The “real” streets of San Francisco (Part two)

A couple Augusts ago I posted ‘The “real” streets of San Francisco, ‘Part One’ as a follow up to a previous post I had done about the television show “The Streets of San Francisco’. There are some fine websites on the internet posting collections of vintage San Francisco photos; opensfhistory.org, the Charles Cushman Collection, and the Shorpy Archive, to name three of the best. There’s an interesting website I found last fall called ‘San Francisco Pictures’ (clever title). I can’t get much information on who sponsors the site, but they have thousands of good quality vintage San Francisco pictures that they categorize by street name and I’ve been having fun doing then and nows on them. They often name a source for their vintage pictures, and I’ll list those with my post.  We’ll start with the northwestern most picture, ignore Alfred Hitchcock’s advice, and travel south by southeast.

StreetsClayJonesuseClay Street looking east from Jones in 1978: Not a big change here, a few more buildings and they finished the Embarcadero Center. (Gosta Knochenhauer)

StreetsSacramentouseOne block south and three blocks east brings us to Sacramento and Powell Streets, looking east in 1965. (Bousquairol)

StreetsSacramentoPowelluseWe’ll step across Sacramento Street and back three years to 1962. Hmm, a full hour coverage of THE BIG NEWS from KPIX, Channel 5. A long way back from CNN and FOX.

StreetsBushPowelluseWe’ll travel south along Powell Street to Bush Street in a terrific picture from the SFMTA Photo Archive looking north up Nob Hill in 1914.

StreetsBushuseLooking east along Bush Street from Powell in 1967: I suddenly have a terrific urge to buy a six pack! (Douglas Campbell)

StreetsUSquareuseEast to Stockton Street and down to Geary Blvd. looking toward Union Square in 1928: It’s nice to see trucks that are older than the one I still own. (Gordon Morales)

StreetsOFarrelluseOne block south to O’Farrell and one block west brings us back to Powell Street looking north in 1961: I’d like to have got a shot over the hood of my car, but I take DO NOT ENTER signs personally. The green building on the right, I know, most of the buildings in the old photo are green, was where the old Omar Khayyam Restaurant used to be.

StreetEllisuseOne block south on Powell and east on Ellis Street brings us here, looking southeast down Ellis Street toward Market Street and the old Humboldt Building in the 1940s: Just behind me is John’s Grill where Sam Spade ordered lunch in the novel ‘The Maltese Falcon’. They’ve opened up with sidewalk dining again. I’ll have to stop by there again for lunch next time I’m in the area and buy a Brigid glass that they sell as souvenirs, named after Brigid O’Shaughnessy, the femme fatale of ‘The Maltese Falcon’. (Bennett Hall)

StreetsMarket&SansomeuseWe’ve headed east on Market Street to Sanome and Sutter Streets in 1963: That looks like a red Ford Fairlane Station Wagon on the right in the vintage photo. (JF Ciesla)  StreetClayandSansomeuseWe’ll double back north to Clay Street looking north along Sansome Street in 1929: Why, It hasn’t changed a bit! Actually, you’re not going to find anything left in the vintage photo from this spot today. Some of the buildings in the far background on Sansome may still exist today, but they can’t be seen in my photo. I couldn’t catch a speeding car zipping past in a blur in my picture. (SFMTA Photo Archives)

 

 

V-J Day plus 75

All of the vintage images in this set were taken on Market Street seventy five years ago, August 14th, 1945. Forever known as V-J Day, victory over Japan, it was the day Japan surrendered ending World War Two. San Francisco went into an orgy of celebrating and some of it wasn’t pleasant, but you can’t tell from these images. Let’s go back to that day for a moment and remember how important it was. Although I took most of my pictures this past week, I plan to go over to San Francisco on August 14th and walk around again where my comparisons were taken. Almost certainly, most of the people in the vintage images are gone now, but they had their moment to be proud of and they enjoyed it. It will feel strange again standing in the same spots they did and thinking about their moment in time. San Francisco, and the United States, for that matter, will probably never experience anything like it again.

VJ75TurkuseCelebrants climbing the Admission Day Monument at Turk, Mason, and Market Streets: The view is looking west along Turk Street. The monument was moved to Montgomery and Market Streets in 1977. (San Francisco Chronicle)

VJ75MasonMarketuseThe opposite view of the previous picture of the Admission Day Monument from ground level, looking back toward Market Street: (West Virginia & Regional History Center)

VJ75ParmountuseA crowd passes by the old Paramount Theater between Jones and Taylor Streets in a scene from wonderful color footage by C. R. Skinner: ‘Junior Miss’ wasn’t getting that much attention that day. Eh, Leonard Maltin only gives the film two and a half stars anyway. The Paramount was just east of the old Crocker Anglo Building on the corner of Jones and Market Streets and is blocking out the view of the Golden Gate Theater, seen in my picture.

VJ75PepsiColaCenterLooking past sailors and stalled streetcars toward Mason and Market Streets in more film footage from C. R. Skinner:

AmongGGTheateruseRevelers on top of a streetcar stopped at Market and Mason Streets: Behind them is the Golden Gate Theater. (SF Chronicle)

VJ756thuseLooking southeast across Market Street toward 6th in more footage from the C. R. Skinner film: The streetcar on the right has the message KEEP FAITH WITH OUR FIGHT. Many of the buildings in the vintage image are still around, including the tall white building at 6th and Market Streets, remodeled and green today.

VJ75StocktonMarketuseMore Streetcar partiers on Market Street looking north toward Stockton Street: West Virginia & Regional History Center)

4thAt the same intersection as the previous picture, a fellow picks up the rear portion of a streetcar, broken off and left on Market Street: (opensfhistory.org)

VJ75MarketGrantuseLooking east along Market Street from Grant Avenue: (worthpoint.com)

VJ75girltoneuseVJ75girltwouseVJ75girlthreeuseVJ75girlfouruseVJ75girlfiveuseI’ve posted this series of images from C. R. Skinner’s footage in the past, but it really is a wonderful period piece. It took place on Market Street at Jones. In the top two photos, the girl in pink doesn’t seem too bothered when a lady near her is hugged by a passing sailor. In the third image another sailor grabs the girl in pink for a hug, placing a cap on her head. In the fourth image, the sailor has the girl in pink bent over in his arms and might being going a little too far. “Hey, buddy, no means no!” In the fifth and bottom picture, she breaks away and throws the cap back at him, angrily. “What’d I do? What’d I Do?”

VJ75girlsixuseHere’s the same spot today where “pretty in pink” valiantly fought for her honor.

VJ75kissuseMany people know about the famous Times Square New York picture of the sailor kissing a nurse on V-J Day. Well, there was a lot of kissing going on in San Francisco on August 14th 1945 too! This picture was taken at the intersection of Market and Taylor Streets with the Warfield Building in the background. They were a little farther out in Market Street, but if I took my picture that far out a tree would have blocked the Market Street entrance to the Warfield Building, seen in both photos. You can see part of the Warfield sign of Loew’s Warfield Theater that would later become the Fox Warfield Theater, and not to be confused with the glamorous Fox Theater, in the upper right of the vintage picture. I know, you may be wondering the same thing I was; did they get married? Maybe, but they likely never saw each other again after August 14th 1945. (West Virginia & Regional History Center)