Saturday, December 27, 2014

The site of the Mill Valley Air Force Station, located on the summit of Mount Tamalpais: 27 December 2014

I explored the abandoned Mill Valley Air Force Station. The majority of the buildings have been demolished and removed.


A view of the Mill Valley Air Force Station as seen from a plane in 1956. It was an active base at that time. The view is looking east; Mount Diablo is in the distance. Also seen is the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge which opened in 1956.




The route of the hike. The approximate distance traveled as tracked by GPS was 8.3 miles. The approximate cumulative elevation gain was 1,603 feet.

This graph shows the elevation changes encountered during the ramble.

The summit of West Peak. It is now used as a FAA aircraft radar site. This location was the tallest point on Mount Tamalpais until it was bulldozed and flattened to accommodate the Air Force Station.
The remains of the Officer's Quarters.
The remains of the mess hall.
The remains of the vehicle repair facility.
The remains of officer family housing.

“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

You are welcome to visit my primary website  www.mishalov.com



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Alameda, an island city with many homes dating from the Nineteenth Century: 20 December 2014

On Saturday 20 December I joined a  group of people for a hike in the City of Alameda. We viewed some of the homes in the city, most of which were constructed in the late nineteenth century. We also saw the beautifully decorated homes on "Christmas Tree Lane," aka Thompson Avenue. 
The city of Alameda was founded in 1853; it is sited on an island, and it has a population of approximately 75,000. The city is located in the eastern portion of San Francisco Bay and is adjacent to Oakland. 
In 1938 Congress approved the construction of a naval air station in the Northwest part of Alameda Island. In April 1942 the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-08) sailed from Alameda Naval Air Station carrying 16 B-25 aircraft that would take part in the Doolittle Raid on Japan. Alameda Naval Air Station closed in April 1997.


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Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Two charming sisters, and their rabbit, at Franklin Park. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
The walking group is receiving information about the Christmas decoration on "Christmas Tree Lane." Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The map of the route. The approximate distance traveled as tracked by GPS was 7.3 miles. Mile markers are displayed on the track. Click on the image to see the full-size map.



“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

You are welcome to visit my primary website  www.mishalov.com

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Across San Francisco, thru the Tenderloin, and into Downtown: 7 December 2014

I walked across San Francisco from west to northeast on a cloudy Sunday. 
I started the walk near the San Francisco Zoo; just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean. I then headed north through the Sunset District, crossed through Golden Gate Park, and entered the Richmond District. I then continued on Geary Boulevard, traveling east through the Anza Vista District and the Western Addition Neighborhood. I stopped in Japantown for a bite to eat. Afterwhich, I continued east on Post Street and entered the Tenderloin District. After the Tenderloin, I entered the Union Square area and then finished the walk at the Ferry Building.
All of the photographs are shown in the sequential order of the walk.

The map of the route. The approximate distance traveled as tracked by GPS was 10.7 miles. The approximate cumulative elevation gain was 567 feet. Mile markers are shown on the route’s track. Click on the image to see the full-size map.
This graph shows the elevation changes encountered during the ramble. Click on the image to see the full-size chart.
street fire alarm box located on Anza Street in the Richmond District. The alarm box was manufactured in 1912 by the no longer operational San Francisco Department of Electricity. This fire alarm box is still in service 102 years after it was put into operation. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
This lovely 19th Century duplex is located at 1406/1408 Post Street in JapantownClick on the image to see the full-size photo.
The site of the California Pacific Medical Center hospital is currently under construction. The photograph shows the amount of excavation which has taken place for the below ground area of the building. The project occupies an entire city block surrounded by Van Ness Avenue, Geary Boulevard, Post Street and Franklin Street. The new 304-bed hospital is scheduled to open by 2019. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
This building is located at 1151 Post Street. It is one of the many SRO (single room occupancy) apartment buildings/hotels located in the Tenderloin District. The building was constructed in 1910, and it has 20 units. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

This apartment building is located at 1036 Polk Street. It has 36 living units. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
San Francisco Fire Department Station #3 is located at 1067 Post Street. A fire engine is leaving on a call. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

