Another walk along Market Street

There’s less than a week to go before San Francisco moves into summer. That’s when the weather really gets chilly here; just ask Mark Twain. Actually, Mark Twain never did say, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” any more than Alfonso Bedoya said “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!” Oh, wait, Alfonso Bedoya did say that! Anyway, on this last Saturday of the spring of 2019, the weather was cool, and cloudy, but comfortable for a walk along Market Street to take comparison pictures of some vintage photos, mostly from the Market Street Railway collection.

MarketBARTuseI started out where I entered the city yesterday, at the BART escalator near the Hyatt Regency, seen here in 1976. It looks pretty busy that day and I’ll bet that most of those BART passengers, if not all of them, paid for their tickets! (

MarketCalifuseWhere the California Street cable car line comes into Market Street in 1960: (

MarketNewMontuseMarket Street at New Montgomery Street next to the Palace Hotel in 1966: (

Market3rduseThis one confused me at first. It was taken at Market Street and 3rd Street, looking toward Kearny, in 1978. At the left is the doorway to the old Mutual Savings Bank Building, at the right is Lotta’s Fountain, but where is the old Chronicle Building, one of the oldest buildings in Downtown San Francisco? I did some checking; in 1962, they covered the Chronicle Building behind a steel façade to modernize it so it would fit in better with the skyscraper boom beginning in Downtown San Francisco around then. And how dumb was that! The Chronicle Building was the American Savings Building in the 1978 picture. (Flickr)

MarketFlooduseNow, I’m at the Flood Building on the corner of Powell and Market Streets.  It looks like they were doing a little road work here in 1948. (

“Hey, Charlie, you know we’re going to have to tear this road up all over again twenty years from now when they build BART!”

MarketPowelluseRight here is the Powell Street cable car turnaround, seen here in 1949: (

MarketHalesuseThey were working across Market Street from Powell in 1948 as well, at the long gone Hale Brothers Department Store next to the Emporium. (

Market7thuseI turned around at 7th and Market Streets at the Odd Fellows Building. From here on, Market Street is more of a “no man’s land” until you get to Van Ness. Anyway, it seemed to me that this ten block walk was a lot easier when I was sixteen! The vintage picture was taken in 1984, around the time they came up with the idea of running vintage streetcars along Market Street. This developed into today’s Muni F and E Lines. (Dave Glass)

Vallejo Street – East (For Samantha)

VallejoopenuseI first became interested in this portion of Vallejo Street in the mid 1980’s after watching a movie called ‘Hell on Frisco Bay’, made in 1955 and starring Alan Ladd and Edward G. Robinson. (IMDb)

VallejoviewuseThe east view along Vallejo Street on the steps between Montgomery and Kearny Streets from a slide picture I took in 1985 and now: The view from here is spectacular! The pier at the end of Vallejo Street is Pier 9.

ThillvallejouseAnother slide picture I took on the Vallejo Steps just above Montgomery Street in 1985. If it wasn’t for the cars you could hardly tell the difference.

VallejoBaxter1useVallejo BaxtertwouseIn a 1957 Episode entitled ‘The Witness’ from the television show ‘Harbor Command’ Inspector Ralph Baxter tracks down a witness to a murder who’s hiding in a house on the Vallejo Steps.  He goes down the steps to the house where the man is hiding to convince him to turn himself in.

VallejostHCommandstairsuseBaxter goes down the steps to the house with the dark painted door on the left. The house has been remodeled and the door is painted white today.

VallejodoorwayuseInspector Baxter notices a suspicious man in the doorway of a house across the street from the where the witness is hiding. Sure enough, the man turns out to be one of the gang trying to locate the witness to kill him. The bottom picture is the doorway where the bad guy was watching from.

VallejostepsnorthuseThe opposite side of the Vallejo steps from where Baxter walked down seen in the episode.

