San Francisco in 1974

Map1974useRecently, I unrolled an old poster that I’ve kept in various closets since Gerald Ford was President. I remember when I bought it long ago I was impressed by the novelty of how all of the buildings in the Downtown San Francisco area had been drawn into it. If you can zoom in on it close there’s a lot of interesting things to see on the difference between San Francisco today and in 1974. At the lower right near the Ferry Building is the Vaillancourt Fountain in Justin Herman Plaza. Notice that only two buildings of the Embarcadero Center had been built then. The Embarcadero Freeway can be seen. Moving along Market Street from the Ferry Building so many new buildings have gone up in Downtown San Francisco since then. The Bank of America Building and the Transamerica Pyramid, the two tallest buildings back then, can be seen. Union Square was mostly covered by grass. The old Belt Line railroad still ran along the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Major tourist attractions like Coit Tower and Lombard Street are easily found, and to the right of Fisherman’s Wharf Pier 43 with the Balclutha docked to it was still there. Pier 39 had not been turned into a tourist attraction yet.

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