‘Race Street’ – Who were the Dons?

Real dedicated football fans may know the answer to that, but I had to do some checking. More on this later. I really enjoy finding a film noir movie I’ve never seen with great San Francisco on location scenes. ‘Race Street’ from 1948 isn’t any movie masterpiece, I give it two and a half stars, but for terrific location shooting in the City it’s tops. The movie is about a mob syndicate extorting protection money from San Francisco business owners. When they tangle with George Raft’s bookie business they have a problem. It’s not the best DVD restoration and some of the movie scenes are grainy captures, but you can see the locations okay.

RaceRaftuseThe film stars George Raft. Raft originally made it on the map with his coin flipping gangster scenes in the 1932 movie ‘Scarface’ with Paul Muni. Check out Bugs Bunny’s George Raft impersonation on the link below.


Race Maxwell useRaft’s girlfriend is Marilyn Maxwell, who helped introduce the song ‘Silver Bells’ with Bob Hope in ‘The Lemon Drop Kid’ from 1951.

Race MorganuseThe film also co-stars Harry Morgan, probably most famous as Colonel Potter in the television show ‘M*A*S*H’.

RaceBendixuseBut to me the star of the movie is the character actor William Bendix. I like him in everything he was in. His best role was probably Gus in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 film ‘Lifeboat’. “Give us a kiss, toots.” Gus says to Tallulah Bankhead as she’s about to assist in amputating his leg. (She does) Bendix plays a nice guy cop trying to keep Raft out of trouble.

RaceopenuseRaceopen2useRaceopen3useThe movie shows a panoramic sweep of San Francisco from Twin Peaks behind the opening credits.

RaceTPeaksuseThe view from Twin Peaks now:

RaceTopMark1useThe movie opens up with a 1948 view from the Top of the Mark.

RaceEddyuseThe story starts out showing a number of San Francisco locations. This is the cable car turnaround at Powell and Market Streets looking toward Eddy Street. The building with the Gray’s Suits advertisement was demolished and Eddy no longer cuts through to Market Street. This is where Hallidie Plaza is now. You can see the old JC Penny’s Store building on the corner of 5th and Market Streets in both pictures.

RaceMontgomeryuseThis is Montgomery Street at Market Street looking north.

RacePostuse The action starts with a customer going into the clothes store front for Raft’s bookie business on Post Street across from Union Square. The building the clothes store was in was demolished in the 1980s and is now where the Saks Fifth Avenue Building is.

Racecourt1useRacecourt2useRaft’s squeeze, Marilyn Maxwell, lives in the Stanford Court Building on Nob Hill on California Street. Here, they’re leaving the courtyard, still there but not as fancy.

RaceStanforduseThey merge onto California Street across from the Fairmont Hotel.

RaceCalifPowelluseThey cross Powell Street at California Street, the only place where the three remaining cable car lines cross each other.

RaceCrestuseThe two head down California Street past the old Crest Garage, demolished in 2018.

RaceCrest2useThe view down California Street from here now:

RaceJonesuseRaft lives on Nob Hill as well at an apartment building on the southwest corner of Jones and California Streets. The tall building in the far background is the old Empire Hotel Building in the Civic Center area. You can just barely see it through the rainy mist in my picture.

RaceRaftsaptuseHe drives down the west side of Nob Hill and turns into his parking garage.

RaceRaftAptuseI’ll have to ask my arborist friend, Tony, if that could possibly be the same hedge that was growing there in 1948. He’ll probable think that’s a ridiculous question, but I have vines growing in the back yard of my house that go back to the 1960s.

RaceCHouseuseRaceSRocksuseThe movie even takes a trip out to the Cliff House where Raft has lunch with his sister who is worried about his prospects for bucking the mob. Seal Rocks are in the background of the lunch scene.

Racemob1useRacemobuseI’ll close with a few of the scenes filmed at night. Refusing to be intimidated by the mob, Raft is intercepted by one of “the boys” going into his apartment. I’ll bet he has a gun in his pocket! I’m bright about things like that.

RaftrideuseRaft gets taken for the proverbial “ride”. It’s never a good sign when one of the hoods gets in the back seat with you and not in the empty front seat.

