A Cushman tour

Charles W. Cushman was an amateur color photographer who took color slides around the United States and Europe from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. Although his travels were worldwide, he kept coming back to San Francisco during his life to take photos. Class is where you find it. Many of his San Francisco pictures were taken at ordinary places in the City that weren’t necessarily scenic locations, although he took many pictures at more popular spots, as well. The Indiana University has a collection of his slides on the internet. The pictures in this post are from that collection. Although I’ve posted a number of his pictures on my blog in the past, I’m not able to find a lot of information about Charles Cushman. He had a stormy marriage to his wife Jean who appears in some of his pictures, and at one time, she shot herself and him in a suicide attempt. They both survived. Cushman died in 1972. Let’s travel around San Francisco a little to some of the places Cushman captured with his camera long ago.

CushmanMarketuseWe’ll start out on Market Street near 3rd Street in 1957 looking toward the Ferry Building. The two dominant buildings on the right, the Southern Pacific Building and the PG&E Building, can be seen in my picture peeking out behind the newer Market Street buildings. Like most of Cushman’s photos, there’s a lot to look at, like the long gone Mobile Gas Structure and an old Greyhound Station.

CushmanPUnionuseWe’ll head up Nob Hill to the Pacific Union Club on California at Mason Streets in 1952. Sometimes, I think the old cars are the best thing about Cushman’s pictures.

CushmanccaruseWe move down Nob Hill to a cable car festival passing Sutter at Powell Street in 1955. It’s not likely that cable cars will ever be decorated like this again.

CushmanPowellPostuseOne block south from the previous picture and we’re on the corner of Powell and Post Streets during the Republican Presidential Convention that was held being at the Cow Palace in 1964. We’re probably a long way from another Republican Convention hosted in San Francisco, as well.

CushmanJonesuseNow we’ll go to a couple of those odd spots Cushman selected. This is on Jones Street looking toward Pacific Avenue and the valley between Nob and Russian Hills in 1952. Notice that the ‘New Russian Hills Market’, which hasn’t been “new” in a long time, was there on the northeast corner of Pacific and Jones in 1952, and still is.

CushmanTayloruseWe’ve moved over on block east from the previous picture to Taylor Street looking toward Pacific Avenue in 1952. The 76 Gas Station is gone and a tree hides where Taylor makes its climb up Russian Hill.

CushmanWhittieruseWe’re meandering westward now. This is on the northeast corner of Laguna and Jackson Streets in 1952. I did a post on December 5th 2015 that covered the Whittier Mansion seen here. It was the German consulate before the Pearl Harbor attack. After war was declared between USA and Germany, government agents broke in and discovered that they had been spying on shipping movements through a telescope. Also, in 1958, Eli Wallach, “Dancer” killed his second victim in this mansion in the movie ‘Lineup’. PS, it’s also haunted! Well, of course; it would have to be! A building on the southeast corner of the intersection that wasn’t here when Cushman took his picture caused me to move out a little into Laguna Street to get the whole mansion in my picture.

CushmanPHeightsuseCushman traveled up to Pacific Heights for this shot looking east along Broadway from Baker Street in 1952. That Colonial looking mansion on the left was where Lana Turner supposedly lived in the 1960 thriller film ‘Portrait in Black’.

CushmansutrouseThat’s all that’s left of the little cluster of buildings below Sutro Heights along the Great Highway between Balboa Street and the Cliff House. Charles Cushman took this picture in 1952. If you can zoom in on the vintage photo, you’ll see that the last building on the left housed the arcade attractions from the Musée Mécanique. When the buildings were demolished in the 1960’s, the attractions, many of them originally from Sutro’s Bathhouse, were displayed in a small room at the back of the Cliff House. When the restaurant was renovated in the new millennium, the items were moved to Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf, their current home.

