Saturday, January 28, 2017

San Francisco's Mission District: 28 January 2017

The 18 April 1906 San Francisco earthquake occurred at 5:12 a.m. Because of the violent and prolonged shaking, which lasted approximately 42 seconds, the earthquake produced significant damage to a large number of buildings. It was also the cause of approximately 52 out-of-control fires that burned unabated for approximately three days. The many fires slowly worked their individual ways through a large area of San Francisco. Three to four thousand people died due to the multiple fires and earthquake.


THEN  This picture was taken from Mission Delores Park on 19 April 1906, the day after the earthquake. The view is looking northeast. On the left is Mission High School, which first opened its doors to students in 1896. The school survived the earthquake and fire of 1906, but sadly, it was destroyed by fire in 1922. The high school was rebuilt, and the new campus reopened in 1927. 
All of the houses visible in this picture were, by the end of the day, consumed by flames. The boy at the bottom left of the photo appears distraught. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

NOW  This is a current view of the 19 April 1906 photograph. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

This apartment building is located at the southwest corner of 18th Street and Valencia Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Here is another apartment building. It is located at the northeast corner of 16th Street and Julian Avenue. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
This is a J Church Muni Metro streetcar heading towards Noe Valley. It is traveling on tracks which are contiguous with the western side of Mission Delores Park. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

Mission National Bank is located at 3060 16th Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A banda excelente is playing some rocking Mexican music, directly above the underground BART 24th Street Mission train station. 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.
The Guerrero Hill Market is located on northeast corner of Guerrero Street and 22nd Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

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


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view those photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with a Panasonic 14-42mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or a comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

Monday, January 16, 2017

Corona Heights Park, San Francisco, Then & Now: 14 & 16 January 2017

Corona Heights Park is located above both the  Corona Heights neighborhood and the Castro Neighborhood. The park is Buena Vista Park’s southerly sister, and it has some of the best views of San Francisco. In the early days of San Francisco, the hill was known as Rocky Hill. It was also known for the brick-making kiln and rock quarry sited on the lower southeastern side of the hill. The rock quarry and kiln were owned and operated by two brothers, George and Harry Gray; they established the rock quarry and brick factory on Rocky Hill in 1899. San Francisco needed stone and bricks for ship ballast, construction, street paving, bay fill and other uses, and the Gray brothers provided them. The brothers also operated rock quarries on Telegraph Hill and Billy Goat Hill. The brick making kiln on Rocky Hill burned during the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, but rock quarrying continued, and the kiln was rebuilt. 

On 10 November 1914, a desperate 36-year-old former quarry worker named Joseph Lococo approached owner George Gray to urgently request $17.50 due him in back wages. The Sicilian immigrant was ill and was about to be evicted from his house on Arkansas Street. He, his wife and their two babies had not eaten for two days. George Gray refused to pay him and told him to get out. Joseph Lococo then pulled out a gun and shot George Gray to death. Joseph Lococo was acquitted by reason of temporary insanity and walked out of the courtroom a free man. Harry Gray shut down the rock quarry and brick kiln operation in 1915.

In 1928 Josephine Randall the Recreation Superintendent of San Francisco proposed that the City buy the 16 acre Rocky Hill site as a recreation location for the residents of San Francisco; it was purchased by the City in 1941 and named Corona Heights Park. The Randall Museum, located on the lower southwest side of the hill opened in 1951. It was the desire of Josephine Randall to create a place where city children could experience “a day in the country" and learn to love natural history, science, and crafts. Today, the museum offers science exhibits, art and ceramics classes, a theater and a carpentry workshop.

I went to Corona Heights Park on both the 14th and 16th of January 2017 so that I would be able to take pictures of the park from several dissimilar locations.

This is a view of Corona Heights Park; the view is looking northeast. The photograph was taken from the top of Tank HillClick on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The photograph was taken from the top of Corona Heights Park; the view is looking east. Mount Diablo can be seen at about thirty-five miles in the distance. Oakland is visible across San Francisco BayClick on the image to see the full-size photo.



THEN   This view of Rocky Hill, now known as Corona Heights Park, shows the brick kiln built by the Gray Brothers. The photo was taken from Kite Hill circa 1900. The view is looking north.



NOW   This picture of Corona Heights Park was taken from Solari Hill, also known as Kite Hill Open Space. The location of the site of the brick kiln can be seen. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


Here is another view of Rocky Hill; this photo was taken circa 1904. It appears that this photo was taken from a camera attached to a kite
 One final view of Rocky Hill; this photo was taken circa 1905. The view is looking northwest. The brick kiln is on the far left and almost completely out of view. You will notice some quarry scars on the hillside. 