RaftblindfolduseMr. Big, played by Frank Faylen, tells Raft he had better get in line. This would certainly persuade me! Raft plays along with him to bide time, although they rough him up pretty good.

RaceGGateuseIn one scene, Bendix tries to talk Raft out of taking the mob on without involving the police as they cross Market Street from 6th Street toward the Golden Gate Theater, at that time owned by Howard Hughes’ RKO Movie Studio.

RaceDonsuseRaft and Bendix cross Taylor Street toward Golden Gate Avenue. The newspaper box next to them is advertising a football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dons. These were the Los Angeles Dons, a pro football team that existed from 1946 until 1949. Looking close, it looks like the game was played on a Sunday with a two number day in the date; I can’t make it out on my DVD. The movie ‘Race Street’ was released on June 22nd 1948 before football season, so the football game had to have been played during a season prior to 1948. The only games the 49ers played the Dons at Kezar before 1948 were September 7th in 1947 and December 8th in 1946, unless it was an exhibition game. I wonder if it was just a movie prop, which doesn’t seem likely. The newspaper box would have been about where the walk signal is on this side of Taylor Street in front of the Golden Gate Theater.

RacecloseuseThe movie ends back where it began at the Top of the Mark for a nighttime view of the City, and closes out overlooking the Embarcadero and the Bay Bridge. The closing music even plays a little of ‘San Francisco’ from the 1936 movie.










Pictures I’d like to redo

Some of my pictures here may be slightly outdated now and some would just be fun to redo, but these are on my list of comparison pictures I’d like to do again.

RedoBBridgeTManuseNick and Nora Charles getting pulled over on the Bay Bridge while they were heading east to the Golden Gate Fields in Albany in the 1941 film ‘The Shadow of the Thin Man’. A lot of new buildings have sprung up in SOMA since I took this picture about 7 years ago.

RedoBBlanketuseI should redo this one I did in 2013 in honor of the closing at the end of this year after running for over 45 years of the San Francisco musical ‘Beach Blanket Babylon’.

RedoNoeuseI’d like to redo this 1920’s photo from the Image of America Series taken at the top of Duncan Street in Noe Valley just to go there again.

RedoMarketStreetuseMarket Street at Powell Street in the 70s: Ah, if only the vintage F Line streetcar behind the number 7 Muni bus would have been the one in the lead!

RedoTIslanduseI was leaving Treasure Island with friends in October of 2014 when this view of the eastern span of the Bay Bridge being dismantled reminded me of a fuzzy picture had in my computer of the bridge being built from this angle. I snapped a quick picture as we passed. I’d like to redo it, but never will.

Redo3rduseLooking south toward the old Southern Pacific Train Depot and the Lefty O’Doul Bridge from Brannan Street in the 1940’s: I’ll have to borrow someone’s crane if I’m going to get this one accurate in a redo.

RedoBBridgeopenuseThe opening of the Bay Bridge in November of 1936: As I mentioned in the opening picture to this post, a lot of new buildings have sprung up in the background since I took this picture in January of 2015.

RedoExAlcatrazuseThe old Montgomery Barracks in a scene from an odd 1950 film called ‘Experiment Alcatraz: Here, prisoners from Alcatraz Prison are being transported by the army to a location in the Presidio to participate in a medical experiment that may earn them their freedom. To me, the star of these pictures is my old truck that still runs. This area is all grass now, and more visitor friendly than when I took the original picture.

RedoGreeduseI should probably redo this one on a regular basis to see if this building on the corner of Hayes and Laguna Street continues to survive. This was where the dental office of John McTeague was located in the 1924 film ‘Greed’, a movie that is considered one of the greatest films of all time.

RedoTHilluseAlmost a perfect matchup, except that I’m 210 feet higher than from where the vintage postcard was taken: I’ll redo it from the Coit Tower parking lot instead of at the top of the tower after they cut back all of those trees blocking most of the view from the parking lot nowadays.

RedoDannyuseBuffalo Bill at the Cliff House: I’d give anything to redo this one if my best friend could be in it again.

OrangeFBuildingThe Ferry Building on Halloween, 2010: No, that orange wasn’t for Halloween, the Giants were just about to win their first World Series in San Francisco. I’ll redo it again the next time they win the World Series.

