Union Square is getting all decked out for the Holiday Season again. Once again, this little park will become probably the busiest shopping area in Northern California. Police presence will increase to deter smash-and-grabbers, and even those who avoid San Francisco because they fear the city is full of Commies and heathens, will come to Union Square to revive that Christmas feeling. After Fifth Avenue in New York City, Union Square may be the best urban area in the country to capture that ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ atmosphere.The vintage pictures are from the San Francisco Public Library Archives (Thumbnail images)
Dazed people gathering in Union Square just after the 1906 Earthquake: The Dewey Monument is on the left. The steel framed building under construction in the center of the old photo was completed after the disaster and is still there. The crown of the Call Building can be seen peeking out over the top of the original City of Paris Building, and is now the remodeled Central Tower behind Neiman Marcus.
The southeast corner of Union Square at Geary and Stockton Streets during World War Two: Hmmm, would I have bought War Bonds or Old Sunny Brook Whiskey?
The north side of Union Square, looking toward Maiden Lane during the 1940s:
Looking toward the St. Francis Hotel and some temporary Alpine Village on display during the 1970s:
Looking over the eastern side of Union Square toward Stockton Street and Maiden Lane during the 1950s: The November shadows kind of screwed my picture up a little, but it was the closest I could get to where the vintage photo was taken from. The ice skating rink on the left in my photo is getting ready to open for the 2022 Season.
One thought on “‘Tis the season”
Rhododendrons in the fourth pair of pictures must have been grand! That was back when horticulture was taken much more seriously. You know, some of our biggest specimens went into the smallest gardens, which were atriums in San Francisco. They needed to be craned in, but once in place, they functioned as small trees downstairs, and displayed their bloom upstairs.