CushmanOBeachuseOcean Beach in 1961: He’s saying, “Don’t be shy, honey. You look great in your scandalously shocking 1961 bathing suit!” The vintage picture was taken looking toward Balboa Street at the Great Highway near where Cabrillo Street ends. You can just see what looks like the top of a Playland sign peeking out over the seawall on the right. On the far left in the 1961 picture is ‘Skateland’ in the building that was originally called ‘Topsy’s Roost’. The sitting steps of the seawall were removed by the 1980’s.

Charlie Chaplin Days – 2018

This weekend is the annual Charlie Chaplin Festival in Niles. They get better and better at this each year. I stopped by Saturday to watch some of the movies they were showing, take the walking tour, and do a little exploring of my own.

ChaplinopenereuseThe walking tour group met at 11:00 AM in front of the Niles Museum. This was the same building that Chaplin premiered the five movies he made in Niles in 1915.

Chaplinandmeuse There were plenty of Charlie Chaplins around to take selfies with. Charlie is the one on the right.

ChaplincorneruseThe group headed over to the corner of G Street and Niles Blvd. where the old Essanay Studio used to be. Chaplin filmed a confrontation scene with a cop on this same corner one hundred and three years ago in his silent short ‘The Champion’.

ChaplinstudioThis is an aerial view of the old studio. The houses behind the studio were bungalows built for the stars filming there.

ChaplinbungalosuseThe group stopped on the corner of G and Second Streets where the vintage picture was taken as the tour guide explained the history of the bungalows. Although remodeled, they’re all still there. The two on the far right in both pictures were taken over by “Bronco Billy” Anderson for his office when he was making western in Niles.

BroncoBillyuseLong before there was John Wayne or Gary Cooper, there was Gilbert “Bronco Billy” Anderson, the movie’s first cowboy star. Anderson made his westerns in Niles from 1911 until 1915.

BroncowesttownuseA western street was constructed behind the studio to film outdoor scenes like this one in the top photo from ‘Bronco Billy’s Narrow Escape’ from 1912. The bottom picture was where the western street was located.

BroncobarnuseBronco Billy’s barn survived until 1980 when it was demolished. A lot of gunfights in his films took place here. The barn was across the alley from the other old barn still there on the left, behind the fence where the violets are.

ChaplincourthouseBesides movie locations the tour visited other sites like the old Niles Court House and the convenient Niles Jail next door to it at I and Second Streets.

ChaplinCanyonuseThe iconic scene where the broken hearted little tramp wanders off into Niles Canyon at the end of ‘The Tramp’ from 1915 was filmed 1.8 miles into Niles Canyon from Mission Blvd. or so I was told by the historians on hand. It’s too dangerous to stop on the road, so I took my picture from the car. It looks like the same spot to me.

A summer day at the Wharf

Mark Twain should have said “The most crowded Saturday I ever  spent was on a summer’s day at Fisherman’s Wharf.” It definitely was crowded yesterday, but not too crowded to have fun or to update some more terrific pictures from http://opensfhistory.org/, many of them from long ago summers.

WharfGrottooneuseThe #9 Fishermen’s Grotto Restaurant certainly looks different than it did here in 1935. The cars looked better back then but I think the building is an improvement today.

WharflagoonSeastuseThe Fisherman’s Wharf boat lagoon in the 1940’s, looking toward Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower: Every time I see pictures of that enormous gas tank that used to be near Fisherman’s Wharf, it reminds me of what a different era we live in now.

WharfAlioto'suseWhat a great Picture of Alioto’s Restaurant, circa 1949!

WharfLagoonnwestuseLooking toward Pier 45 where the SS Jeremiah O’Brien Liberty Ship and the USS Pampanito submarine, both World War Two survivors, are docked, circa 1950: A little fishermen’s chapel has replaced the older building in the center of the vintage picture.

WharfRHilluseLooking toward Russian from the boat lagoon circa 1950: All of the buildings on Russian Hill in the vintage photo can be seen in the modern one:

WharfStandarduseLooking across a parking lot toward Russian Hill in 1952: The Standard Station on the northeast corner of Jefferson and Taylor Street, designed like a ship, was there from the 1930’s to the 1970’s, although, by the 70’s it had been remodeled. Two buildings built since 1952 make an exact line up impossible now, but the gas station was just in front of where the ships wheel Fisherman’s Wharf sign is now. The Sabella/La Torre Restaurant is on the right in both photos.