SFRStocktonuseRedoUSquareeastuseLast February I mentioned that someday I’d like to redo the top then and now picture I posted of the east entrance to the Union Square Garage taken during the 1940s. The source of the vintage picture was the Facebook page San Francisco Remembered. The Stockton Street construction on the Muni Metro extension to Chinatown made for a poor comparison picture back then. They’ve finished this portion of the new rail line and I was able to get a better then and now picture in between rain showers today. Back in the 40s Union Square had four entrances and exits; north, south, east and west. Today, there’s only the north and south drive-through on Post Street and Geary Blvd.



Getting ready for Christmas 2019 around Union Square

They’re putting on the finishing touches, like tinsel on the Christmas tree, around Union Square for the holiday decorating, but it’s still pretty quiet because of the rainy weather. I had a couple of good days without rain this week to go around and take some pictures.

CMasGrantuseWith lower Stockton Street open again after so many years they’re not about to close it again, so they moved the street mall to Grant Avenue between Geary Blvd. and Post Street, and Maiden Lane. The vintage picture here on Grant Avenue is from 1960. (Source, opensfhistory.org)

CMas2016StocktonuseThe pedestrian mall used to run along Stockton Street from Market Street to Geary Blvd for years. This picture of mine was taken in 2016 between O’Farrell Street and Geary looking toward the old Macy’s clock. The vintage picture is from the 1940’s.

CMasMLaneuseThere were a lot of Maidens in Maiden Lane in this picture from 1949. (opensfhistory.org)

CMas2019MagninsuseThe southeast corner of Stockton Street and Geary Blvd. in 1958, looking toward the old I Magnin Department Store: The vintage picture was taken near the entrance of the much loved City of Paris Department Store. (opensfhistory.org)

CMas2018CParisuseThe City of Paris seen from Union Square in the 1940s: Forsaking a rally to save the old landmark building, it was demolished in 1979. The Neiman Marcus Department Store is there today. (SF Chronicle)

CMas2019roofuseNeiman Marcus had the class to save the painted glass ceiling from the rotunda of the City of Paris, and you can step back in time for a minute when you go up to look at it. (SF Chronicle)

CMas2019StocktonGearyuseThe northwest corner of Geary Blvd. and Stockton Street looking toward Union Square during the 1950s: (San Francisco Pictures Blog)

CMasStocktonuseI’ve been waiting for awhile for them to clear the construction off Stockton Street from the MUNI expansion to Chinatown so I could get a comparison picture of this Charles Cushman Collection, looking past Maiden Lane toward Post Street in the 1950s.

CMasUSquareuseThe north entrance to the Union Square Parking Garage on Post Street in 1967: The vintage picture is a nice time capsule. (San Francisco Pictures Blog)

CMas2019PostPowelluseA gloomy 1987 picture along Post Street from Powell Street in 1987: San Francisco has had days like the older picture a lot recently, but yesterday was a little nicer. (San Francisco Pictures Blog, Rob Weststrate)

redoThe Ferry Building and the Ferry Building: The bottom picture is a gingerbread Ferry Building on display this season in the lobby of the Ferry Building







Winter weather at the Wharf

I know, winter is still three weeks away, and anyway I took these pictures the last week of November. Also, the aftcast of the weather conditions when I took most of these pictures, (I wonder if I made that word up) were sunny although chilly, which is more in line with fall. After I took my pictures, real winter weather did slam in hard by the end of November. Anyway, when I was 15 I fell in love with San Francisco, and the first two places I came to know well were Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. They were both places of adventure at that age. At Fisherman’s Wharf my buddies and I would sometimes sit by the Bay smoking cigarettes we’d swiped from our parents, and watch ships coming in and going out of the Bay, from and to faraway places we said we’d visit someday and haven’t yet. I sometimes still get that long-ago feeling walking around Fisherman’s Wharf that I did when I was 15.

WharfTaylorJeffuseJefferson and Taylor Streets looking north, probably the most recognizable view of Fisherman’s Wharf and one of the most photographed intersections in the city: The vintage picture is from 1953. (San Francisco Pictures blog)

WharfTaylorNPointuseOne block south of the previous picture on Taylor Street in 1956: Somebody didn’t take very good care of this old picture.

