More San Francisco then and now and NOW

These are three picture sets of vintage picture updates I took around San Francisco in the past that I redid last week. The top pictures are the vintage pictures, the middle pictures are my first updates when San Francisco was a bustling town, and the bottom photos were taken at the same spots only a lot less crowded right now.

GhostLottauseMarket Street at Kearny: The top picture from the San Francisco Library History Room is from 1910, the center photo is from 2016, the bottom photo was taken April 18th 2020, the anniversary of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. For almost one hundred years survivors of that disaster met at Lotta’s Fountain on the left at the exact time and day of the earthquake.

GhostKearnyredouseAnother picture taken in 1910 at Kearny and Market Streets looking toward the Palace Hotel on the left: The middle picture was taken in 2017. (

GhostGearyPowelluseThe corner of Powell Street and Geary Blvd, looking from Union Square: The top picture is from 1948, the middle picture was taken on Veterans Day, 2016.

GhostStocktonuseStockton Street at O’Farrell looking north: The top photo from the San Francisco Chronicle was taken in 1951, the middle photo I took on “Black Friday”, November 24th 2017.

GhostEmporiumuseAnother photo from the San Francisco Chronicle in front of the Old Emporium Store taken in 1949: My picture in the center was taken on “Black Friday” in November of 2017. Many of the closed businesses along Market Street, like Bloomingdale’s where the old Emporium was, are boarding up their windows during the shelter-in-place order still in effect.

Ghost7thuseThis August 14th will be the 75th anniversary of VJ Day when Japan surrendered ending World War Two. The top picture is vintage film footage from C. R. Skinner on Market Street at 7th looking east as San Francisco celebrates the end of the war. A tremendous crowd in the background where the streetcars have stopped is surging up toward the cameraman. Also in the background, the Flood Building on the left of Market Street, and the crowned Humboldt Bank Building across Market Street on the right can be seen in all three photos. A million on Market Street was the estimated crowd gathered to celebrate the parade for the San Francisco Giants first World Series victory on November 3rd 2010 when I took my comparison picture in the middle. Although not as important as the end of World War Two, I waited most of my life to see this and I wasn’t going to miss it.




3 thoughts on “More San Francisco then and now and NOW

  • The third pictures of each group show why people in cities think that the lack of crowds is so . . . unsettling. I see more people around here than I normally do, just because so hike through to get out for a while, without staying in town.

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