Vallejo1985UseVallejo Street between Montgomery and Sansome Streets in a slide I took from 1985. Trees block some of the view today. A house has been built now in the empty lot to the left of the van in the 1985 picture.

VallejoEmbarcadero1useVallejoEmbarcadero2useIn a ‘Harbor Command’ episode from 1957 entitled ‘Gold Smugglers’ two dental assistants have been forging the dentist’s name to order gold that they’ve been stockpiling. They murder the doctor when he finds out what they’ve been doing. They attempt to smuggle the gold out of San Francisco. Naturally, Inspector Ralph Baxter will spoil their plans before they get too far. Here, they try to make their escape in a taxi on the Embarcadero at the foot of Vallejo Street. You can see construction work on the soon to be finished Embarcadero Freeway in the right background of the show scenes.

“Mr. and Mrs. Nobody; you’ve just murdered a dentist, smuggled stolen gold, and stashed the car used in your crimes. What are you going to do now?”

“We’re going to Disneyland!”

VallejoLadd1useVallejoLadd2useNow, back to Alan Ladd: In ‘Hell on Frisco Bay’, Ladd plays an ex police officer wrongly convicted of manslaughter who’s just been released from prison. He comes back from San Francisco to try to find out who framed him.  Sometime around 1985 I recorded the film on a VHS video recorder, and was interested in the location of this scene. Ladd is shadowing a mob moll to locate a witness to the murder he was framed for. The movie is finally available on DVD, and I watched it again last night, probably the first time since 1985, to get my captures.

VallejoLadd3useAlthough the location wasn’t identified in the Alan Ladd and Eddie G. movie, it was easy from the scene to track it down to Vallejo Street and Hodges Alley, between Montgomery and Sansome Streets, where I took the 1985 slide in the top picture.












6/2 in 1962 (For Cindy)

No, that’s not a song by the band Chicago, that was ‘25 or 6 to 4’. I have a friend who was born in 1962 on June 2nd. Of course, a lot of people were born on June 2nd 1962, but Cindy’s the only one that I know. These are vintage pictures from 1962.

1962JonesuseJones Street looking down toward Union Street and beyond to the Bay: (flickr)

1962FWharfuseJefferson and Taylor at Fisherman’s Wharf: (flickr)

1962PowellCCaruseThe cable car turnaround at Powell and Market Streets looking in the opposite direction from where most pictures are taken at this location: Eddy Street where the building with the ‘Christopher for Lieutenant Governor’ sign is used to cut through to Market Street before it was cut off in the early 1970’s by Hallidie Plaza and the Powell Street BART Station. George Christopher, who was Mayor of San Francisco in 1962, lost his bid for lieutenant Governor in that election. (Chronicle)

1962MarketStuseLooking across Market Street to the cable car turnaround on Powell Street: (

1962CTownuseGrant Avenue and California Street in Chinatown on a sunny day in 1962, and a foggy day in 2019: (

1962ChampsuseCity Hall honors the San Francisco Giants 1962 Pennant win, and the 2013 Oracle Team, USA 2013 America’s Cup yacht racing victory. (Vintage image source unknown)

1962MonorailuseCindy’s crazy about Disneyland too. These are pictures from Disneyland taken in 1962. The Monorail passing the Disneyland entrance: That looks like the Disneyland Hotel being constructed in the far back of the vintage picture. (

1962FLanduseDumbo the Flying Elephant Ride and the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship in Fantasyland with the Matterhorn in the background: This was as close as I could come to this spot now. (flickr)

1962MansionuseThe Haunted Mansion: The unfinished Haunted Mansion sat on a hill between Frontierland and the Indian Village from 1962 until it opened in August of 1969, with different reasons for the delayed opening including the death of Walt Disney in 1966. (Disney Parks Blog)

1962submarineuseThe Submarine Lagoon and Monorail Station with the old Skyway in Tomorrowland: (

1962MStreetuseMain Street Square: Somebody sure didn’t take good care of this old snapshot! I wish the horse carriage was running that day! (