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City of Daly City
—  City  —
Part of Daly City with San Bruno Mountain and the San Francisco neighborhood of Crocker Amazon in the background.

Nickname(s): Gateway to the Peninsula
Location in San Mateo County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°41′11″N 122°28′06″W / 37.68639°N 122.46833°W / 37.68639; -122.46833Coordinates: 37°41′11″N 122°28′06″W / 37.68639°N 122.46833°W / 37.68639; -122.46833
Country United States
State California
County San Mateo
Incorporated[1] March 18, 1911
Named for John Daly
Government [2][3]
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Michael P. Guingona
 - City council
 - State Assembly Fiona Ma (D)
Gene Mullin (D)
 - State Senate Leland Yee (D)
 - U.S. House Jackie Speier (D)
Area [4]
 - Total 7.56 sq mi (19.6 km2)
 - Land 7.56 sq mi (19.6 km2)
 - Water 0.00 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation [5] 187 ft (57 m)
Population (2000)[6][7]
 - Total 103,621
 Density 13,703.8/sq mi (5,291.1/km2)
 - Estimate (2007) 98,230
  US Census Bureau
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes[8] 94013-94017
Area codes[9][10] 415, 650
FIPS code[11] 06-17918
GNIS feature ID[5] 2410291

Daly City is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, with a 2000 population of 103,621. It is named in honor of businessman and landowner John Daly.



Archaeological evidence suggests the San Francisco Bay Area has been inhabited as early as 3000 BC.[12] People of the Ohlone language group occupied Northern California from at least the 6th century.[13] Though their territory had been claimed by Spain since the early 16th century, they would have relatively little contact with Europeans until 1769, when, as part of an effort to colonize Alta California, an exploration party led by Don Gaspar de Portola learned of the existence of San Francisco Bay.[14] Seven years later, in 1776, an expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza selected the site for the Presidio of San Francisco, which Jose Joaquin Moraga would soon establish. Later the same year, the Franciscan missionary Francisco Palóu founded the Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores).[15] As part of the founding the priests claimed the land south of the mission for sixteen miles for raising crops and for fodder for cattle and sheep.[16] In 1778, the priests and soldiers marked out a trail to connect San Francisco to the rest of California.[16] At the top of Mission Hill, the priests named the gap between San Bruno Mountain and the hills on the coast La Portezuela("The Little Door").[16] La Portezuela was later referred to as Daly's Hill, the Center of Daly City, and is now called Top of the Hill.[16]

During Spanish rule, the area between San Bruno Mountain and the Pacific remained uninhabited.[17] Upon independence from Spain, Mexican nobles were granted land parcels to establish large ranches, three of which covered areas now in Daly City and Colma.[17] Rancho Buri Buri was granted to Jose Sanchez in 1835 and covered 14,639 acres (59.24 km2) including parts of modern day Colma, Burlingame, San Bruno, South San Francisco, and Millbrae.[17][18] Rancho Laguna de la Merced was 2,219 acres (8.98 km2) acres and covered the area around a lake of the same name.[17][18] The third ranch covering parts of the Daly City-Colma area was named Rancho Canada de Guadalupe la Visitacion y Rodeo Viejo and stretched from the Visitacion Valley area in San Francisco, to the city of South San Francisco covering 5,473 acres (22.15 km2).[17][18]

Following the Mexican Cession of California at the end of the Mexican–American War the owners of Rancho Laguna de La Merced tried to claim land between San Bruno Mountain and Lake Merced. An 1853 US government survey declared that the contested area was in fact government property and could be acquired by private citizens. There was a brief land rush as settlers, mainly Irish established ranches in farms in parts of what is now the neighborhoods of Westlake, Serramonte, and the cities of Colma and Pacifica.[19] A decade later, several of families left as increase in the fog density killed grain and potato crops. The few remaining families switched to dairy and cattle farming as a more profitable enterprise.[19] In the late 1800s as San Francisco grew and San Mateo County was established, Daly City also gradually grew including homes and schools along the lines for the Southern Pacific railroad.[20] Daly City served as a location where San Franciscans would cross over county lines to gamble and fight.[21] As tensions built in approach to the American Civil War, California was divided between pro-slavery, and Free Soil advocates. Two of the main figures in the debate were US Senator David C. Broderick, a Free Soil advocate and David S. Terry who was in favor of extension of slavery into California. Quarreling and political fighting between the two eventually led to a duel in the Lake Merced area at which Terry mortally wounded Broderick, who would die three days later.[22] The site of the duel is marked with two granite shafts were the men stood, and designated is California Historical Landmark number 19.[23]