WharfTaylorsouthuseLooking southwest along Taylor Street from Jefferson in 1963: The Z backwards K Gallery is where the old Sea Captain’s Gift Shop used to be. Personally, I think Fisherman’s Wharf lost a little of its atmosphere when that gift shop went out of business. (San Francisco Pictures blog)

WharfShedBusePier 45, Shed B at Fisherman’s Wharf in 1932: Those baskets on the pier in my picture are crab nets being stored on Pier 45 until crab season opens.

“Yea, ho, little fish, don’t cry, don’t cry.”

The vintage picture reminds me of the 1937 movie ‘Captains Courageous’. The guy with the cap on the right could be Spencer Tracy and the kid could be Freddie Bartholomew, except they were on a bigger boat in the movie. (The Fisherman’s Wharf Merchants Association)

WharfLagoonuseThe Fisherman’s Wharf Boat Lagoon in 1955: Now, you see, here’s the way my mind works; the vintage picture doesn’t say anything about who the three gentlemen on the left were, but I see three plain clothes cops investigating a crime scene. It could have been. Somewhere underneath all those crab nets in my picture are a fleet of fishing boats. (Opensfhistory.org)

WharfTaylor1930suseThe end of Taylor Street north of Jefferson in the 1930s: I had a better line up with the old picture here on Taylor Street, but then a line of vintage cars past by and I took this picture. I like the two sea gulls on either side of the procession watching the vintage autos pass; a couple of car buffs. (Opensfhistory.org)

WharfAlcatrazuseThe best views from land in San Francisco of Alcatraz Island are from Fisherman’s Wharf, seen in both these pictures from the very end of Pier 45. The vintage picture was taken in 1935. Al Capone and “Machine Gun” Kelly were on the island when the old picture was taken. The ferryboat was leaving from the Hyde Street Pier for Berkeley. . (Opensfhistory.org)

WharfCCaruseThree blocks south of Fisherman’s Wharf is the cable car turnaround at Bay and Taylor Streets, seen in 1964. It used to take only one person to push the car off the turntable back then. (San Francisco Pictures blog)

Wharfunsafe1useWharfunsafe2useAlthough there’s no geographical boundary I know of, the general rule is that the western side of Fisherman’s Wharf ends at the Hyde Street Pier. I wasn’t really going any further in this direction anyway. Still, I figured that I’d just shoot through the fence and tell people who worry about me that I ignored the sign.











‘Dead Center’ (For the folks I met on the Filbert Steps at the old Shadows)

Dustjackets.com{The building at 706 Montgomery Street in San Francisco was a perfect setting for a murder. I had, in fact, thought so for a long time before anybody got killed in it.}

And so, Janet Keith opens up the narrative of Mary Collins double-murder, almost quadruple-murder mystery, ‘Dead Center’. It’s a nifty whodunit , written in 1942 and set in San Francisco, that mentions many locations in the city. Some are made up but most of them are accurate; a lot of them are gone now. I’ll concentrate on the spots no longer around. (Cover image from Dustjackets.com)

FlickrMost of the story takes place at the 706 Montgomery Street building mentioned that houses artists and writers as tenants. The inside cover of the paperback has a drawing of the building and the floor where the tenants live and work. This Flickr image of the drawing is in better shape than the one in the old paperback I bought. Janet Keith, a socialite who lives in Pacific Heights and rents a room in the Montgomery Building to become a writer, narrates the book and identifies the year the story takes place on page 180.

{Then I had my thought for 1941. One each year is my motto.}

DeadsuspectsuseA prelude to the story is a list of the people staying at 706 Montgomery Street when the first brutal murder is committed.  One of them is guilty.

DeadBCatuse706 Montgomery is a fictitious address that sounds like another historic building you’ll see in the next photo. Today 706 Montgomery Street would have been in the building on the northeast corner of Montgomery and Washington Streets next to where the old Black Cat Café used to be. (Vintage photo from the Thomas Reynolds Gallery)

DeadMBlockuseWhen you think of an old building on Montgomery Street that was a haven for artists and writers and you know your San Francisco history, you’ll think of the Montgomery Block, the “Monkey Block”. This is probably where Mary Collins got the idea for her 706 Montgomery Street setting. Janet Keith makes a reference to the old building.

