Laguna Heights Apartments
- Oakland, Claude
- Sasaki, Walker
- Western Addition, San Francisco
- Building Type:
- 66,85 Cleary Court, San Francisco, California
- Current Name:
- Laguna Heights Apartments
- Current Use:
- Cooperative Apartment Complex
- Current Condition:
- Very Good
Laguna Heights was designed by Claude Oakland and conceived by Joseph Eichler, who is known regionally as a developer of high quality Modern residences throughout the Bay Area. It was the first of all the Western Addition Redevelopment properties to be developed, and intended by Eichler to provide spacious city apartments for middle class families who might otherwise choose suburban houses. Eichler and his architects developed a comprehensive design strategy that included four high-rise towers and a group of low-rise cooperative housing structures. The design was thorough enough to include its own street pattern. The low-rise apartment blocks are ingeniously arranged around internal courtyards, maximizing window exposure for each unit. The vertical form of the brick chimneys provides compositional counterpoint to the cantilevered balconies and ribbon windows. Of the four high-rises originally planned, only 66 Cleary Court was constructed. The land intended for the other buildings was later sold to the Archdiocese of San Francisco and became the site for Pietro Belluschi’s St. Mary’s Cathedral.
The apartment blocks are separated by a system of pedestrian streets with fountains at the crossing, creating a semi-enclosed public space that is beautifully planted.
One of the best examples of Modern apartment design in San Francisco, Laguna Heights is successful for its architectural composition, landscape design, and as a public urban space. As a testament to the project’s hospitable character, several of the original owners still live there.