Asian Couple Buys Entire Street In SF Originally Built To Keep Out ‘Orientals’

By Editorial Staff August 7, 2017

In a stroke of luck, a Bay Area couple was able to buy one of the richest and most exclusive streets in San Francisco — for $90,000.

Presidio Terrace is considered the most prestigious street in the city with 38 mansions on it. The average cost of a property on the street is $5.1 million — and it now belongs to San Jose residents Tina Lam and Michael Cheng.

The street had been put up for auction because the homeowners’ association had failed to pay the annual $14 county property tax for 30 years. Why? Because the tax bills were sent to an accountant’s address they haven’t used since the 1980s.

Ironically, only white people were allowed to purchase property in the area until 1948. The Virtual Museum of San Francisco quoted an ad for Presidio Terrace in 1906:

“Baldwin & Howell advertisement pointed out that Japanese and Chinese had invaded the Western Addition, and residence districts were being ruined. They offered for sale lots in Presidio Terrace with restrictions against Orientals. The ad read, ‘There is only one spot in San Francisco where only Caucasians are permitted to buy or lease real estate or where they may reside. That place is Presidio Terrace.'”



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