Fisherman’s Wharf, then and now, and NOW

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve read that Fisherman’s Wharf is the second most popular tourist attraction in California after Disneyland. They’re both closed now because of the necessary shelter in place order, basically in place around the world, due to the COVID19 virus. Well, I can’t go to Disneyland yet, but I can go to Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s lonely, sad, and depressing at times when I look back at the crowds that could often be annoying, (always excluding myself from being part of the annoying crowd, naturally) but it will be thriving again by summer, as our hopes and prayers wish and ask for. These are updates of updates I did of vintage pictures when Fisherman’s Wharf was the noisy and lively way it will be again soon, and this time we won’t mind all of the people so much, for awhile.

WharfAliotos1useWharfAlioto2useLooking down the end of Taylor Street toward Pier 45 in 1975: (Peter Stratmoen)

Wharfgrotto1useWharfGrotto2useLooking toward the #9 Fishermen’s Grotto Restaurant in 1960: (

WharfviewuseWharfview2useTourists viewing Alcatraz Island through telescopes near Pier 43 ½ in the 1970s:

Wharfsign1useWharfsign2useLooking east from the northwest corner of Jefferson and Taylor Streets in the 1930s: The gas station across Taylor Street that was still there until the 1970s was originally designed to look like a ship. (National Maritime Museum at San Francisco)

Wharfalley1useWharfalley2useWACs and soldiers working up an appetite in front of #9 Fishermen’s Grotto, looks like during the 1950s:

WharfExp1useWharfExp2useLee Remick crosses Jefferson Street at Taylor to a taxicab that will take her to Candlestick Park for the denouement of the 1962 film ‘Experiment in Terror’.

Wharfaguatic1useWharfAquatic2useLooking toward Ghirardelli Square from Hyde and Jefferson Streets in 1975 in a Peter Stratmoen photo: Hey, they’ve removed all of the trees that were in the updated picture I did in 2016.

Wharftaylor1useWharftaylor2useLooking south along Taylor Street across Jefferson in the 1950s; The Wharf was still packed when I did my first update in December of 2018.






3 thoughts on “Fisherman’s Wharf, then and now, and NOW

  • I remember a sign that said “live and cooked crab” about the time I was learning to read. It was disturbing, because I got the impression that they were alive after getting cooked. I don’t remember where it was, but it was not as old as the sign in the picture.
    The taller of the missing trees on Hyde and Jefferson Streets were bunya bunya trees. They are related to monkey puzzle trees, and their leaves are nearly as sharp. I would not have wanted to cut them down. I worked with arborists who did cut one down before, but only once.

    • Yeah, I can’t figure that out, Tony! They cleared them all out since the time I took my first update picture. San Francisco is usually better at preserving trees than this.

      • That really is odd. I would say that the trees at the curb were likely removed to open up the view again, but if that had been so, new trees would not have replaced them. The original trees seem to have been Brazilian pepper trees, but I do not know. The bunya bunya trees in the background are not exactly desirable trees anymore. They were likely planted originally because there used to be a few excellent specimens around San Francisco a long time ago. They were very distinguished remnants of Victorian landscaping. However, their wickedly sharp leaves are painful to step on without shoes. That probably was not much of a problem while they were smaller during the Victorian Period. Also, most people with shoes wore them all the time while outside back then. Bunya Bunya trees are best now on banks covered with ivy, where no one is likely to stem on their fallen foliage. If I had landscaped that park, I would have left more lawn where the new landscape is now, and replaced the portion of lawn under the bunya bunya trees with some sort of ground cover.

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