WharfFranciscanuseLooking northeast from Taylor Street in August of 1959 toward the Franciscan Restaurant: Those are the masts of the sailing ship Balclutha that was docked at Pier 43 back then.

WharfGrottouseAnother view of Fishermen’s Grotto Restaurant, (Yes, they spell if different from Fisherman’s Wharf) in July of 1960.

WharfTaylorjefferson2useTaylor and Jefferson Streets looking north in August of 1964:

WharfTaylorJefferson1useLooking toward Russian Hill on the opposite corner of Jefferson and Taylor in 1965: I was able to find a table for lunch at the Jack in the Box restaurant, about where the Alpine looking building was in the vintage shot. Sometimes a Breakfast Jack and a couple of tacos are all you need to get through the day.

WharfJuly1useLooking back along Taylor Street toward the eastern wing of Pier 45, circa 1965:


‘Down Periscope’ (For Dave of the Jeremiah O’Brien crew)

MCDDOPE FE009 ‘Down Periscope’, starring Kelsey Grammer and Lauren Holly, was filmed in 1995 and released in 1996. It’s a silly thing about a World War Two era submarine involved in war games with the modern 1990’s United States Navy, but it’s fun to watch, and it was filmed in part at Fort Mason and on board the submarine the USS Pampanito, now at Fisherman’s Wharf.

PampanitobriefinguseThe crew, along with Lauren Holly, line up alongside the Pampanito for briefing: It’s possible that the crew could have been distracted during orders.

PampgunuseThat’s the Pampanito’s aft deck gun behind her. (IMDb)

PampPirateuse“Fifteen Men and Lauren Holly’s chest; Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum.”

That’s the top of the conning tower, but my view’s from the opposite side (musings.elisair.com)

PampsleekuseThere she is; sleek and fast, built to kill, a real beauty forward and aft.  Hey, I’m talking about the Pampanito! (musings.elisair.com)

PampFMasontwouseThe submarine was towed over to Fort Mason for the closing scenes. (musings.elisair.com)

PampanitoMason2useRegulation high heels and a salute: (musings.elisair.com)

PompFMasonfouruseI walked around Fort Mason early in the morning on July 4th. It felt both spooky and sad. Being one of the largest embarkation centers for the Pacific Theater during World War Two, the amount of activity that took place here back then is hard to imagine, and many, many, people left from here and never returned. I was singing ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ to myself as I thought about that generation.

PompFMason1985useThe top photo is a slide I took above Fort Mason around 1985. I remember that they had a World War Two exhibit in one of the pier buildings and it was filled with World War Two veterans talking about their experiences. Sadly, it’s not likely many of them are still around now.

PampopenuseHere’s the USS Pampanito all decked out for the 4th of July. The film crew, in no way, showed any disrespect for the landmark, and took good care of her during filming. Pampanito took six war patrols during World War Two, sank at least as many ships, and was heavily damaged from depth charges on one of the patrols. Sadly, in one of the attacks Pampanito was involved in, the ship sunk was carrying Allied prisoners, unknown to the crew. Over 1100 POW’s died in the sinking. The torpedo was not fired from the Pampanito, however, but from a sister sub involved in the attack, the USS Sealion. Seventy three of the survivors were rescued from the sea by the Pampanito. Let’s take a tour, aft to forward, through the submarine.

PampaftuseYou cross this passage and enter the sub through this hatch on the aft side.That’s the Jeremiah O’Brien Liberty Ship behind her.

PompafttorpuseThe aft torpedo room:

PampaftengineuseThe aft engine room:

PampfengineuseThe forward engine room:

PampofficeuseThat looks like Charles de Gaulle on the cover of that Time Magazine.

PampgalleyuseThe Crew’s Mess:

PampcroomuseThis room with the eerie red light is the control room where all attacks were planned.

