purchase the lot for $4.2 million in order to save the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market and give the farmers a permanent space to provide organic food to the community, according to Todd David, president for the residents of Noe Valley.


Vladamir Caudillo of El Buen Comer Mexican food stand at the farmers’ market said, “For a while they were telling us we might not be able to sell anymore.”


Paul Mwas of Field of Greens aka Specialty Produce, said about the potential closure, “I didn’t like it at all, I was mad.”


According to Leslie Crawford, president of the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market developers were interested in purchasing the lot in order to build condominiums.


There was an overwhelming joy that lifted the sprits of the merchants and community members when the buyout was approved by the SFBOS. Crawford said, “We all kind of cried, it felt like a miracle.”


Todd David, president of the residents of Noe Valley said, “It was really exciting, people said it wouldn’t happen.”


According to David, “Merchants were totally psyched with a permanent place to have the farmers’ market.”


Although the lot has been paid for, the residents still have to raise $1 million towards the improvement and building of the town square, according to David. Purely based on donations, the town square project has currently raised $575,000.


Some of the biggest donations come from the Panzer family, who together with Real Management Company were able to donate $24,000. Patxi’s Pizza Co-founders Bill Freeman and Patxi Azpiroz were also amongst the biggest donators to date, who donated $24,000.


Donations big and small can be pledged directly through the Noe Valley Town Square webpage, or at the stand at the Noe Valley Famers’ Market. As part of the town square’s design, David says they plan to create a wall of heroes with the names of those who have donated, in alphabetical order.


Kate Sherwood and Leslie Crawford, members of the board, have applied for a $700,000 state grant, in order to be one step closer to their goal.


The State Grant for Urban Greening helps cities become more attractive to families by supporting the greening of urban areas, according to Crawford.


David, who was in charge of overseeing the budget in regards to the grant, feels fairly positive and is just waiting to hear the results. He says the state runs on their own time and even though the grant usually follows a three year cycle, it will be longer this time around.


Crawford said a lot of people worked hard on the grant and the application process took about a year and a half. Although they don’t know any of the competition and don’t have much experience in this field, they have hope and are expecting to get an answer in the spring.


According to David, the entire completion of the project is 100% dependent on the results of the state grant. He says the team plans to apply to more grants in order to raise the rest of the money, selling bricks or benches will be the last resort.


David and the board hope to create a gathering space with magical components that will in turn bring together different generations of people with a variety of socio economic statuses and ages.


He said the goals for the town square are only limited to the imagination. Friends of Noe Valley hosted the first event in the Town Square, Music in the Square. David hopes to see movie nights in the summer, Tai Chi in the mornings and a community garden. Crawford hopes the town square will give people a place to hang out instead of sitting at home on their computers.


Saturday, the Noe Valley Farmer’s Market celebrated their 10th birthday at the town square.


The district’s Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty was there to present the market with a Certificate of Honor on behalf of Mayor Edwin Lee. Dufty was one of the key players in getting permits for the market when it first began. He said about the neighborhood, “I love Noe Valley and I love the values of this community.”


Mwas, whose vegetable stand has been with the market since day one, said about the event, “I’m excited and looking forward to the 100th anniversary.” He enjoys working at this particular market because of the vibe of the small community as well as its safety factor.


The design and the plans for the town square were created by Chris Guillard of Conger Moss Guillard landscape architecture. Although the plans have yet to be approved by the Recreation and Park commission, they have been working with the design team every step of the way; therefore David doesn’t foresee any major problems.


The team’s plans have been made visible of the town square website for over a year were residents can make comments and voice their own opinions.


The environmentally friendly design includes a rain garden, LED lights and low pollen shade trees. The town square is also working to be kid friendly by providing two play areas for children of different ages as well as a climbing wall. Some community features include a “great tree,” bulletin board and stage. Basic features include a restroom, storage and plenty of seating.


The Noe Valley Town Square is currently trying to put together a development team and anyone who would like to participate can get in contact with David.


David looks forward to being able to say, “Hey! Let’s meet at the town square.”

Goodbye Noe Valley

At the beginning of the semester I was dropped off at the corner of Church and 24th Streets by the J-Church. Without a sense of direction I walked along 24th street, window-shopping, observing the friendly people who smiled sitting on benches along the sidewalk.

Flyers of upcoming community events such as the St. Philip’s Parish Festival filled the streets. As the season went on, the fliers transformed from adult events such as the Wine Walk back to kid-friendly events such as the Harvest Festival.

It always seemed sunnier than other neighborhoods in San Francisco. Thus parklets and outdoor gathering spots were always filled with residents talking to others, enjoying time together.

My favorite gathering spot became the parking lot between Castro and Noe Streets which had a built in chess board, which chess pieces conveniently located behind the newsletter board.

On days I would get up early enough I loved to make my first stop be at the Noe Valley Bakery where I picked up a freshly baked raspberry filled croissant and hot cup of coffee. I ended up going so often that I filled up my frequent coffee card in no time. 

For dessert I loved stopping by at Easy Breezy, an organic frozen yogurt shop that uses all local ingredients.

I even made a friend at Shufat Market and Delicatessen. Every time I walked in he would offer me to try some of his baklava baked from a family recipe or other little treats.

Attending community events allows you to become a part of a family when you witness the love and compassion the residents have for one another.

One of my favorite memories was a walk I took throughout the neighborhood on Halloween night. Many of the parents were dressed up along with their children as they received candy from the merchants along 24th street. Almost every house had pumpkins outside of their doors; the sound of children’s laughter filled the area.

Noe Valley has a delightful personality that always transformed along with the seasons or holidays. Christmas time became the brightest and cheeriest I had ever seen. Its small town feel is a brilliant contrast to the busy and big city of San Francisco. 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, in Noe Valley


photo 3

Reindeer and Santa Claus pose along 24th street for pictures.

Reindeer and Santa Claus pose along 24th street for pictures.

A night time stroll around Noe Valley during the month of December makes you feel like you’ve walked into Santa’s Village. Families in long coats stroll around the town or take a seat in parklettes decorated with christmas lights as they sip on hot chocolate from Starbucks.

Window displays showcase creativity  and magic. Noe Street is renamed Noel Street for the holidays and almost every pole is intertwined with red tape resembling candy canes. Stores like Just for Fun begin selling ornaments and gifts. Shops around town display Christmas treats like Santa Claus figures molded from chocolate.

24 holidays on 24th street is celebrated all month long with hay rides and reindeer to pet in Noe Valley.

Take a stroll with me around and visit the window displays showcasing all things Christmas.

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Car theft becomes Noe Valley’s biggest crime trend

The most common crimes committed in Noe Valley are motor vehicle theft and vehicle break-in, according to crimemapping.com.

In just the month of October, crimemapping.com reported 66 vehicle-related crimes in a two-mile radius of Noe Valley. On Oct.24, six vehicle break-ins and thefts occurred in Noe Valley. The vehicles were either stolen or stripped of car parts to be resold or used toward different cars.

Shahn Culloti, a Noe Valley resident, tells us she recently purchased a steering wheel anti-theft lock device after her neighbor’s car was stolen. “Of course we have seen a little bit more of the police around our neighborhood but it’s still going on,”said Culloti.

The Mission Police Department was able to recover seven previously stolen vehicles in the month of August, according to the Noe Valley Voice.

Jim Dandolfi of the Mission Police Department, which serves Noe Valley, says most crimes in the neighborhood are crimes of opportunity. “If they see a door unlocked, it’s easy to commit a car theft,” Dandolfi said.

To anonymously tip the Mission Police Department, residents can dial the department’s tip line at (415) 392-2623.