The Wharf that was (and is)

I’ve been hearing stories about how dead Fisherman’s Wharf has become, so I headed over there late Sunday to see how bad it is. Like Mark Twain, reports of its death have been “greatly exaggerated”. Some of the restaurants are closed, but a lot of the nice ones are still open, and the springtime crowd was back to normal. I did see one homeless tent on Jefferson Street that doesn’t belong there anymore than it does on Main Street, Disneyland, but Fisherman’s Wharf is still the largest tourist attraction in San Francisco, and people were having fun. (Thumbnail images)

Jefferson and Taylor Streets; Alioto’s and #9 Fishermen’s Grotto are closed now and I didn’t stay as late in the afternoon as the 1940s photo, but I hung around for awhile. (San Francisco Public Library Archives)

The Fisherman’s Wharf Boat Lagoon in the 1960s; It wasn’t a bad attempt of “stuplicating” the old wide angle photo. (San Francisco Public Library Archives)

I always get a kick out of taking a picture across the Boat Lagoon at the same spot where my 17 year old mom took her photo looking across the tiny fishing boats they had back then toward DiMaggio’s Restaurant. This was before ‘Joltin’ Joe’s hitting streak and Marilyn Monroe.

But to me, what’s missing from Fisherman’s Wharf and great photo location spots like this, is the World War II Liberty Ship the Jeremiah O’Brien. I wish the crew all the luck with their move to Pier 35, but I wish the ship was still at Pier 45.

Pier 45, when the Jeremiah O’Brien was there, and last Sunday: Only the World War II submarine, the USS Pampanito, is there now, and that is a great attraction to tour, as well.

When I was up on Telegraph Hill last week, I took a picture of Fisherman’s Wharf through the unnecessarily high trees surrounding the Coit Tower parking lot. This is about the only spot you can see Fisherman’s Wharf from the parking lot anymore. When I was searching for Fisherman’s Wharf pictures on the San Francisco Library Archives site, I found this close lineup of the Wharf from the parking lot, taken probably during the 1960s.

3 thoughts on “The Wharf that was (and is)

  • Are those annoying cypress trees protected?! They were annoyingly obstructive decades ago! I know that they must get pruned down somewhat, otherwise they would be huge by now, but they really should not be so obtrusive. The scenery is more important than those trees are.

    • I’m not sure if they’re protected, Tony, but I’m still suspicious as to whether it’s Coit Tower’s initiative to force people to ride to the top of the tower. You can see almost nothing from all sides of Coit Tower at ground level today because of overgrown trees, and the ridiculous thing is that they have telescopes all around the base of the tower that are absolutely useless!

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