{The Red Rat is a dingy little saloon which serves as a sort of club for the tenants of 706, the Montgomery Block, and other old buildings occupied by San Francisco’s so-called Bohemians.}

The Montgomery Block was built in 1863 and frequented by the likes of Bret Harte, Rudyard Kipling, Lotta Crabtree, Lola Montez, Jack London and Mark Twain. It survived the 1906 Earthquake and Fire and was demolished in 1958. The Transamerica Pyramid Building occupies the spot today. (San Francisco Pictures / Library of Congress)

DeadHallJusticeuseAfter inadvertently leading the police to a second murder, Janet is arrested by the police as a suspect and taken down to the old Hall of Justice Building on Kearny Street across from Portsmouth Square. She’s kept there throughout the night and released in the morning.

{Down in front of the Hall of Justice I debated about going straight home in a cab or picking up my car. I signaled a cab and told the driver to take me to 706 Montgomery.}

706 Montgomery couldn’t have been more than two blocks from the Hall of Justice, but I guess if Janet stood up under police interrogation all night she can be forgiven for taking a cab instead of walking. The old Hall of Justice, built in 1910, was demolished in 1968. A Hilton Hotel is there today. (opensfhistory.org)

DeadBalustradeuseFearing for Janet’s life with the murderer at large, Janet’s father hires a bodyguard named Spike to follow and protect her. They become friends and Janet is always able to talk Spike into going along with her schemes, like breaking and entry, as she tries to solve the murders without the help of the police. One evening Janet and her bodyguard park at the top of Telegraph Hill and go down to Montgomery Street in an attempt to break into the house where the related murder victims lived to look for clues.

{We left the cab at the top of Telegraph Hill and then walked down on the left-hand side of Montgomery Street looking at the numbers. There was a big modern apartment house and then a lot of small houses perched around the steep hill with trees and gardens and brick paths in between.}

It’s not an accurate description, and they could have been heading toward either the Greenwich Steps or down the Filbert Steps. They’re discouraged from breaking into the house by a policeman posted on duty to watch the house where the two victims lived, so they head back to the top of Telegraph Hill.

{The mud was well up around my ankles and my new navy blue pumps were completely ruined for all time before we got up to the balustrade that goes around the top of Telegraph Hill near Coit Tower. We sat on the wide stone coping to get our breath, and I wondered if wet stone was bad for mink.}

Here’s a picture taken in the 1930s of the old balustrade that went around the top of Telegraph Hill back then. It was considered unsightly and removed during the 1940s.

DeadShadowsmenuuseJanet and Spike decide to go back to the house and break in through the back way avoiding the policeman in the front. Janet can be as clumsy as she is cunning and she drops a drawer making a racket and alerting the cop guarding the house. Janet bolts out the back door hoping to lead the policeman away from Spike and they become separated. Tired and scared she looks for a place on Telegraph Hill to meet up with Spike.

{However, as I was very tired from scrambling in the mud and crouching in the mildewed shower, I was happy to see that the lights were burning cheerfully in the Tavern, which is a very arty little pub. I walked up the steps leading to the Tavern and went inside where the fire looked very welcoming and warm.}

The only Tavern Janet could have been referring to in the area was the old Shadows Restaurant on Montgomery Street. The above drawing of the Shadows is about the best menu cover I’ve ever seen. (Vintagemenuart.com)

DeadShadowsuseHere’s a picture during the 1950s of the old Shadows Restaurant, now closed and empty. (Flickr)


Even the legendary nightclub, the Forbidden City, gets an honorable mention when Janet has an argument with her brother, Hallet.

{“None of your business, but I’m going to see my girl” he said.

“What’s she do?” I said, speaking fast before he could get away from me.

“She works in a nightclub.”

“Which one?”

“The Forbidden City.” He said.

My eyes bulged so far out of my head I could feel them hanging on my cheeks. The Forbidden City is the only all-Chinese nightclub in the world or something.}

Above is an old Forbidden City program and menu. (eatdrinksfilm.com)


DeadFCityuseThe Forbidden City was up in the second floor of this building on Sutter Street.