PampperiscopeuseLooking up through the conning tower, that’s the periscope.

Pampheaduse I would have been the first person heading here after a depth charge attack!

Pompftorpedo1use The forward torpedo room:

Pompftopedouse2Those are the forward torpedo tubes. The left one has a torpedo in it.

Pampforeuse You break to the surface here in the fore of the ship, and you don’t have to worry about enemy destroyers or airplanes watching for you like the incredibly brave and heroic men of the “Silent Service” did.














Down among the people

Celebrations, protests, problems and celebrity sightings around San Francisco; just like nowadays: Oh well, one thing is certain; on Wednesday, for one day, the left-right in the City will put aside their differences and celebrate just being free. Right?

AmongGGTheateruseIt would be just as dangerous climbing up on a streetcar with its power lines today as it was in August of 1945 for these goofballs celebrating the end of World War Two on Market Street in front of the Golden Gate Theater.

Among5thandMarketuseLook at all those great and long gone shops on Market Street near 5th Street in the 1950’s; Grayson’s, Zukor’s, the Diamond Palace, Mannings and Hales! (Pinterest)

Among1stStuseDown among the soggy people! Most of the buildings on this block of on 1st Street between Market and Mission streets, seen here during a flood in 1958, are gone now, but the building with the Examiner advertisement on it today is still there. That’s part of the old Trans Bay Bus Terminal in the background of the vintage picture. (SF Gate)

AmongCToweruseI imagine that brat who doesn’t want her picture taken up at the Coit Tower parking lot in the 1960’s had brats of her own who have grown up by now, and have had brats of their own.

AmongQuinnuseThat’s Anthony Quinn on Stockton Street near Geary Blvd. looking down toward O’Farrell in 1960. Obviously, this picture was taken during the filming of the movie ‘Portrait in Black’ where Anthony Quinn co-stars with Lana Turner. A key scene in the film was shot at the I. Magnin department store here, now part of Macy’s. Quinn would have been standing somewhere around here. (Hollywoodpaper2)

AmongPowelluseWhat a terrific picture from the Shorpy Archive of the western side of Union Square on Powell Street in the 1950’s! The Union Square Parking Garage was established as a go-to air raid shelter during the Cold War.

AmongCCaruseClimbing aboard a cable car on Powell Street in front of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in the 1950’s and in 2018:

AmongUnionGrantuseThe southeast corner of Grant Avenue and Union Street in North Beach during the 1960’s: This is where North Beach Pizza, that used to be on the corner across Grant Avenue, is today. I closed down a lot of Saturday nights in North Beach in the 80’s and 90’s gobbling up a North Beach Pizza. (Gene Wright)

AmongprotestuseA protest march on Market Street in 1966: Boy, I’d like to have seen ‘Weird, Wicked World’. Actually, my picture cuts a little farther across Market Street on the right than the vintage picture; there was some civic scenery on the far right that I didn’t want to cut out. (Shorpy Archive)

More on Dong Kingman (For Jessica)

In February of this year, I posted some then and nows that I did on a collection of paintings by Dong Kingman, the highly acclaimed and honored Chinese American water color artist and designer who based a lot of his work in San Francisco. These are some more of his paintings from a book he co-authored with Herb Caen entitled, ‘San Francisco – City on Golden Hills’, published in 1967. Some of the paintings were on two pages which accounts for the line down the middle on a few. Kingman died in May of 2000.

DongNobHilluseCalifornia Street on the top of Nob Hill next to Huntington Park: On the right is Grace Cathedral. Work started on the church in 1928, but was not completed until 1964. When Kingman did his painting here the south tower of the church had not been completed yet.

DongWashingtonuseOne of Kingman’s oldest paintings, on Washington Street looking north along Grant Avenue in Chinatown, painted in 1938:

DongTHilluseI think I like this painting best, the view from Telegraph Hill at Union Street and Calhoun Terrace:

DongGreenwichuseThe Greenwich Steps on Telegraph Hill: Not as well know as the Filbert Steps, they’re barely visible from the street today.