Displaced victims of the SF earthquake, in front of a temporary tent shelter.

On the morning of April 18, 1906 a major earthquake struck just off the coast of Daly City near Mussel Rock.[24] After quake and subsequent fire destroyed many San Franciscans homes, they left to temporary housing on the ranches of the area to the south, including the large one owned by John Daly.[25] Daly had come to the Bay Area in 1853 where he had worked on a dairy farm, and after several years married his bosses' daughter and acquired a 250 acres (1.0 km2) at the Top of the Hill area. Over the years Daly's business grew, as did his political clout.[26] When a flood of refugees from the quake came, Daly and other local farmers donated milk and other food items.[27] Daly later subdivided his property, from which several housing tracts emerged.[26]

As some of the refugees established homes in the area, the need for city services grew. This, combined with the fear of annexation by San Francisco and being ignored by San Mateo county, whose seat far to the south left residents feeling ignored created a demand for incorporation. The first such attempt was proposed in 1908 for incorporation as the city of Vista Grande. Vista Grande would have spanned from the Pacific to the Bay, with San Francisco as its northern border and South San Francisco and the old Rancho Buri Buri as its southern border. The proposal was rejected over the scope of the planned city was too broad for many residents.[28] The initial proposal also revealed rifts in the community among the various regions, including the area around the cemeteries, who were excluded from further plans of incorporation.[28] On January 16, 1911 an incorporation committee filed a petition with San Mateo County supervisors to incorporate the City of Daly City. The city would run from San Francisco along the San Bruno Hills until Price and School streets with San Francisco and west to the summit of the San Bruno Hills. The city would have an estimated population of 2,900.[29] On March 18, 1911 a special election was held, with incorporation narrowly succeeding by a vote of 132 to 130.[30]

It remained a relatively small community until the late 1940s, when developer Henry Doelger established Westlake, a major district of homes and businesses, including the Westlake Shopping Center.On March 22, 1957 Daly City was again the epicenter of an earthquake, this one a 5.3 magnitude quake on the San Andreas Fault which caused some structural damage in Westlake and closed State Route 1 along the Westlake Palisades.[31] In October 1984 Taiwanese American writer Chiang Nan was assassinated, allegedly by Kuomintang agents.[32] The Daly City BART station opened on September 11, 1972, providing northern San Mateo County with rail service to downtown San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area. The line was later extended south to Millbrae and the San Francisco International Airport.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.56 square miles (19.6 km²), all of it land.[4]

Daly City is bordered by the cities of San Francisco, Brisbane, Pacifica, South San Francisco, and the town of Colma. The city borders several unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. It surrounds Broadmoor, borders San Bruno Mountain State Park, the Olympic Club, and unincorporated Colma.[33] Seismic faults in and near Daly City include the San Andreas Fault, Hillside Fault and Serra Fault. Lake Merced is associated with the city.


Neighborhoods of Daly City include Westlake, St. Francis, Serramonte, Top of the Hill, Hillside, Crocker, Southern Hills, and Bayshore. Westlake is notable for its distinct architecture and for being among the earliest examples of a planned, large-tract suburb. Bayshore, the easternmost neighborhood of Daly City, was once an incorporated city, Bayshore City, until being annexed to Daly City in the mid-1960s. Several Daly City neighborhoods, such as Crocker, Southern Hills, and Bayshore, share a street grid and similar characteristics with adjacent San Francisco neighborhoods, such as Crocker-Amazon and Visitacion Valley.

