A Profile with Pictures’

Around the time I fell in love with San Francisco during high school, I found a book in the school library called ‘San Francisco: A Profile with Pictures’ by Barnaby Conrad. Published in 1959, the book had already seemed outdated to me at the time, (although, that wasn’t that much earlier than my high school years) but I loved the photographs in the book. Conrad name-drops many famous people he was acquainted with throughout the book, from Herb Caen to John Steinbeck, although most of them I wasn’t familiar with at the time. Around seven years ago, I found a copy of the book at the used book store at the San Francisco Main Library. I’ve updated a number of the pictures from the book in the past, and I read it again, cover to cover, last week. (You can finish it in one day) Sadly, almost everyone he writes about is gone now, including the author, and it’s really a time capsule of a San Francisco that doesn’t exist anymore. Here are some of the pictures I’ve posted from the book in the past, and some of the comments I made about the photos. I’ll also list the photographers, which I may not have done in the past. I’ve included the almost archaic now guide map at the end of the book. (Thumbnail images)

That elegant lady in front of Fishermen’s Grotto #9 at Fisherman’s Wharf in the 1950’s had better get the service that she wants! The old Standard Station designed like a ship across the street remained in Fisherman’s Wharf from the 1930’s to the 1970’s, although, by the 70’s it had been remodeled to a more standard looking Standard Station. Sadly now, #9Fishermen’s Grotto is gone forever now, as well. (Jerome Zerbe)

The Baker Street steps at Broadway in the 1950’s, and a really stoic way to treat a broken leg: (Miriam Young)

Maiden Lane in the 1950’s: She knows she’s hot! That building on the right with the round entrance, is the only building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in San Francisco. (Tom King)

I’ve seen this Alfred Hitchcock movie, it’s scary! Actually, the little girl in the thick of it at Union Square in the 1950’s was a safe as the pigeons were! (Gene Wright)


Apartment hunting on Russian Hill in the 1950’s:
“Is this place for rent?”
“It is, fifty dollars a month.”
“Why, that’s ridiculous!”
“Take it or leave it.”
(Jacqueline Paul)

A student water-coloring at the Fisherman’s Wharf Boat Lagoon, under the supervision of Dong Kingman:

Fishing with a best friend behind the St. Francis Yacht Harbor: (Barnaby Conrad)


The double page guide map at the end of the book; let’s see what’s gone now, from west to east; Fleishhacker Pool, Kezar Stadium. Playland-at-the-Beach, the Cliff House, (closed) Mile Rock Lighthouse, the Produce District, SP Depot, and the Embarcadero Freeway hadn’t been built yet.

3 thoughts on “A Profile with Pictures’

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