DongBBridgeuseThis is a strange place for an artist to paint a picture! It’s below where the Bay Bridge anchors into San Francisco near Rincon Hill. When we were teenagers, the old-timers in the area would tell us that if you unscrewed those bolts, the whole thing would come down! They thought we believed them. It’s not true, right?

DongTPeakuseIt’s a whole different view today than when Dong Kingman painted his view from Twin Peaks.

‘Puzzle for Puppets’

PuzzleopenuseAnd also a puzzle for me, at times, trying to follow the footsteps of the characters in this 1944 murder mystery that takes place in San Francisco during World War Two. Patrick Quentin, the author of the book, was actually two writers, Richard Wilson Webb, and Hugh Callingham Wheeler. The locations are well identified and easy to find, although the writers took a “literary license” in describing the lay of the land and the names of some of the San Francisco structures. Two of the locations, however, are described very accurately, if somewhat exaggerated, the Stockton Tunnel and the southwest area near San Francisco Zoo.

PuzzleMarketWW2useThe mystery opens up on Market Street during the war. The main protagonists in the book, navy officer Peter Duluth and his wife Iris, are looking for a place to stay in crowded wartime San Francisco. The above photo, taken during the war about where the book opens on Market Street near 4th and Stockton Streets, fits the opening paragraph well. As I have in the past with their permission, I’ve used vintage pictures from the fantastic website of http://opensfhistory.org/ of the locations I’m posting about, some of them around the period that the novel was written.

“Sailors, thousands of them, crawled up and down Market Street like a plague of blue locusts. Doubtless they brought color and racy vigor and all the other things sailors are supposed to bring to a scene, but I hadn’t come to San Francisco to see sailors.” / “The sailors, jostling against Iris and me as we beat our way forward, were just another of the things like overcrowded hotels and non-existent taxis that were conspiring against our week-end.”

PuzzleStocktonMarketuse“We had reached the mouth of Stockton Street. I took her arm and guided her out of Market Streets Sailors into an almost equally dense mass of harassed shoppers.” / “As we started to climb Stockton, I sneezed. I had felt a cold coming on in the train.”

Here is where they turned into Stockton Street in a picture taken in 1947 and now. Although it does incline a little bit, it isn’t much of a hill to “climb”.

PuzzleStocktonuse“Half way up the block we passed a sign proclaiming a Turkish bath. With wild hopefulness, my wife said: “You don’t supposed Turkish baths rent rooms to mixed couples – I mean, if you explain you’re married?”

The top picture was taken in 1945, just around the time Peter and Iris passed by here. This is the first block of Stockton Street off of Market. The construction work is due to the Muni Metro extension to Chinatown being completed. Peter mentions the Stockton hill (!) again when he goes back to the Turkish bath later in the book to try to sweat out his cold, probably a good way to get pneumonia! As he leaves the hotel at Union Square that they eventually find, he tells the reader,

“I strode down the hill to the Turkish bath.”

On his way to the bathhouse where he will eventually have his navy uniform stolen to incriminate him in an upcoming murder, he gives a colorful description of San Francisco.

“There’s an elusive something about San Francisco that no other city has. Maybe it’s the flower stalls blossoming on every street corner. Maybe it’s the crazy gradients that make roller-coasters out of the streetcars. Or maybe it’s just the air. But people in San Francisco doing the most humdrum things look like people at the peak of some enthralling adventure.”

PuzzleStFrancisusePuzzlePlazause“The St. Francis Hotel and the St. Anton Hotel stared at each other across the formal flower beds of the park like two rival and opulently upholstered dowagers at a garden party. We tried the St. Francis first. It would have none of Iris’s charm or my blunt instrument. Traipsing across the little park, we pushed through the swing doors and stepped into the haughty vestibule of the St. Anton.”

