In a post of mine from August 23rd 2016 about a visit to the Tenderloin District, I may have painted a pretty grim picture of the area. There is no doubt that it is a very uncomfortable place to walk around; it’s depressing and I can’t change that. But there is an old fashion atmosphere there, since much of the architecture in the district hasn’t changed. If you let your imagination go while you look around, you could be walking here in the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s or 1950’s. Also, I go there often to take pictures, and that speaks for itself. We’ll start at Larkin near Hyde Streets and end at Turk and Mason Streets.
The vintage photo from the Huffington Post is dated May of 1939. The “Lubrication Service” Garage has been overhauled now, and the Larkin Theater is now the Century Theater.
A St. Patrick’s Day parade on O’Farrell Street in March of 1968: Well, Jasper O’Farrell was born in Ireland so it’s fitting, but they don’t hold the parade here anymore. (opensfhistory.org)
A circa 1958 picture in front of the Alexander Hamilton on O’Farrell Street: It’s interesting that the checkered sidewalk is still there. (opensfhistory.org)
A cable car from the defunct O’Farrell & Jones cable car line on, appropriately, Jones Street at O’Farrell: The line was closed in 1954. This weekend they are running an old O’Farrell – Jones cable car along Hyde Street. If I can get a picture of it, I’ll update this post. (Market Street Railway)
O’Farrell Street near Taylor looking east with the old KNBC Building in the background: (Market Street Railway)
We’re one block east from the opposite picture on O’Farrell and looking west. That construction work on the right would eventually be the O’Farrell and Mason Street Garage. (opensfhistory.org)
We’ll stop here at Turk and Mason Streets looking west. Tiny’s Waffle Shop, ‘ALWAYS OPEN’ isn’t anymore. You can see from the pictures in this post that the look of the Tenderloin District hasn’t changed much. (SF Gate and opensfhistory.org)
This is another interesting story from Found SF about the “B-girl menace” in Tenderloin history. B-girls used their “charms” to get male customers to buy overpriced drinks in Tenderloin bars. This girl shown her, Connie Collins, was arrested in May of 1938 for “vagrancy” in an attempt by police to discourage b-girl activity. Today, there are not enough police officers in all of San Francisco to arrest the vagrants in the Tenderloin District. I’ll include the link to the Found SF story about the b-girls below.