Even more frustrating than driving around San Francisco sometimes is parking in San Francisco most of the time. These are a collection of pictures pertaining to parking around Downtown San Francisco.
There are all kinds of driving infractions taking place at the Mason and O’Farrell Streets Garage in 1973; gird locking, signal jumping, near collisions, and probably a lot of honking. (San Francisco Pictures)
Parking anywhere along Powell Street south of Nob Hill, seen in the vintage picture from 1958, is only a memory today. (Pinterest)
Mason and Pine Streets, down from the Mark Hopkins Hotel, in 1964: There were still a few parking spots available here on Mason Street back then. KYA Radio brings back memories of when I was a kid in the 1960s. I’ll bet I heard my first Beatles song on KYA. (San Francisco Pictures)
Union Square with its parking garage under the Square seen in 1980 from Geary Blvd.: I’ve never parked in the Union Square Garage. Herb Caen used to say that people who try parking there during a busy day in Downtown San Francisco are a “Sorry / full lot”. (flickr)
Pine Street east of Powell Street in 1982: This is probably not where you want to go to practice your parallel parking skills. (San Francisco Pictures)
“Excuse me. Can you tell me where DiMaggio’s Restaurant is?”
I guess “Joltin’ Joe” didn’t want anybody to have a hard time finding his place on Jefferson Street at Fisherman’s Wharf. DiMaggio’s, built in 1937, was where the Supreme Crab is today. The DiMaggio letters on the right in the vintage picture were above the entrance to the parking lot of his restaurant and were behind where the PARKING sign on the right in my picture is. My photo was taken this Sunday morning during today’s Veterans Day Parade along Jefferson Street. (ebay)
Twenty years later, in 1957, the letters above the DiMaggio Restaurant parking lot were still there, and can be seen in a 1957 episode of the television show ‘Harbor Command’. Here, a thug “on the spot” is trying to hide from the bad guys in the DiMaggio parking lot. The scene is looking across Jefferson Street toward the Fisherman’s Wharf Boat Lagoon. DiMaggio’s parking lot, seen in the bottom picture, is still there but blocked from Jefferson Street by buildings now.
Parking in Fisherman’s Wharf can often be an expensive nightmare unless you have connections. I don’t have the clout of San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed, but I have a brother who works on the World War Two Liberty Ship, the Jeremiah O’Brien, and when I go to the Wharf I can usually get a pass to park in Pier 45 where the ship is berthed. That came in handy today to view the 2019 Veterans Day Parade. The vintage picture is Pier 45 in 1960. (opensfhistory.org)
Built in 1926, Pier 45 with its two sheds was the largest pier in the world when it was built. Commandeered by the army during World War Two for moving troops to the Pacific Theater of fighting, Pier 45 is indeed historic. Two survivors of World War Two, the Liberty Ship the SS Jeremiah O’Brien and the submarine the USS Pampanito are berthed here.