A Westwood Park home with a union past

Born in San Francisco in 1915, John Francis “Jack” Henning was the child of a dedicated union family. His grandmother was a Teamster, his father a plumber and member of the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists. Over the course of almost 94 years of life, Jack Henning took his union roots far enough to become “one of organized labor’s most greatest leaders,” according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown described Henning as “having the ear of the presidents.”

For a prominent man who counted Cesar Chavez among his friends, Henning lived his life grounded in family and place. When it came time to choose a home, Henning went not to Pacific Heights or Sea Cliff; instead, he bought a four-bedroom colonial home in Westwood Park, a streetcar suburb neighborhood located west of Twin Peaks.

Henning was the second owner of the home, which was built in 1920. Once he got in, he stayed. He and his wife, Betty, raised seven children there, born between 1941 and 1959. When Henning passed, his children (Betty Henning died in 1994) decided to sell the family home. The 2,520 square-foot home, which sits on an almost unheard-of 7,405 square-foot city lot, is listed for $995,000 by Bonnie Spindler of Zephyr Real Estate.

With its wide porch, large yard and sloping lawn, the Westwood home fit Henning more than a Pacific Heights mansion ever would have. Though he served as Undersecretary of Labor under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson (1962-67) and was named ambassador to New Zealand by Johnson in 1967, Henning never stopped being a blue-collar Catholic kid. His entire life was built around his commitment to workers, from his first job with the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists to his impassioned push to restore the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1988.

Soon a new family will occupy 185 Westwood Drive. Westwood Park will have to adjust to the absence of the Hennings, a neighborhood fixture since before World War II.

 

HOT PROPERTY

185 Westwood Drive

Where: San Francisco

Asking price: $995,000

Property tax: $11,940*

The property: Four-bedroom Westwood Park colonial home on three city lots

Notable: Owned by former Undersecretary of Labor and Ambassador to New Zealand John F. Henning.

Agent: Bonnie Spindler, Zephyr Real Estate, (415) 474-4445

*Estimate

businessBusiness & Real Estate

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

A former inmate and a sheriff’s deputy are among the first four members chosen to serve on the newly created Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Years after fight club scandal, Sheriff’s oversight board takes shape

‘We want to promote law enforcement best practices’

More than a thousand people gathered in front of the California Capitol building to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order and demand that the state re-open on May 1, 2020. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Newsom blames ‘right-wing pundits’ for COVID surge

By Emily Hoeven CalMatters Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday placed the blame… Continue reading

Strong California revenues will allow the state to commit to offering no-cost food to every student. (Amanda Mills/Pixnio)
How California plans to offer free daily meals to 6 million public school students

By Ali Tadayon EdSource With one in every six children facing hunger… Continue reading

Most Read