A thoughtful gift from a client; thanks, Kathy F.
“Nipping the fender.” Charles’s Smallwood’s book ‘The White Front Cars of San Francisco’ is a wonderful source of vintage pictures of San Francisco, but this image here had me doing my homework! When I first saw it years ago, I thought it was a terrific period picture of San Francisco from the 1940’s, and I always wanted to see if the location had changed or still existed since 1943. The trouble was, Smallwood, who was usually an excellent locator, and often identified where the photos in his book were taken, was off here; 26th and Army, (Now Cesar Chavez Street) do not intersect, nor did they in 1943. From an old map located in his book, I was able to determine that the Number 30 Line ran down portions of both Army and 26th in 1943. I perused portions of Cesar Chavez on Google Maps, but much of this area is industrialized now, and the site may have been demolished when Highway 101, cut across Army when it was created.. I went back to 26th on Google Maps to follow the route #30 took and only had to go one block to South Van Ness and 26th, which is where the picture was taken. The intersection looks remarkably the same today including a small grocery store on the same corner. “Have an accident?”
“No thanks, we’ve already had one!”
I knew I was going to use that one sooner or later! This dramatic streetcar accident took place on Fillmore between Green and Union Streets in November of 1921. I couldn’t learn if anyone was hurt, but I’ll bet phone service was out for quite awhile, although they’ve replaced the telephone pole since then. (Charles Smallwood) The Butcher Town Bridge opens in 1933: Renamed the Lefty O’Doul Bridge, it now sits next to AT&T Park, and has been seen in a number of movies including ‘Fog Over Frisco’ with Bette Davis (1934), ‘The Enforcer’ with Clint Eastwood’ (1976) and ‘A View to a Kill’ Roger Moore’s last role as James Bond. (1985) Eighty years later I would have ran over him! A worker puts on some finishing touches to the Bay Bridge before it opened in 1936 near where I was driving. A billboard and concrete addition to the Clock Tower Building in the background since the vintage picture was taken has blocked out most of the view of the tower, which can be seen below the street signs, from this spot today. Twin Peaks can be seen to the right of the Tower Building in both pictures. A long gone entrance to the bridge can be seen on the left.
Soldiers watch a ship pass through the Golden Gate as work on the Golden Gate Bridge begins in 1933.
“Come on, who’s next? I’ll fight anybody who says anything bad about my hat!”
(The Cliff House Project website) “There are eight million stories in the half naked city; this has been one of them.”
This 1930’s picture might not have been as relaxed as it looks; that’s a long way down to the Pacific Ocean!
Wow, a “Pushmi-pullyu”!
The cable car turntable at Powell and Market Streets: (Fred Lyon) “Far East meets West.”
The Japanese Tea Garden from the 1894 Midwinter Fair in Golden Gate Park; one of the surviving attractions from that fair. “Sneaking Sister Sally through the Alley.”
Spofford Alley, Chinatown, in the 1950’s (Jimmie-Shein)
The source of most of the vintage photos and inspiration for this set was from Peter Linenthal and Abigail Johnston’s book on Potrero Hill. They did a far better take on Potrero Hill than I could, but I was up there today, thought I’d redo some of their pictures. This image is looking north on Rhode Island Street from 20th in the 1920’s. That house on the left is still there today. An unpaved corner of De Haro where it branches off, and 25th in 1941: I can spot some of the houses still there. De Haro Street, between 22nd and 23rd Streets in 1939: Maybe, the same telephone pole. The 101 Freeway skirts the western side of Potrero hill: (Phil Palmer) On the eastern side of the hill on the corner of Mariposa and 3rd was the Strand Service Station.
“Fill ‘er up and check the oil!”
“Fill ‘er up and check the oil yourself. We don’t do that anymore!” The Southern Heights cross over between Rhode Island and Carolina Streets in the 1960’s. I think that’s a Ford Falcon station wagon in the old shot. San Francisco’s real “Crookedest Street in the World” is Vermont Street on Potrero Hill not Lombard Street, according to Wikipedia. An image from the 1930’s looking north on Potrero Avenue at 19th Street: (Found SF)
Ah, the end of another tax season, and I’m glad that’s over! Now I can get back to the more important things! I’d like to thank all of the people who helped make it happen by name, but there’s too many of them, and some of them haven’t paid me yet! A special thanks to Will, whose computer skills got me through, Amber, who took over my desk when she was in, and also ate up every tasty thing in the office that I didn’t keep behind barbed wire, and Jaime, who left me all too soon for Steph Curry.
Playland-at-the Beach from Point Lobos Avenue: Just up the road where Point Lobos turns east was the strip of shops that ran between the Cliff House and the Sutro Bath House. Long before the Autopia at Disneyland was the Red Bug Raceway that ran on a wooden track behind Topsys’s Roost. Below, is where the course once was. (James R. Smith’s San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach – The Early Years) Where the It’s It Ice Cream Sandwiches at Playland, (Still just as good today) were invented: A Shorpy’s image of a fine spring day for boat racing at Spreckles Lake in Golden Gate Park in the 1930’s: Boat racing is still very popular there, but they have more elaborate tournaments now. Back downtown for a photo from the Cushman Collection of Montgomery Street in the 1960’s: The cable car turntable at Powell and Market Streets: Looking down Powell Street from Nob Hill Another from the Cushman Collection of colorful Chinatown in the 1950’s:
We’ll begin on the old Cantilever Bridge portion of the Bay Bridge. Danny was with me on this visit in 2013, just before the eastern section here closed forever. A quick stop on Treasure Island at the China Clipper Lagoon, during the 1939 – 1940 World’s Fair:
Never mind the tour buses that take you to the Golden Gate Bridge or to the top of Twin Peaks, I’ll take you to Treasure Island where the cleverest outhouse humor is. Next stop, the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building, which used to be at Duboce and Market Streets: “No Dogs Allowed”!!! I’ve heard that girls love a man in uniform, so, we’ll visit the historic Liberty Ship, the Jeremiah O’Brien. City Hall; that’s always a good place to stop in and tell the big shots what they’re doing right, and what they’re doing wrong…….. One of these days, I will! The Pioneer Monument Statue was moved half a block north from this 1915 picture when the new San Francisco Main Library was built. Looking back down Sacramento Street towards Nob Hill from Franklin Street in 1915: The Old First Church at the bottom of the hill, built in 1911, is still there: Let’s see, we’re still heading west, aren’t we? Like the Beatles, I’ll follow the sun. Dazed earthquake survivors watching the destruction of San Francisco from Alamo Square, where the “Painted Ladies” are, in April of 1906: Lots of nice grass around here……. “Danny!” We end up at Ocean Beach; two old dogs at the Cliff House. That’s me and Danny in 1999, and in 2013. Danny wasn’t always that much impressed by the Cliff House, but he loved peeing in the Pacific Ocean. I lost Danny on September 9th 2015, and Ocean Beach has been a little lonelier since. See the link below.