Monday, May 29, 2017

The Richmond District, Then & Now: 29 May 2017

I walked through the Richmond District of San Francisco with the intention of putting together a small gallery of ‘Then and Now’ photographs of the district. Here are the results. The photographs are shown in the order in which I walked through the Richmond. A map of the route is shown below.


THEN  This is a view of St. Ignatius Church under construction. The picture is circa 1910. The church opened on 2 August 1914. (Courtesy of California Province of the Society of Jesus Archives, Los Gatos, California.) Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

NOW  The church is located on Parker Avenue at the intersection of Shrader Street. This is a picture of the church one hundred and three years after it opened. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

THEN  This picture was taken in 1938. The streetcar is on the No. 21 line which ran along Fulton Street. Fulton Street is contiguous with the northern boundary of Golden Gate Park. A Safeway market is visible on the northwest corner of Fulton Street and Fifth Avenue. (Courtesy of Jack Tillmany.) Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

NOW  The streetcar line is now history, as is the Safeway market. A four-story residential building now occupies the site of Safeway. All of the other building are still located on Fulton Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

THEN  Fernando Nelson, along with his four sons, was a major San Francisco homebuilder in the early Twentieth Century. This photograph was taken in 1938 on Third Avenue. The view is looking east. (Courtesy of Julie Norris O'Keefe.) Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

NOW  This is a view of the houses as seen in 2017. The location is Third Avenue between Cabrillo Street and Balboa Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

THEN  Pope John Paul II visited San Francisco in 1987. This is a picture of the Pope on Geary Boulevard near Third Avenue. (Courtesy of Mark Adams.) Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

NOW  This is a view of the location in 2017; the view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

THEN  The German Savings and Loan Society was the first bank to put a branch in the Richmond District. The bank opened this branch on 27 December 1911. (Courtesy of John Freeman.) Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

NOW  Tat Wong Kung Fu has three locations in the San Francisco Bay Area This location is at 601 Clement Street at Seventh Avenue. Please note that at some time in the past the building's owner increased the size of the building. The view is looking southwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

THEN  This photo was taken on Clement Street in 1905; the view is looking east. There is a streetcar rounding the corner at Sixth Avenue and some horse drawn wagons are waiting on the north side of Clement Street. (Courtesy of John Freeman.) Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

NOW  This is the same view in 2017. All of the buildings are original, but they have all had significant alterations in the past one hundred and twelve years. Green Apple Books is visible in this picture. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

THEN  This is a view of Clement Street at Ninth Avenue, the scene is looking east. The Coliseum Theater is on the right. The theater opened on 22 November 1918, and closed seventy-two years later, on 17 October 1989. This photo was taken in 1944. (Courtesy of San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.) Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

NOW  In 2000, the theater building was gutted, and it was transformed into fourteen residential condominium apartments along with a Walgreen's drugstore at street level. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

THEN  The Alexandria Theatre opened in 1923; this photo was taken in 1944. The theatre closed in 2004. (Courtesy of Jack Tillmany.) Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

NOW  Major construction work is now occurring at the theatre site. This photo was taken on Geary Boulevard at Nineteenth Avenue; the view is looking east.Click on the image to see the full-size photo. 

THEN  Dick's Saloon & Restaurant was located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Forty-third Avenue and Point Lobos Road. The photograph was taken in 1903, and the location of the saloon is only a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean and the Cliff House. (Courtesy of a private collector.) Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

NOW  The saloon is long gone; the site is now occupied by a four-unit residential building. The former location of the Fort Miley Military Reservation is one block north of this spot. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
THEN  The Balboa Theatre opened on 27 February 1926; this photo was taken in 1968. The theatre has an interesting history. (Photograph by Tom Grey; courtesy of Jack Tillmany.) Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

NOW  The building is still functioning as a movie theatre. The theatre is located at 3630 Balboa Street, on the north side of the street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

THEN  This hotel located on Fulton Street at the intersection of Thirty-sixth Avenue, opened in1907. The building is located across the street from Golden Gate Park and about one mile from Ocean Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The building functioned as a hotel until 1920 at which time it began to be used as a sanitarium. The building was converted for use as an apartment building in 1932, which continues to the present day. (Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.) Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

NOW  It cost $50,000 to construct this building in 1907. The structure has been nicely maintained over the past 110 years. This view is looking northwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

The distance traveled was approximately 8.1 miles (13.0 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 580 feet (177 meters). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated 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 Lang 


The book San Francisco’s Richmond District was helpful in assembling this gallery of ‘Then and Now’ photographs.

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 an Olympus 17mm lens was used to take these photographs.

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