A panorama from 1912

THillPanoramause This 1912 panorama from one of the volumes in the History Room at the San Francisco Main Library was taken looking south from Telegraph Hill between Montgomery and Kearny Streets. Development on the hill has made a perfect comparison shot today unavailable, (unless you’re one of the lucky people living in some of the buildings on this side of Telegraph Hill today) so the best I could do was use a composite of two pictures I took from the top of Coit Tower between Montgomery, where the Pyramid Building is, and Kearny, where the dark Bank of America Building is. The pictures sweep from the top of Nob Hill on the right to the downtown business district of San Francisco on the left. The highest spot in the vintage photo is of the Fairmont Hotel on the top of Nob Hill. You can see it from my picture behind the Fairmont Tower built in the 1960’s. The building with the cupola and white stripes near the center of the picture is the Sentinel Building also known as the Columbus Tower. You can still see it from much higher up in my picture. Speaking of cupolas, this building is owned by film director Francis Ford Coppola! The large building with the arches to the left and behind of Columbus Tower was the old Hall of Justice Building on Kearny. This building was the setting of many films and at least two television shows, ‘The Lineup’ (San Francisco Beat) and ‘Ironside’. It was demolished for the Hilton Hotel in 1967. Trivia note, the swimming pool on top of this Hilton was where “Scorpio” shot the girl in the opening of the 1971 film ‘Dirty Harry’. The area of smaller buildings between the Fairmont Hotel and the Columbus Tower is Chinatown. None of the surviving buildings on the far left can be seen from here today because of the downtown skyscraper boom that began in the 1960’s.

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