The only hotel that could have possibly been the St. Anton Hotel would have been the old Hotel Plaza built around 1915 that stood on the northwest corner of Post and Stockton streets. The hotel was still there during World War Two but I don’t know if it had been renamed the St. Anton Hotel; I can’t find any hotel under that name researching San Francisco history. I’ll have to do some more checking. The above two comparisons are of the St. Francis Hotel looking across Union Square to where the Hotel Plaza was, and the Hotel Plaza looking back (sort of) at the St. Francis. Demolished now, the Plaza Hotel was behind the trees in the background on the north side of Union Square.

PuzzleSTunneluse Shortly after checking in to the St. Anton, Iris and Peter receive a mysterious warning that Iris’s cousin, Eulalia Crawford who lives on California Street on Nob Hill, may be in danger. They leave the hotel to take a cable car to warn her and walk through the Stockton Tunnel. I’ve crossed through this tunnel heading in the direction they headed many times and I find the description entering and exiting the tunnel, (leaving out some of the slightly racists comments acceptable at the time) accurate; east does meet west if you’re heading in their direction, which was actually south to north.

“Since it was impossible to get a taxi, Iris and I decided to walk up Stockton and take the cable car over on California.” / “We passed through a long dark tunnel and as we emerged at the other end, we were in another city where unreadable hieroglyphics took the place of names on the stores and the faces around us had lost their Anglo-Saxon features”

The vintage photo is the south entrance to the Stockton Tunnel in 1950, six years after Iris and Peter crossed through here.

PuzzletunneltopuseIris and Peter came out of the Stockton Tunnel into Chinatown here at this end, seen here in the vintage photo from above the tunnel, circa 1950. Peter noticed too that It doesn’t quite look as exotic as the impression that Iris gets, but you do get a feeling of leaving one country behind for another when you walk through the tunnel in this direction.

“Iris, watching the Chinese men and women moving past, made a little crooning sound. Already, I could tell, she was in a world more exotic than this real Chinatown.”

PuzzleCCaruseIn the next paragraph, they’re catching a cable car at Stockton and California Streets heading up Nob Hill to Eulalia’s apartment. They would have to have climbed up the steps at the north end of the Stockton Tunnel and doubled back a block to do that. Here the writers get really confusing! Iris and Peter catch a downhill heading cable car to go up Nob Hill, and the cable car goes up and down hills as it climbs Nob Hill!

“We waited on the precipitous corner of California Street. Soon a cable car bucketed down the hill and ground to a last-minute, breathless stop. We boarded it. Iris chose places in the open section under the shadow of the giant brake lever. We sat there on the absurd benches which faced out towards the sidewalk. That cross-town ride, lurching up hills and zooming down hills added a final touch of insanity to our mission. Iris, clinging to an iron pole like a pole on a merry-go-round, kept her own counsel. Once, as we wheezed up to the great bulk of the Mark Hopkins Hotel, she murmured, “The white rose and the red rose mean blood.”

That sounds like a prophecy to me! When they get to Eulalia’s, they find her brutally murdered with clues pointing to Peter as the killer. They decide not to notify the police, and try to find the killer themselves. How original! They take a cable car back to where they originally caught it. Another reason that I think Iris and Peter were staying where the old Hotel Plaza was Peter’s narration here.

“At last the cable car dumped as at Stockton. We could have waited for another car to take us the four blocks to the hotel, but we decided to walk.”

Four blocks south, California to Pine, Pine to Bush, Bush to Sutter, Sutter to Post would have put them exactly where the Hotel Plaza used to be. Also, if they would have waited for another cable car to take them those four blocks they would have waited until World War Three because no cable car line could have traveled that way. The vintage photo above is California Street at Stockton looking east in 1948.

PuzzleSloatuseA tip as to where he may find a clue concerning the murderer’s identity leads Peter on a late night visit to the San Francisco Zoo area and Wawona Street. Peter accepts a ride from an acquaintance that he doesn’t trust in preference of taking a streetcar. However, playing it safe, he has the man drop him off at Sunset Blvd. and Sloat and walks a number of blocks in the dark past the zoo. Peter gives an eerie description of walking through this area at night back then.

