Want to see some drawings? (For Joanne)

These are comparison photos of illustrations draw by Floyd Hildebrand and Edward H. Suydam. Although this post is lighthearted, I would like to mention something; I took my pictures yesterday, November 10th, and many of them appear hazy. That’s not the famous San Francisco fog in my photos, but smoke from the Camp Fire wildfire that as of this posting has taken at least 23 lives and is still not contained.

DrawCCaruseThe first drawings, such as the above one at the Powell Street cable car turnaround, are by Floyd Hildebrand. A client and friend of mine named Joanne Gonzales found a collection of his works sponsored by the California Savings and Loan Company of San Francisco at an estate sale, and she picked them up for me. The California Savings and Loan Association was originally founded in 1887. After several name changes during the 20th and 21st Centuries it ended up as the Pacific National Bank. The bank failed in October of 2009. Floyd Hildebrand died in 1984. These drawings of his are dated from 1961.

DrawCalifStuseCalifornia Street, looking down toward Chinatown:

DrawFWharduseThe Fisherman’s Wharf Boat Lagoon:

DrawCommerecialuseCommercial Street was one of two streets in San Francisco that ran straight to the Ferry Building, the other being Market Street. In 1971, the eastern portion of Commercial was closed off by construction of the Embarcadero Center, and this is as close to the spot in the drawing as you’ll get today. That’s the Embarcadero Freeway running past the Ferry Building in the sketch.

DrawCalMontuseThe northwest corner of California and Montgomery Streets in 1887: Well, I’m sure glad that I got everything else in my picture in focus except the cable car! The gradient of the street on the left in the drawing suggests that it was probably the northeast corner of California and Montgomery Streets looking west and endorsed wrong, but I went with what the artist wrote.

DrawCToweruseThis spot has a special place in my heart. I’m usually alone nowadays when I visit Telegraph Hill, but once on a long ago October night, I sat at this same spot behind Coit Tower looking toward Russian Hill with “a girl with moonlight in her eyes” and we fell in love…… for awhile, anyway. That girl died three years ago and there isn’t a time that I come up here that I don’t think about her. The telescope, concrete circle and stairs weren’t there when we sat here, and the telescope has to be a practical joke, you’re not going to see anything through those trees!

DrawLottauseThe next group of pictures, including the above illustration of Lotta’s Fountain, were drawn by Edward H. Suydam during the 1930’s. He often picked less known areas in San Francisco that weren’t as popular for his work. Edward H. Suydam died in 1940.

DrawJonesuseLooking west along McAllister Street where McAllister, Jones and Market Streets meet.  The beautiful building with the columns is the Hibernia Bank building, closed for years.

DrawNHillSacramento Street, looking past the Pacific Union Club toward the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins Hotels:

DrawJoiceuse The Joice Steps off of Pine Street, on the south side of Nob Hill: One day I’ll have to climb those and see what’s up there.

DrawTillmanuseTillman Place on Grant Avenue just south of Chinatown: This was a bustling little alley once, filled with little shops, but it seems quietly forgotten now.

DrawCTownuseChinatown, looking north from Pine Street: I saw a lot of people wearing safety masks in San Francisco yesterday.


San Francisco after dark

I took a walk around San Francisco last night while I was trying to figure out who most of the people I voted for ARE! I started at the old Emporium store on Market Street, headed over to North Beach and back through Chinatown, still enjoying the nice weather while it lasts.

DarkBloominguseLooking east at the old Emporium Store getting ready for Christmas in 1971: Bloomingdale’s needs to fix some of the dead letters in their name above the old Emporium entrance. (Kid 101)

DarkBroadwayuseBroadway at Columbus Avenue in 1971: The ‘Condor Club’ and ‘Big Al’s’ aren’t lit up anymore, but the ‘Hungry I’ still is. (Skyscrapercity.com)

DarkPacificblogThe notorious International Settlement on Pacific Avenue during the 1940’s from the photographer Fred Lyon. Spider Kelly’s and the Barbary Coast Club  were in the building behind the car that’s leaving in my photo. A little trivia here that’s of interest to probably only me; “Baby Face” Nelson used to come out from Chicago and hang out at Spider Kelly’s when he wasn’t robbing banks with John Dillinger!

DarkCtownblogGrant Avenue, between Sacramento and Clay Streets during the 1940’s: If this was during World War Two, Chinatown isn’t observing blackout rules. It’s amazing that the Bakery neon sign is still there!  (Skyscrapercity.com)


These will keep me busy (Part two)

More then and nows of vintage pictures from Skyscrapercity.com.

SkyBroadwayuseLooking east along Broadway from Russian Hill in 1880: There’s still a church at the same location as the church in the old photo, but the one there today was built in 1912.

SkyMontgomeryuseMontgomery Street, where it meets Post and Market Streets in 1909: That’s the Palace Hotel on the right.

SkyClayuse Grant Avenue at Clay Street in 1957 from somebody’s car: I never noticed until I did this update, but I can’t even see the hood of my car when I’m driving!

SkyLombarduseLooking down Lombard Street in a less crowded 1963:

SkyFWharfuseJefferson and Taylor Streets at Fisherman’s Wharf in 1967: I don’t know who that fellow was handing out propaganda in the vintage picture, but I don’t think it was Jerry Garcia.

SkuCtownuseChinatown, between Pine and California Streets in 1968:

SkyMarketlookingeastuseMarket Street at 6th, looking east in the 1920’’s: The building with the crown in the center of both photos is the Golden Gate Theater.

SkyMarketuseMarket Street at 5th looking west in 1945: All those old movie palaces are gone!




StretchoneStretchtwoStretchthreeWent out to McCovey Cove today to pay my respects to “Stretch”. I love this ‘Peanuts’ cartoon from 1962 about McCovey’s line drive that ended the 1962 World Series in a loss for the Giants. Charlie Brown is obviously a Giants fan!