Julius Castle on Telegraph Hill in the 1940’s: A favorite hangout Dashiell Hammett’s private detective Sam Spade, this building was also the setting for the 1951 film ‘The House on Telegraph Hill’. The restaurant closed in 2007.
The Trans Bay Terminal Building on Mission Street in the 1940’s: It was because of bus trips from the East Bay as a teenager to this building that I first discovered the world of San Francisco. The bottom picture was taken in August of 2010 on the day the Trans Bay Terminal Building closed forever.
Yes, I’m very proud of myself with this one. By a careful study of Google Maps, countless trips to Chinatown, and a reliance on my own knowledge of San Francisco, I was able to determine that the vintage photo here was taken at Clay Street and Grant Avenue!
The Bi-Rite Grocery Store on 18th Street in the Mission District has been around since, at least, World War Two, and was still in business as of last Thanksgiving
The Vaillancourt Fountain is, easily, the most controversial fountain in San Francisco. It looks like the entrails of a giant robot! Here Poppa Cop and Buddy Boy pass by the fountain in a 1972 episode of ‘The Streets of San Francisco’. Notice the Embarcadero Freeway in the background.
Justin Herman Plaza from the Vaillancourt Fountain in the same episode of the ‘Streets of San Francisco’ and today: This was ground central for the 2016 Super Bowl City.
“Mommie Dearest” on Russian Hill: Joan Crawford attempts to sneak into the Tamalpais Apartment Building at Greenwich and Hyde where Jack Palance lives to try to find out why he’s trying to kill her in the 1952 film noir movie ‘Sudden Fear’. Joan, what difference does it make why he’s trying to kill you? He’s trying to kill you! Do you really want to go in there?
A cable car runs up California Street past the Sing Fat Building on the corner of Grant Avenue in the 1950’s: The open area on the right was where the Trafalgar Building, apparently just recently demolished, stood. That building was the location of Bob Hope and Allan Ladd’s offices in the 1947 comedy ‘My Favorite Brunette’ and was where the parking garage behind the HD Supply truck is today
In scenes of the Trafalgar Building from ‘My Favorite Brunette’, one shot has Bob Hope looking down to California Street from an office window as Peter Lorre, the dark car, follows Dorothy Lamour in a taxi cab as she turns left onto Grant Avenue. Bob Hope’s car is the white convertible at the lower left.
Bob Hope’s view from the Trafalgar Building down to the California Street sidewalk as Dorothy Lamour enters the taxi cab:
An old postcard of this location shows the Trafalgar Building with the faded advertisement that looks like some type of champagne bottle just to the right of the cable car climbing California Street.
Cushman and the brakeman: A Cushman Collection photo from the early 1950’s at California Street and Grant Avenue.
This is a very interesting postcard sent after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. It reads, “Dear Hilla (or Lilla): This was but a small portion of SF and was, of course, entirely destroyed. The reports of (something) have not been exaggerated. Frisco is badly crippled. Clara”. The remodeled Call Tower, the tallest building in the old photo, is the brown and white striped building in about the same area of the frame in the modern picture.
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