Reservoir Park, or whatever it’s called

I finally got a chance last Sunday to check out the new park they built this year where the old Russian Hill Reservoir at Hyde and Bay Streets used to be. It’s kind of out of the way and not that easy to get to, even with public transportation, but it’s got great views, and it’s better than that ugly reservoir that’s been there for over a hundred years. (Thumbnail images)

You can see the concrete from the reservoir from Hyde Street on the left in both pictures from an update that I did in March of 2020.

Because the park was built on the side of a steep hill, there’s a winding walking path that takes you from the bottom of the park to the main area at the top. That’s the Ghirardelli Square Tower under construction on the left.

In 2021, I matched up an photo of an old photo from Larkin Street with the construction of the new park that would open in 2022.

Last Sunday, I did another update of the previous photos of the old reservoir under construction in 1919 with the new park looking toward Hyde Street. The famous Chateau Building at Francisco and Hyde Streets is still there. That tent was just a young couple with babies enjoying the new park for the day, and not the beginning of a homeless encampment. (

The old stairway that leads from the park up to Larkin and Francisco Streets in 1916: (

At the top of the stairs in the previous picture is sacred movie ground. This was one of the locations of the famous car chase scene with Steve McQueen’s Mustang chasing the Charger in ‘Bullitt’.


The view of the area from Bay and Larkin Streets in 1915 before the reservoir and park were built: (








“Who knows where the time goes?”

I kept, and still do keep, special days that I want to remember in my office appointment book. August 16th  2002, I took the kids to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf on the F Line. Yesterday, I went to Pier 39 to find some of the spots where I took pictures of them that day. The three kids have grown up and moved away now. I felt lonely, and wished that I could make spaghetti for them, like I’m sure that I did when we got home in 2002. They all FaceTimed me yesterday and said they wished I could make them spaghetti for dinner too, and I didn’t feel lonely anymore. (Thumbnail images)

San Francisco, after and before

These are reverse then and nows; backdates not updates. The modern pictures are photos that I took around San Francisco. Sometimes when I find vintage San Francisco pictures on the internet, I try to match them up to photos that I have in my collection. They don’t line up perfectly, but they’re a reasonable facsimile. Also, they’re fun to do; sort of my own private scavenger hunts. (Thumbnail images)

This is a picture I took in May of 2022 on the Jeremiah O’Brien Memorial Cruise, looking toward the SF skyline. The older photo is from the 1970s. The old sailing ship, the Balclutha, was still moored at Pier 43 then. (

Looking down to the Great Highway from Sutro Heights from a picture I took in 2018 and during the 1970s. The tide was definitely out in my picture. (


The Sing Chong Building and Old St. Mary’s Church in Chinatown: No guesswork needed on when the old picture was taken. (


I took my photo from the back of an old streetcar, looking west on Market Street near 2nd. The vintage picture is near the same spot in 1956. The Call Building, (Central Tower) the Palace Hotel, and the Humboldt are on the left in both pictures. (

Also in May of 2022, I took this skyline picture from the new Treasure Island Ferry Service. It lines up pretty good with the picture taken during the 1970s. (

In October of 2014, the San Francisco Giants were in the World Series, although, the issue hadn’t been decided yet, and my niece, on a visit from Texas, wanted to see Candlestick Park. We drove around it, took a few pictures, and it was the last time I ever saw the ballpark. They started to demolish it shortly after our visit. My picture isn’t a very good one, but neither is the one from 1966. (

San Francisco in the 1920s

They call the decade the “Roaring Twenties”. What we’re going through now are the Boring Twenties. These are updates of a few photos taken around San Francisco locations during the 1920s. (Thumbnail images)

Market Street near 4th: Some of those buildings in the old picture are still around, like the Phelan Building in the center and the Humboldt Building on the right, among others. (

Market Street at Powell Street: The Flood Building is on the left, and the old Emporium Building, now Bloomingdale’s is on the right. On the far left in the updated picture is Hallidie Plaza. (

Ah, the Cliff House. (San Francisco Pictures Blog)

The old YMCA Building on the Embarcadero: Eli Wallach, “Dancer”, made his first kill here in the 1958 film, ‘Lineup’, one of my favorite San Francisco noir movies. (San Francisco Pictures Blog)

Market Street at Turk and Mason: The picture is dated 1922, but I’m not sure that’s accurate; no matter where I stood, I could not get an angle that didn’t include the white Number One Powell Street Building, built in 1920, that’s between the Mechanic’s Savings Bank Building at Mason Street and the Flood Building at Market Powell Streets. (SF Gate, San Francisco Chronicle)

The east side of Lafayette Park at Clay Street: Some of the best photographs of San Francisco during the 1920s are from the Shorpy Photo Archive.

The Spreckels Mansion at Washington and Octavia Streets: You can barely see the mansion today because of the bushes they’ve grown around the building.