Postcards from the past (Thumbnail images)

“Long past?”

“No, your past.”

These are postcards of San Francisco that I bought when I was in high school. If I remember correctly, many of them I bought for a dime at the old Transbay Terminal Building when heading home from a day in SF. Progress has taken its toll on the beauty of the views in many of these postcards. I opened up with a line from Dickens ‘Christmas Carol’, so I’ll sum up the San Francisco you’ll see in a lot of these old postcards by quoting the last thing Jacob Marley’s ghost said to Ebenezer Scrooge;

“Look for me no more.”

Lombard Street, “The World’s Crookedest Street”, to which Herb Caen added, “after Wall Street.”.

Looking toward Alioto’s, Fishermen’s Grotto, and Pier 45:

SOMA from Twin Peaks, with the Pacific Telephone Building the only skyscraper:


The Cliff House and Sutro Baths at Lands End: Sutro’s was gone and his postcard was already outdated when I bought it.

Civic Center, with the water pools still in front of City Hall:

Above the Fisherman’s Wharf Lagoon and Pier 45: The little chapel is now where the white building at the bottom center was.

The view from the Coit Tower parking lot, looking toward Piers 39 and 41, both demolished now:

An aerial view of northeastern San Francisco before the skyscraper boom of the late 1960s changed the view radically:


Above the portion of Golden Gate Park where the Midwinter International Exposition of 1894 was held: All of the structures except the Band Concourse have been demolished and rebuilt. I liked it so much better before.

The Cliff House that I loved the best:

Looking along Market Street past the Ferry Building; this is my favorite one.

Ghirardelli Square and the Maritime Museum:

Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower:

And remember, “Don’t call it Frisco”.

One thought on “Postcards from the past (Thumbnail images)

  • Gee, I remember two of those; Lombard Street and the Cliff House. I remember that they were very old post cards when I saw them. That seems to be common with post cards. I can remember post cards in about 1990 that showed the plaza of downtown Los Gatos twenty years earlier. It seemed silly to me, but sort of cool. Post cards are difficult to find now.

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