The Hartland Hotel is located at 909 Geary Street; the cross street is Larkin Street. This SRO hotel provides 137 units of housing. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
City Supermarket is located in the Tenderloin District on Geary Street between Leavenworth Street and Jones Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
I am now in Downtown San Francisco. This is a photograph of Lotta’s Fountain; it is located on Market Street and it was dedicated on 9 September 1875. The cast iron sculpture with a drinking fountain at its base was donated to San Francisco by the entertainer Lotta Crabtree.  It served as a meeting point during the aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. In 1999 the fountain, which had suffered neglect in the past decades, was totally refurbished to its 1875 appearance. The fountain has a metallic gold-brown paint finish. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
A detail from Lotta’s Fountain. It depicts miners searching for gold in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
The Hobart Building, located on Montgomery Street in the Financial District, was completed in 1914 after a construction period of only 11 months. The architect was Willis Polk. The building was designated as a landmark by the City of San Francisco in 1983. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

You are welcome to visit my primary website  www.mishalov.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Presidio Army Base and the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco: 19 October 2014

I read that the Presidio Trust would be opening the Presidio Officers’ Club on 7 October 2014 as a showcase for illuminating the rich history of the Presidio. “The Presidio was a military post for more than 200 years, first for Spain in 1776, then for Mexico in 1822, and finally for the United States Army from 1846 to 1994.” Today the Presidio is a National Historic Landmark. I decided to visit the Presidio Officers’ Club and see the exhibits. I walked to the Presidio from the Montgomery Street BART Station.

This map illustrates the route traveled, with mile markers shown. The approximate distance traveled, as measured by a GPS receiver, was 10.9 miles. Click on the image to see the full-size map.
This graph shows the elevation changes encountered during the ramble. The approximate cumulative elevation gain was 805 feet. Click on the image to see the full-size chart.
A view of the Presidio’s Lombard Street gate. The picture was taken during World War II from an apartment building located across the street from the Presidio. The convoy of ambulances traveling to Letterman Army Hospital is a grim reminder of the carnage that was taking place during the war. The hospital treated 73,000 patients from the Pacific Theatre of Operations in 1945 alone.
A present day view of the Lombard Street gate. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A view of the 6th Army Headquarters building. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
A view of the Presidio Officers’ Club building. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A view of Moraga Hall, which is located in the Officers’ Club. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
A photo of Moraga Hall taken in 1934.
This flagpole has a sad history. The 2¼ ton, 105½ foot flagpole is the tallest in the San Francisco area. The flagpole marks the site where General John J. Pershing (1860-1948) his wife, his three young daughters and his young son lived in government housing befit a General. 

On 13 January 1914, General Pershing took command of the 8th Infantry Brigade at the Presidio of San Francisco. It wasn’t long, however, before tensions along the Mexican border forced the 8th Infantry to be transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas. 

While her husband was at Fort Bliss, Mrs. Francis Pershing, and the four children remained at the family’s two-story Victorian house at the Presidio. Tragedy struck on Friday 27 August 1915, when hot coals spilled from the hearth of the Pershing home and onto the highly waxed floor. The house was quickly consumed by flames; Mrs. Pershing and her three daughters—Helen Elizabeth, aged eight, Ann Orr, aged seven, and Mary Margaret, aged three—perished in the blaze. Only five-year-old Warren survived after being rescued by Pershing’s orderly. The General’s wife and three daughters were buried in Montana. After the funeral, General Pershing returned to Texas accompanied by his son and his sister.
Warren, General Pershing’s only surviving child, served in the Second World War as an advisor to Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall. Warren Pershing (1909-1980) attained the rank of Colonel. He had two sons Richard (1942-1968) and John (1941-1999). Richard was an Army Second Lieutenant, who was killed in action in Vietnam on 17 February 1968. John attained the rank of Colonel in the Army. He died of cardiovascular disease in 1999. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

The house the Pershing family lived in while at the Presidio. This picture shows the remains of the house after the deadly 27 August 1915 fire. Pershing’s five-year-old son Warren was the only child to survive the blaze; he was rescued through the window indicated by the arrow.
A snippet of an article about the tragedy published by the Chicago Daily Tribune on 28 August 1915. 
A view of the Golden Gate Bridge as seen from near the Presidio’s Main Parade Ground. The building in the lower portion of the photograph was the post’s main commissaryClick on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The Palace of Fine Arts was constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. The Palace of Fine Arts was designed by the esteemed architect Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957). Professor Maybeck moved to Berkeley, California in 1892, and was a professor at the University of California, BerkeleyClick on the image to see the full-size photo.


A detail from the Palace of Fine Arts. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The entryway to 3460 Baker Street, a private home. It is sited directly east of the Palace of Fine Arts. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

It is now late afternoon, and the fog is barreling in through the Golden Gate. The view is looking North. The buildings on the hillside across San Francisco Bay are homes in the community of Sausalito. The mountain directly ahead is majestic Mount Tamalpais (2,572 feet). Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

You are welcome to visit my primary website  www.mishalov.com