Several neighborhoods associated with Daly City lie outside of its city limits. Broadmoor is an unincorporated area completely surrounded by Daly City. Colma is an incorporated town sandwiched between Daly City, South San Francisco, and San Bruno Mountain. These enclaves are in charge of their own police and fire services, but also share some services with Daly City.


As of the census of 2008, there were 101,514 people, 29,843 households, and 21,847 families residing in the city.[6] The population density was 15,703.8 people per square mile (7,292.1/km²), making it among the most densely populated cities in the country. There were 31,876 housing units at an average density of 5,140.9/sq mi (2,599.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.1% Asian (majority of them are Filipino Americans), 14.7% White, 4.56% African American, 0.44% Native American, 2.4% Pacific Islander, 11.5% from other races, and 4.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24.9% of the population.

There were 29,843 households out of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.34 and the average family size was 4.78.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $60,310, and the median income for a family was $66,365. Males had a median income of $36,227 versus $34,147 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,900. About 5.2% of families and 9.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.4% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2006 census figures, 35.4% of Daly City residents are of Filipino descent, the highest concentration of Filipino/Filipino Americans of any mid-sized city in North America. This partly explains Daly City's place in the vernacular as the 'Pinoy Capital'. Benito M. Vergara, Jr. goes into the details of this history in his ethnograpy Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City.[34]




Daly City is home to the only wholly Karaite synagogue in the United States, Bnei Yisrael.


Cow Palace

The Cow Palace arena grounds straddle the border with San Francisco and is the home for the annual Grand National Rodeo, Horse & Stock Show.[35] It has hosted diverse events such as concerts by the Beatles, the NHL San Jose Sharks hockey team, the short-lived IHL San Francisco Spiders hockey team, and two Republican National Conventions (in 1956 and 1964).

Century 20 Daly City is a modern megaplex movie theatre opened in 2002 as part of the Pacific Plaza business and retail development.


Several golf courses are located within or straddle the border with San Francisco. The Olympic Club is designated to host the USGA U.S. Open in 2012, hosting the U.S. Open four times previously. The private San Francisco Golf Club and Lake Merced Country Club have part or all of their course in Daly City.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area includes the city's Thornton Beach. The topography of this area (due to the San Andreas fault) is conducive to paragliding and hang gliding.

Giammona Pool and Jefferson Pool are two public indoor swimming pools which provide swimming lessons, aquatic recreation, and host local swimming related organizations including the Daly City Dolphins.


Daly City and neighboring Colma have emerged as shopping meccas for San Francisco residents. A combination of plentiful free parking space (compared to the constrained and expensive parking options in San Francisco) and San Mateo County's historically slightly lower state sales tax rate[36] have contributed to this trend. Many big box retailers that are unable to operate in San Francisco due to real estate prices, space restrictions, or political / community opposition have opened stores in the Serramonte and Westlake neighborhoods. Daly City's shopping centers are Serramonte Center and Westlake Shopping Center.


In the state legislature Daly City is located in the 8th Senate District, represented by Democrat Leland Yee, and in the 12th and 19th Assembly Districts, represented by Democrats Fiona Ma and Gene Mullin respectively. Federally, Daly City is located in California's 12th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +22[37] and is represented by Democrat Jackie Speier.


M. H. Tobias Elementary School

There are several public school districts in Daly City. The biggest are the Jefferson Elementary School District and Jefferson Union High School District, both of which are headquartered in the city. In addition, there is the Bayshore Elementary School District (2 schools), Brisbane School District (1 school in Daly City), and South San Francisco Unified School District (2 schools in Daly City). Daly City has two high schools: Westmoor High School and Jefferson High School, plus a continuation school. Daly City is also home to two Catholic parochial schools: Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Top-Of-The-Hill and Our Lady of Mercy in Westlake.