“I was scared of the trolley. After midnight trolleys are infrequent. They are always maddeningly slow, and Wawona Avenue (Peter refers to the steet as Wawona Avenue instead of Street in the book) huddled close to the Pacific on the fringes of the Fleishhacker Zoo, was maddeningly remote.” / “I headed down Sloat towards the sea. I had never been in this district by night. It was desolate beyond word. A few houses straggled on my right. On my left, the bleak edge of the Lake Merced Park stretched away into the darkness. As I hurried on the street curved into the park itself and there was nothing but the darkness and the gaunt skeletons of trees. From the Great Zoo ahead of me, the lonely yowling of wild beasts rose every now and then, intensifying the silence. I quickened my pace until I was out of the park again and turned right into Wawona Avenue itself.”

The David Rumsey Map Collection aerial photograph composition of San Francisco in 1938 shows that there were, indeed, very few houses along Sloat Blvd. from Sunset Blvd to the ocean around this time. The vintage photograph above, circa 1940, shows Sloat Blvd dropping down from Sunset Blvd. and approaching the Pacific Ocean past the zoo on the right. This was the route Peter made his lonely walk before turning toward Wawona Street, probably at 45th Avenue.

PuzzleWawona1usePuzzleWawona2usePeter goes to house on the corner of Wawona and 45th Avenue where a second murder occurs. This murder is even more horrible for Peter because he sees another woman being murdered as it unfolds and he tries desperately to prevent it. Peter narrates that the house was on the corner of Wowana Avenue but doesn’t identify the cross street. The Rumsey photograph map shows that Wawona Avenue only cut three blocks from the Great Highway past 47th to 45th Avenue around this time. After witnessing the murder, Peter states that he walked several blocks toward the ocean to the trolley terminal for the Zoo which was at, and still is, 47th and Wawona, that’s why I’m putting the murder at 45th and Wawona.

“I walked the few desolate blocks to the zoo terminal of the trolley line.” / “An empty car was waiting at the end of the tracks, less than a hundred yards from the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean. I was the sole passenger at first, and by the time the car bolted forward I had only two sleepy sailors as traveling companions. At least my exit from Wawona Avenue had been inconspicuous.”

The top two then and nows are at the 47th and Wawona streetcar terminal. The black and white photo from 1949 shows that it was the L line, as it still is today, that ran all the way out here. The color picture from 1970 of an L Line streetcar turning onto Wawona Avenue from 47th shows that the terminal wasn’t quite “less than a hundred yards from the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean” which is behind where the hill in the background is.

PuzzleCAuditoriumuseThe denouement of the book takes place at a circus being held at a building called the Lawrence Stadium. The only building that this could possibly have been is the Civic Auditorium, now the Billy Graham Civic Auditorium, in the Civic Center. Iris and Peter have learned from clues and tips that the murderer might have something to do with the circus being performed there.

“The Lawrence Stadium was somewhere along Market Street. Iris and I walked down Fillmore.” / “We Reached Market. It was too early for the tidal wave of sailors, but the street was crowded enough.” / “Iris said: “We’d better take a trolley. Oh, there’s one now.” / “The Lawrence Stadium reared up on the other side of the street. It was one of those big random buildings that get put up in cities and then have to be used for something”

Well, that could describe the Civic Auditorium. Circuses were held inside the auditorium, and I learned from SFGate that on one occasion in 1972 two lions got out of their cages and roamed around the auditorium for around three hours before being captured!  The top photo is a 1919 parade by the Hospital Corps passing the Civic Auditorium along Polk Street. The current picture is of preparations being put in place along Polk Street for the 2018 Pride Parade. Well, I’ll leave the rest of the story to anyone interested in reading the book. If you enjoy mysteries set in San Francisco or just mysteries at all, it’s not a bad read. Peter and Iris Duluth are not unlike Nick and Nora Charles only a little naughtier, and it was fun following them around San Francisco.