This plat map of the brick kiln, the surrounding streets, property lines, and houses was drawn in the early 1900s. 

This is one of the few remnants of the brick kiln building. It is located adjacent to State Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

These bricks were used to build a retaining wall. The wall is also located adjacent to State Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

This was the location of the Gray Brother's brick kiln building. The land is now used for tennis courts and as a small playing field. The view is looking west; Sutro Tower is ahead in the distance. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
This is the summit of Corona Heights Park; it is at an elevation of 520 feet (158 meters). The view is from the west side of the park. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



This view of Corona Heights Park was taken from 20th Street. Behind Corona Heights Park is Buena Vista Park, the first official park in the City of San Francisco. Between Corona Heights Park and Buena Vista Park is a long building whose exterior is painted in a light pink hue. That building was originally St. Joseph’s Hospital; it was built between 1926-1928. The building was converted to condominiums in 1979. The view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

This picture of Corona Heights Park was taken from Solari Hill. Mr. Solari was a farmer whose cows grazed in the area. Thanks to Mark Lillie for the background information about the naming of Solari Hill. The hill is officially known as Kite Hill Open Space. In this photo, the location of the site of the brick kiln can be seen at Corona Heights Park. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

This is a picture of Kite Hill Open Space. Corona Heights Park is visible in the background on the left side of the photo. The view is looking northeast. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

Beautiful Twin Peaks. The peak on the left is Noe Peak, 910 feet (277 meters) and the peak on the right is Eureka Peak, 904 feet (275 meters). The view is looking southwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
This picture was taken on a Muni Metro F-Market & Wharves streetcar traveling north on Market Street towards downtown San Francisco and its final stop at Fisherman's WharfClick on the image to see the full-size photo.
The distance traveled on 14 January 2017 was approximately 3.9 miles (6.3 kilometers). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. The cumulative elevation gain was about 778 feet (237 meters). Click on the image to see the full-size map.
A graph of the elevation changes encountered during the walk on 14 January 2017. Click on the image to see the full-size chart.
The distance traveled on 16 January 2017 was approximately 6.7 miles (10.8 kilometers). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. The cumulative elevation gain was about 997 feet (304 meters). Click on the image to see the full-size map.
A graph of the elevation changes encountered during the walk on 16 January 2017. Click on the image to see the full-size chart.
“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” -Dorothea Lange


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view those photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with a Panasonic 14-42mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

Saturday, January 7, 2017

San Francisco's Sutro Heights - Then & Now: 7 January 2017

Starting in the 1880s, large tracts of land located on San Francisco’s Outside Lands were purchased by Adolph Sutro. Mr. Sutro was a German immigrant who had earlier built Sutro Tunnel. The tunnel was a drainage tunnel designed to drain the excessive hot water from the deep underground silver mines of the Comstock Lode which was located in Virginia City, Nevada

Adolph Sutro became a permanent resident of San Francisco after the Comstock Lode Tunnel in Virginia City had been completedHe constructed many landmarks in San Francisco that are popular to this day. Among these were the Sutro Baths, the Mount Sutro Forrest, the Sutro Heights Parapet, Mount Olympus, as well as other resources which were made available to the people of San Francisco. Thank you, Adolph Sutro!

Adolph Sutro also built the second version of the Cliff House, a beautiful seven-story Victorian structure that became, and has remained, the most famous and beloved incarnation of the Cliff House. Both the second version of the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths were opened in 1896. The Cliff House survived the 1906 Earthquake but burned to the ground in 1907, just fifteen months after the 18 April 1906 earthquake. The Sutro Baths were destroyed in 1966. Adolph Sutro was the 24th mayor of San Francisco, serving from 1894 to 1896

Adolph Sutro arrived in the United States on 21 November 1851. He married Leah Harris in 1856; they had six children, four girls, and two boys. Adolph Sutro died in 1898. The executor of his estate was one of his daughters. She was a medical doctor: Dr. Emma Sutro Merritt. It took Dr. Emma Sutro Merritt more than ten years to settle her father's estate. She did an excellent job; her father's name is still remembered and widely respected, one hundred and nineteen years after his death.

I began this ramble by first taking a few pictures at and around the Ferry Building in downtown San Francisco. All of the below photographs were taken in the midst of a multi-day storm which provided the parched Northern California terrain with much-needed rain and snow. I used a waterproof camera to take the photos.


This is a view of Ocean Beach as seen from Sutro Heights. The view is looking south. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


The San Francisco Ferry Building was designed in 1892 and was completed in 1898. It is located on the Embarcadero at Market StreetClick on the image to see the full-size photo.


