Segue to November, 2022

All of these updates, except the black and white California and Sansome one, I did during the last week of October. The weather was perfect; “Second Summer” weather, in what used to be called an “Indian Summer”, made for a pleasant wrap up of my October, 2022 posts. The last update I did on November 1st, was when the weather turned suddenly cold and ugly. I took that to be nature’s way of warning us that winter is coming, but we still have nearly two more months of autumn, so I’m not going to take yesterday too seriously. The vintage pictures are from the San Francisco Public Library Archives. (Thumbnail Images)

The old Steinhart Aquarium and the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, demolished in 2005. I don’t know when the vintage picture was taken, but it was before the Sutro was built in 1973. I first visited Steinhart Aquarium on a field trip in the 6th grade. I bought a baby octopus preserved in a jar of formaldehyde and water. While the rest of the kids bragged about their new bike or skateboard, I had an octopus! The kids on the block “got nothin’ on this baby.”

The Number One Powell Street Building, originally the Bank of Italy Building, completed in 1920: The cable car turntable here is not in the same location today as it was when the vintage picture was taken, so I had to use a wider picture to get a cable car in.

Bush Street, between Sansome and Battery Streets, in the 1920s: I’ve always been intrigued by that thin little building with the advertising at 130 Bush Street, but I don’t know much about it, except that it was probably build in 1910, and the rumor isn’t true that only skinny people can work there. You can just see it today, squeezed in even more by the Shell Building that was constructed in 1930.

The old Audiffred Building on the corner of Mission and Steuart Streets, originally constructed in 1889: On “Bloody Thursday” during the 1934 water front strike, two strikers were shot to death on the Mission Street side of the building, which is around the corner on the right side of the pictures.

I got a pretty good line up on this one at Geary Blvd. and Powell Street, next to the St Francis Hotel looking toward Union Square. I’m not sure what those marks on the old photo were all about.

California Street at Sansome in the 1940s: Black and white’s better when wet; rain doesn’t color well. Fortunately there was a regular break in traffic on California Street due to street lights, so I was able to get a shot between the cable car tracks. Although not a ghost town, the Financial District still hasn’t come back all of the way from Covid 19.

3 thoughts on “Segue to November, 2022

  • The first pair of pictures shows exemplary pollarding of the London plane trees (sycamores). It is difficult to find arborists who know how to do this anymore, and most vilify this technique. How did the building to the left of the skinny building get so many more floors stacked on top of it? I can remember a few buildings that were built to accommodate upper flowers like this, but few were actually added onto. The dormormatories that I lived in at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, which were the same as those as San Jose State, were three story buildings that were designed to support the weight of additional floor above, but newer building codes outlawed such additions before they were ever added. The Civic Center at Los Gatos was constructed with similar plans for upper floors as well as an additional building, but none were ever built. It was a waste of a perfectly good complex of buildings.

    • That’s interesting about the London planes trees; the groundskeepers at Golden Gate Park would appreciate your comment. That’s also an interesting comment about the number of floors on the Bush Street building, especially considering that it was constructed only four years after a devastating earthquake!

      • But doesn’t that seem weird that such technology was used back then?! It must have been very overbuilt! Furthermore, it is weird that such technology was in use back then, but was already outdated by the 1970s, less than a century later.

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