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.
Clay Street looking east from Jones in 1978: Not a big change here, a few more buildings and they finished the Embarcadero Center. (Gosta Knochenhauer)
One block south and three blocks east brings us to Sacramento and Powell Streets, looking east in 1965. (Bousquairol)
We’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.
We’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.
Looking east along Bush Street from Powell in 1967: I suddenly have a terrific urge to buy a six pack! (Douglas Campbell)
East 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)
One 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.
One 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)
We’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)
We’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)