Daly City’s highway infrastructure includes State Routes 1, 35 and 82, and Interstate 280. Interstate 280, which bisects Daly City, is a primary transportation corridor linking San Francisco with San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

The U.S. Census Bureau has identified Daly City as among the cities with the highest transit ridership. Public transportation is provided by SamTrans, BART (at the Daly City Station and the Colma Station, which abuts the Daly City limits), and some San Francisco Muni lines. Daly City is approximately eight miles south-west of downtown San Francisco and the San Francisco International Airport is nine miles south-east of Daly City; both are easily accessible by freeway or BART. In the 1980s planning was conducted for the BART extension south from San Francisco, the first step being the Daly City Tailtrack Project, upon which turnaround project the San Francisco Airport Extension would later build.[38]

Sister cities

The City of Daly City has one sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Notable people



  1. ^ Gillespie, p.32
  2. ^ "DC Online - Elected Officials". City of Daly City. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  3. ^ "DC Online - State & Federal Representatives". City of Daly City. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  4. ^ a b "California by Place - GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000:". American Fact Finder. US Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  5. ^ a b "City of Daly City". Geographic Names Information System. US Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  6. ^ a b "Daly City city, California - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder". 2000 Census. US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  7. ^ "Daly City city, California - Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2005-2007". 2007 Census. US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  8. ^ "USPS - ZIP Code Lookup - Search By City". United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  9. ^ Bellcore (1996-11-22). "North American Numbering Plan Letter" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  10. ^ "NANP Administration System". North American Numbering Plan Administration.;nanpaid=z20cKF7WNycJChhrcl2QTf5PqcpThWlMThGYCn15JrtFqXzgHQcw!1335039869?method=displayData. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  11. ^ "Daly City (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau:". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  12. ^ Stewart, Suzanne B. (November 2003). "Archaeological Research Issues For The Point Reyes National Seashore - Golden Gate National Recreation Area" (PDF). Sonoma State University - Anthropological Studies Center. p. 100. Retrieved June 12, 2008. 
  13. ^ Levy, Richard (1978). "Costanoan". in William C. Sturtevant and Robert F. Heizer. Handbook of North American Indians. 8. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. pp. 486. ISBN 0-16-004578-9. 
  14. ^ "Visitors: San Francisco Historical Information". City and County of San Francisco. Archived from the original on Mar 31, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2008. 
  15. ^ Edward F. O'Day (October 1926). "The Founding of San Francisco". San Francisco Water. Spring Valley Water Authority. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  16. ^ a b c d (Chandler 1973, p. 1)
  17. ^ a b c d e (Chandler 1973, p. 2)
  18. ^ a b c "Mexican Land Grants / Ranchos San Mateo County". Earth Sciences & Map Library University of California, Berkeley. Regents of the University of California. 2003-06-16. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  19. ^ a b (Chandler 1973, p. 5)
  20. ^ (Gillespie 2003, p. 11)
  21. ^ (Chandler 1973, p. 17)
  22. ^ (Chandler 1973, p. 18)
  23. ^ "San Mateo". Office of Historic State Preservation California State Parks. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-05. "NO. 19 BRODERICK-TERRY DUELING PLACE ... The site is marked with a monument and granite shafts where the two men stood." 
  24. ^ Kim, Ryan (2004-04-11). "DALY CITY / Officials unmoved by quake notoriety / Plan to note change of 1906 epicenter lacking support:". The San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Communications Inc.): pp. B1. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  25. ^ (Chandler 1973, p. 27)
  26. ^ a b (Gillespie 2003, p. 8)
  27. ^ (Chandler 1973, pp. 27-28)
  28. ^ a b (Chandler 1973, p. 79)
  29. ^ (Chandler 1973, p. 83)
  30. ^ (Chandler 1983, p. 84)
  31. ^ "Historic Earthquakes - 1957 March 22 19:44:21 UTC Magnitude 5.3". Earthquake Hazards Program. US Geological Survey. 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  32. ^ Bishop, Katherine (1988-03-09). "California Jury Is Told Defendant Admitted Slaying Journalist". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City.
  35. ^
  36. ^ [2]
  37. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  38. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Kay Wilson, M. Papineau et al., Environmental Impact Statement for the BART Daly City Tailtrack Project, Earth Metrics, published by the U.S Urban Mass Transit Administration and the Bay Area Rapid Transit District 1984
  39. ^ [3]

External links


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