Back to Square one, Part two

As I mentioned in January of 2021, there are plenty of historic and relaxing public squares in San Francisco to visit, but Union Square is still THE Square I go to most to get a break during a busy San Francisco day. Don’t let the doomsayers frighten you; it’s festive, as always, in Union Square this Christmas Season. The Union Square Instagram page posted a map of historic places around the Union Square area to see, and it’s a nice little tour guide. They’ve included ten historic spots to visit on the map, although, I would have made it eleven historic things and included the Beacon Grand Hotel, or twelve historic things and included the Clift Hotel, or…… Anyway, I searched my site to find pictures I posted in the past at the historic points listed on the map, and added a few new updates. (Thumbnail images)


I’ll start at the northwest corner of Geary and Stockton Streets looking toward Union Square during the 1950s: (San Francisco Pictures Blog)

The northwest corner of Union Square in the 1960’s and a couple enjoying their Second Amendment Right to bare arms: (William Gedney)

Maiden Lane on St. Patrick’s Day 1948, and all dressed up at Christmastime, 2019: Maiden Lane doesn’t have the glamour any more that it once had when it was a crowded two block alley with expensive shops.

The only building in San Francisco designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is at 140 Maiden Lane. Built in 1949, a number of galleries and businesses have been housed there.


Hey, it’s Holly Golightly on the left!

The map includes the Dragon Gate at Bush Street and Grant Avenue. To me, this has always been in the geographic Chinatown area, but I’m not going to quibble.

Ruth Asawa’s Fountain on Stockton Street between Post and Sutter: I’ve never done an update on this fountain before, so I scrolled through the San Francisco Public Library Archives to find a vintage picture. The iPhone Building blocks the view of Maiden Lane from here today. I don’t know why I never covered it before; Asawa’s Fountain, with its San Francisco imprints, is a nice piece of art.

Union Square, with the Dewey Monument on the left, during the 1906 Earthquake and Fire and in an update I  did recently in November of 2022:

Looking over Union Square toward the St. Francis Hotel in a slide picture I took in 1983, and an update I did of my picture in 2016:

Lane Turner, going into the old I Magnin store with the St. Francis Hotel in the background in the 1960 murder thriller ‘Portrait in Black’ and in 2015:

The Geary and Curran Theaters looking west in 1958: (

Carol Channing, appearing at the Curran Theater in the late 1950s:

We’ll end up at the cable car turnaround at Market and Powell Streets: The vintage picture is from the 1940s; my update was taken in 2016. The Flood Building is in the background of both pictures.

They still decorate some of the public transportation over the Holidays, like the cable car waiting to approach the turnaround in an update I did yesterday, only they don’t get as carried away as they used to.

The Flood Building in 1908: Somebody is writing to “Mamma” saying that he or she missed seeing this building during their San Francisco trip. It’s too bad because it’s one of San Francisco’s most historic buildings.















2 thoughts on “Back to Square one, Part two

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