Jack'smenueuseJanet, Fitzgerald, and Spike have lunch at Jack’s Restaurant on Sacramento Street near Montgomery.

{Jack’s is one of San Francisco’s finest restaurants, but no one from the East would think so just to look at it. It is housed in a rather grimy, three-story building, the two top floors being devoted to private dining rooms. The restaurant proper on the first floor sports the usual San Francisco beige walls interspersed with brightly varnished mahogany woodwork. Is epicurean and the service effortless.}

The top photo is an old 1947 menu from Jacks Restaurant. (Pinterest)

DeadJack'suseFor many years, Jack’s Restaurant, the second oldest and one of the finest restaurants in San Francisco was in this building. The restaurant closed in 2009.









An ‘Ironside’ tour

IronsideopenuseIMDbI never paid much attention to the crime drama television show ‘Ironside’ that premiered in 1967 until I started watching them again on DVD. As I mentioned from a few posts I’ve done in the past, they’re actually for the most part entertaining little mystery shows with occasional views of interesting San Francisco locations, although most of each of the episodes were filmed in a studio. Raymond Burr plays Robert T. Ironside, a police lieutenant crippled by a sniper’s bullet in the pilot episode. He’s assisted by Barbara Anderson as Officer Eve Whitfield. Eve often gets double takes as a female police officer, which apparently was novel back then. Eve was a good cop and she could be tough when she had to, even though she often dressed like a tour guide from Disneyland. Don Mitchell plays Mark Sanger, an ex-con that Ironside sees promise in and employs him. Mark is basically Ironside’s man servant in early seasons pushing Ironside around in his wheelchair or driving him around in his armored truck. This may be racially offensive to some today, but Mark eventually joins the force as a police officer in later seasons. Don Galloway is Sergeant Ed Brown, the handsome detective who you sometimes hope was fooling around with Eve behind Ironside’s back. He even misquotes Herb Caen in one episode referring to San Francisco as “Baghdad on the Bay” rather than ‘Baghdad by the Bay’. Most of the San Francisco locations were filmed as Ironside’s truck is heading toward a crime site or an investigation. (IMDb)

IsideWashingtonuseIronside’s truck is often seen entering onto or exiting from the Washington Street side of the old Hall of Justice Building on Kearny Street across from Portsmouth Square.

IsideHalluseAlthough the old Hall of Justice Building was closed and demolition had begun on it when the show premiered, it was used as Ironside’s base of operations. Washington Street is on the left side of the building, Kearny at the bottom, and Merchant Street on the right. A Hilton Hotel occupies the spot today.

IsidecellsuseIn an episode from 1968 two criminals break out from one of the jails cells in the Hall of Justice and have taken Ironside and Eve hostage. This is a picture from the actual jail cell block in the Hall of Justice from a link about the Hall of Justice Building sent to me in a comment from a viewer to my blog, Irunnningynn.  I’ll include the link to the interesting article she sent me at the end of this post.

IsideinsidelibraryuseThe bad guys who have taken Ironside and Eve hostage allow Ironside to take a telephone call from Mark to avoid suspicion. Realizing that Mark is returning to the office, Ironside sends Mark on a lengthy research project at the San Francisco Main Library on Larkin Street to protect him, much to Mark’s confusion.

IsideLibrary1useIsideLibrary2useThese are two views from the scene of the old location of the San Francisco Main Library back then. The building is now the Asian Art Museum.

IsideHobartuseIn a camera scene starting at the top and working its way down, the old Hobart Building on Market Street, with the new back then Wells Fargo Building behind it, is shown in one of the episodes from the first season.

IsideWfargouseThe Hobart Building operators let Wells Fargo paint their stagecoach on the side of the building back then.

IsideVallejoeastuseAn episode that aired December 7th 1967 shows the view down Vallejo Street on Telegraph Hill. I was up on Telegraph Hill at this spot last June and got a reasonable comparison to the TV shot when I was working on another post, although a tree blocks a lot of the old view now. That looks like a Coca Cola sign on the doorway of the building on the corner of Vallejo and Montgomery Streets in the TV shot. There may have been a grocery store there back then.

IsideNonHilluseA view from an early episode looking down Nob Hill along California Street in 1967: There’s no Bank of America Building yet, and you can see the Fairmont Hotel’s Tonga Room on the left and the old Crest Garage building on the corner of Powell and California Streets on the right. The Crest Garage building was still around when I did this then and now in 2017.

