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)

3 thoughts on “Another walk along Market Street

  • There seem to be a lot of trees there, even though it may seem like there are not. I mean, in a situation where there is so much shade from all the buildings, and not much exposed soil, there are a lot of trees. As much as I enjoy trees, I do believe that they are not necessary in all situations. The trees in your pictures must be pruned very regularly for clearance from buildings, signs, utility cables, traffic, and whatever they might get in the way of. If they get too big, they can crack and displace pavement. Anyway, I suppose they are appealing to the casual observer.

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