Spying around town

Whittierbloguse The Whittier Mansion at Laguna and Jackson in Pacific Heights rumored to be haunted, naturally: This place has at least two interesting historic pasts. It was sold to Hitler’s Third Reich in 1941, and was the German Consulate when Pearl Harbor was attacked. When government agents broke in after the attack, they found evidence of burnt documents, a short wave radio, and a telescope for watching shipping movements in the Bay. In 1958, “Dancer” (Eli Wallach) commits his second murder in the film ‘The Lineup’ in this house by shooting a butler in an attempt to recover smuggled heroin. One of my all-time favorite San Francisco movies!

720Columbususe Where’s Elliot Ness? This isn’t Chicago, but it was the scene of the gangland “whacking” of Luigi Malvese at 720 Columbus Ave. on May 18th 1932 during Prohibition. The bootlegger was gunned down in front of the barber shop, which is the building with the curved entrance on the right.

Mike'spooluse Broadway, near Columbus: Mike endorses the Johnson and Humphrey ticket!

kearnykiduse I wonder what became of this little guy at Vallejo and Kearny, whoever he was. By now, he’d be well into senior citizenship, if he’s still around at all!

Emporiumuse A street car in front of the old Emporium Building in 1968 and today: The N Judah line doesn’t run on the top of Market anymore, but is part of the Muni Metro System under Market Street now, and doesn’t come up to breath until it’s well out of the downtown area.

turntableuse The cable car turntable at Powell and Market in 1964: “The cable car picture you are about to see is true. The clothes have been changed to protect the innocent.”

Alcatrazbloguse Faces of the doomed: Three of the prisoners, involved in the 1946 “Battle of Alcatraz”, (See the March 8th, 2015 entry) left to right, Clarence Carnes, Sam Shockley, Miran Thompson, are escorted to court. Shockley and Thompson were executed at San Quentin Prison on December 3rd, 1948. The old guard tower on Alcatraz still watches over the prison.

hydrantbloguse  On the edge of Dolores Park at 20th and Church is “the little fire hydrant that could.” The water mains to most of the hydrants were broken by the 1906 Earthquake, and there was no way to stop the fires from destroying the entire city. This little guy was working, however, and is credited with stopping the flames from destroying all of the Mission District and beyond. Every April 18th, on the anniversary of the earthquake and fire, the hydrant is painted gold.

SisteractStPaulsuse Some of the scenes for the movie ‘Sister Act’ with Whoopi Goldberg were filmed at St. Paul’s Catholic Church at Valley and Church Streets in Noe Valley; as beautiful of a church you’ll find in San Francisco.

Doggiemeuse When I heard that they had restored the Doggie Doggie Dachshund head on Sloat Blvd. near the zoo, naturally, I went to investigate. He was a pretty elusive little puppy, I couldn’t find him!

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