IsidemapuseIn an episode that aired November 30th 1967, Ironside’s team is trying to break up a stolen car ring operating out of San Francisco. Here, he reviews a map of San Francisco with Eve and refers to the red dots on the map as to where cars were stolen in San Francisco in the past six months. That may be less than the amount of cars stolen in San Francisco in one week nowadays.

IsideHydeuseWhenever there’s a crime scene or a crime in commission, Mark always seems to drive Ironside north on Hyde Street coming down from Russian Hill to get there. In this scene they’re heading to an auto wrecking yard to break up a stolen car ring. They’re two blocks away from the Bay, and I doubt if there was an auto wrecking yard within fifty miles from here!

IsideSpreckelsuseAnother often used San Francisco location in the show was the old Spreckels Mansion on Washington Street. Whenever the crime involved a well-to-do family, they always seem to live here. Ironside’s truck is turning into the courtyard entrance from Washington Street, seen in the early morning shadows from Lafayette Park across the street in my picture.

SpreckelstwouseThe last I heard, the current resident of the Spreckels Mansion is authoress Danielle Steel.

Below is a link to the story about the old Hall of Justice Building sent to me from Irunnningynn.









Another one of those “different” tours of mine

“Get your walking shoes on, folks. Today we’re going to take a tour that travels through and skirts along the edge of the Tenderloin.”

TourMasonuseWe’ll start at the corner of Turk and Mason Streets; and where else could you hope for a tour to start? The vintage picture is from 1955. All vintage pictures in this post are from the San Francisco Pictures blog and the SFMTA Photo Archives. In the far back is Nob Hill with the Mark Hopkins Hotel, looking like another world from where we’re at.  We’ll pass the vagrants on the Turk Street sidewalks as quietly as possible and head over to Turk and Leavenworth Streets.

TourTurkLeavenuseTurk and Leavenworth Streets in the heart of the Tenderloin, seen in the vintage photo in 1962: I got you into this and I’ll get you out. We’ll walk two blocks west on Turk to Larkin Streets and catch Muni #19 to Sutter Street. Unfortunately, it will be two of the most uncomfortable blocks you’ll ever experience in San Francisco.

TourSutterPolk1931useSutter Street at Polk Street looking east in 1931: From here on in you’re going to find that a remarkable number of buildings in the vintage pictures are still around.

TourSutterLarkinuseOne block east of the previous picture at Sutter and Larkin Streets, seen in 1931: They were doing a lot of work on Sutter Street that year.

TourJonesGearyuseWe’ll move over to Geary Blvd. at Jones Street, seen in 1957. Geary Blvd. used to be considered the northern border of the Tenderloin, but I don’t know if that’s accurate anymore. They’re still selling Mexican food and booze in the same two places they were in 1957.

TourTaylorPostuseOne block east and one block north and we’re at Taylor and Post Streets looking south down Taylor. The vintage picture is from 1937

TourSutterTayloruseWe’ll continue north up Taylor Street to Sutter Street looking east in 1931.

TourSutterPowelluseFrom the Taylor and Sutter Street intersection we’ll head two blocks east to Sutter and Powell Streets, looking east down Sutter in 1931: When you get to here you’re out of the Tenderloin, but you’ll often think back about that area with a definite…… viewpoint. On the right in both photos is the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, and at left center is the 450 Sutter Building.

TourPostuseWe’ll be closing the tour at Union Square. This is the northeast corner of the Square at Post and Stockton Streets in 1940. That’s some pretty antiquated construction equipment those guys are using.

TourGearyStocktonuseThis is at the southeast corner of Union Square looking down Geary Blvd. toward Market Street in 1951. Ah, the City of Paris Department Store; what a wonderful place that was until it was demolished in 1979. The Neiman Marcus Department Store is there now. This area is going to be ground central for “Black Friday” in less than two weeks. I’ve covered that hectic day for the past few years in posts on my blog, but I think this year I’ll just stay home and watch ‘Miracle on 34th Street’. If you enjoyed the tour, please be sure not to tell your friends; I don’t want to go through that again!