The earliest post-fire flats covered their entire lots until new regulations in 1907 required a small yard at the rear. The problem of this extreme lot coverage produced its own solution: the residents of North Beach were “not . . . to be deprived of yard space by the fact that the new structures covered their entire lots. So, with hardly an exception, their building plans embraced the erection of stairs to the level roofs, where, with floors and railings, hydrants and clothes poles, homemade benches and hammocks, they converted the house tops into sunny, breezy, spacious yards for community use of the crowded tenants below.” From the roofs they had views; they kept flowers and chickens; they dried laundry; children and pets played; people slept, sewed, read, and talked. (Adams, C.G. 1911: 330) Adams, C.G. 1911. “On the Roofs of the Latin Quarter.” Overland Monthly, vol. 57:3 (March 1911), p. 330.



More stories about this location