Streetcar #1893 was built in Italy in 1928 for the Milan, Italy municipal streetcar line. It is now in service on the San Francisco F streetcar lineClick on the image to see the full-size photo.


Streetcar #1057 was built in 1948 and is painted to honor Cincinnati, Ohio, which ran streetcars from 1939 to 1951. It is now in service on the San Francisco F streetcar lineClick on the image to see the full-size photo.


I took a San Francisco public transit bus to Geary Boulevard at Arguello Street and then began my ramble to Sutro Heights and the Pacific Ocean. This picture was taken on Clement Street. This mother and daughter are thsame people in a photo I took on Clement Street during November 2016. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


These pictures of Adolph Sutro were taken by Mathew Brady sometime between 1865 and 1880.


THEN This picture of the Sutro Baths was taken in 1897. The buildings were constructed in 1894. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

  NOW A fire destroyed the Sutro Baths in 1966The rock outcropping straight ahead is known as North Seal Rock. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


This map of Sutro Heights and Sutro Baths is circa 1896. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


THEN This is a picture of the second Cliff House constructed at this location. The picture was taken in 1896; Adolph Sutro spent $75,000 to build this beautiful building; the Cliff House is resplendent in all its glory. The photo was taken from the observation tower located on Sutro Heights Plaza.  Seal Rocks are visible as is a steam ship about to enter San Francisco Bay. This version of the Cliff House was destroyed by fire on 7 September 1907. A picture of the above-mentioned observation tower may be seen in this gallery of pictures, four photos below. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


THEN This picture was taken in 1868. It is a photo of the first Cliff House. The photographer was Carlton Watkins (1829-1916). Mr. Watkins was a famous American photographer of the 19th Century. His area of expertise was landscape photography. The first Cliff House was destroyed by fire in1894



THEN This picture is circa 1930 and it shows the third and current version of the Cliff House. Dr. Emma Sutro Merritt, the executor of the Sutro Estate did not want to build another wooden Cliff House because of the proven fire danger. In 1909 she authorized the construction of the third Cliff House. The building she had built was constructed of steel and concrete. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

      NOW  I took this picture of the third iteration of the Cliff House. The building has had numerous modifications over the past one hundred and five years, but it is still the same basic building. This photo was taken from the Plaza on Sutro Heights ParapetClick on the image to see the full-size photo.


THEN This is the entry gate to Sutro Heights as seen in 1886. The Sutro family donated the 18 acres property to the City of San Francisco in 1938. In 1939 the Works Progress Administration (WPA) demolished the residence. Most of the statues were removed with the exception of The Lions at the entry gate. Sutro Heights Park is no longer a city park, it is now a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation AreaClick on the image to see the full-size photo.



NOW The Lions are still guarding the entry way to Sutro Heights. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



THEN. The Sutro Heights Parapet and plaza as seen circa 1894. Note the observation tower as mentioned four pictures above, in this edition of the photo blog. Please note the stairway seen in both this photo and the below photographClick on the image to see the full-size photo.


NOW. This photo of the Sutro Heights Parapet was taken from the North Esplanade. Note the same stairway as seen in both of the above photographs.  Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



THEN. This picture of the Sutro Heights Conservatory was taken in 1896. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.



NOW.  This is the site of the Sutro Heights ConservatoryClick on the image to see the full-size photograph.



Ah yes, this is where the mouth of San Francisco Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. The view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.



Moving through Lands End, and rambling northeast on the Coastal TrailClick on the image to see the full-size photograph.



This photograph was taken from the Lands End Trail. Ahead is a small cove which is known as China Beach. Surrounding China Beach is a portion of the Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco. The beach seen on the left is part of Baker Beach. Baker Beach is located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It was previously a part of the Presidio, an Army military base. China Beach is a part of the City and County of San Francisco. This view is looking southeast. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.



A view  of the Golden Gate Bridge as seen from the Lands End TrailAngel Island is visible behind the bridge. This view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



A view of the Lincoln Park Steps. The steps were constructed in the early 1900's. During May of 2015, a celebration was held for the recent addition of the beautiful and delightful mosaic tile workClick on the image to see the full-size photo.



Going to downtown San Francisco on a Muni Metro 38R bus. The bus is now on Geary Boulevard, traveling east through the Richmond DistrictClick on the image to see the full-size photograph.


The distance traveled was approximately 6.3 miles (10.1 kilometers). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. The cumulative elevation gain was about 471 feet (144 meters). 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


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view those photo galleries.

An Olympus TG-4 camera was used to take these photographs.

Question or a comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com