Thursday, November 30, 2017

San Francisco then & now, part three: November 2017


Click on an image to view the full-size photograph.


THENThis is Laguna Honda Reservoir as seen in 1904. It was constructed in the 1860s and is located on the southwest side of Mount Sutro. In 1865 the Spring Valley Water Company built a thirteen-mile long redwood flume from Pilarcitos Reservoir to Laguna Honda Reservoir. Pilarcitos Reservoir, located in San Mateo County in the northern part of the Santa Cruz Mountains, was constructed in the 1860s to provide potable water for San Francisco's burgeoning population. 

THENThis is a view of Laguna Honda Reservoir as seen in 1918. The view is looking south. 

NOWThis is a current view of the reservoir. It is now a secondary water supply. The primary source of potable water for San Francisco now originates at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in the Sierra Nevada MountainsHere is the location of Laguna Honda Reservoir as seen on Google Maps.


THENThis is a view from the Laguna Honda Reservoir looking north. The picture was taken in 1929. The man on the left with the cane is San Francisco city engineer Michael O'Shaughnessy (1864-1934). City engineer O'Shaughnessy was born in Ireland; he emigrated to the U.S. in 1885. In 1912 San Francisco Mayor James Rolph chose him as the city's chief engineer. He was responsible for many San Francisco civic construction projects, including the construction of the Twin Peaks Reservoir, the Municipal Railway System, the Stockton Street Tunnel, the Twin Peaks Tunnel and his greatest project, the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Thank you, Michael O'Shaughnessy!


NOW: This is the scene today. I can envision city engineer O'Shaughnessy walking down the street. Here is this location as seen on Google Maps. 

THENThis is a part of the thirteen-mile long redwood flume that brought water to Laguna Honda Reservoir. The flume was destroyed during the 18 April 1906 earthquake. This portion of the flume was located in what is now known as the St. Francis Wood residential neighborhood.

NOWThis is a view of a grand water fountain at the intersection of St. Francis Boulevard and San Anselmo Avenue. This was the site of the flume as it traversed St. Francis Wood. Here is the location of the water fountain as seen on Google Maps.

THENThe Portal Theatre opened on 26 December 1925; it is located on West Portal Avenue. Photo courtesy of San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

THENIn 1936 the theatre changed ownership and reopened as the Empire Theatre. This photo was taken in 1966. Photo courtesy of Jack Tillmany.

NOWIn the 1970s the theatre was reconfigured, and it currently has three separate auditoriums within the building. Here is the location of the theatre as seen on Google Maps.

THEN: This is an entrance to the Forest Hill Muni Metro underground streetcar station. It was built as a part of the Twin Peaks Tunnel in 1916-1918. It is the only underground station in the 2.27 mile long Twin Peaks Tunnel.

NOW: A building was added to the station; this is the best comparison photo available. Here is the location of Forest Hill Station as seen on Google Maps.

THENThis is Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center. The hospital originally opened in 1866 and was then known as the Almshouse, a place of refuge for people who were chronically ill, or impoverished with nowhere else to go. This picture was taken in 1936. 

NOWThe hospital is operated by the City of San Francisco, and one hundred and fifty years later it still provides care for those in need of medical assistance. Here is the location of the hospital as seen on Google Maps.



GO HERE to view part one of San Francisco then & now.

GO HERE to view part two of San Francisco then & now.

GO HERE to view part four of San Francisco then & now.

GO HERE to view part five of San Francisco then & now.

GO HERE to view part six of San Francisco then & now.


"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lang 

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Cartier-Bresson

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 photos.

   A Sony camera was used to take these photographs.

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

San Francisco then & now, part two: November 2017


Click on an image to view the full-size photograph.


THEN: This five-story office building was built in 1888. It was located on Market Street in downtown San Francisco; the cross street was O'Farrell Street. The building was constructed by James D. Phelan.


THEN: The Phelan Building was destroyed by the earthquake and subsequent fires of 18 April 1906. This photo was taken two days after the earthquake.

THENThis is the replacement Phelan Building, it was constructed on the same site as the original Phelan Building. This photo was taken in 1908. The building's architect was William Curlett.

NOWHere is a view of the Phelan Building one hundred and nine years after its construction. It is an 11-story office building located at 760 Market Street.




THEN: The San Francisco College for Woman was constructed on the crest of Lone Mountain in the early 1930s. The school was founded by the Roman Catholic Church. The name of the school was changed to Lone Mountain College in 1969. In 1978 the school was intergrated within the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit-Catholic institution. Lone Mountain was part of a large San Francisco cemetery complex which originated in the 1850s. This picture is circa the 1930s.


NOW: The school is now a part of the University of San Francisco. This view is looking south.

THEN: This building is known as San Francisco's Flatiron Building. It is located at 540 Market Street at Sutter Street. The structure was built in 1913. The photograph is circa the 1930s.

NOWThe Flatiron Building is a ten story building, and it is San Francisco Landmark #155.


THEN: This photo was taken from 24th Street near York Street in the Mission DistrictThe year is 1938, and the view is looking east. A 35-Howard line streetcar is rolling west on Twenty-fourth Street. In the distance is Potrero Hill, and on the right is the Roosevelt Theatre. The theatre opened on 22 September 1926. Most of the buildings visible in this eighty-year-old photo are still standing today. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Remembered


NOW: Streetcars are no longer rolling up and down Twenty-fourth Street. The Roosevelt Theatre was renamed the York Theatre in the 1950sThe York Theatre closed in the 1993.  It reopened in December 2000, and is now known as the Brava Woman's Theater Arts, a venue that is primarily a performing arts center.


THEN: The Tower Theatre opened on Mission Street in 1912 as the Majestic Theatre. It was a two-story, 870-seat theatre. It was renamed the Tower Theatre in 1942. By the 1960s the theatre had become the home of Spanish-language films. The theatre closed in 1996; it later became a church. This photo was taken in 1964.


NOW: The church moved out of the building in 2006. This is a current view of the Tower Theatre building. Yes, there is still hope for the building's survival.


THEN:  William Tecumseh Sherman, a future American Civil War general who served in the Union Army, supervised the construction of this building between 1853-1854. The Bank of Lucas, Turner and Company became the first occupants of the building in 1854. The structure's facade faces Montgomery Street, the main San Francisco business street at the time. The 1906 Earthquake damaged the third floor of the building, and the third floor was removed. The building is San Francisco Landmark #26, and California Historical Landmark #453This photo is circa 1934.


NOW: The building is located at 800 Montgomery Street. It has housed restaurants, a bank, a sausage factory, a soy sauce factory, apartments, a carpenter shop, and numerous other tenants during the last one hundred and sixty-three years.


THEN: This building is located at 701 Montogomery Street at Columbus Avenue. It was built in 1909 for the Fugazi Bank. The bank was eventually acquired by the Bank of Italy, and in 1938 the building became the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation. The building is San Francisco Landmark #52. The photo is circa the 1920s.


NOW: The building is presently occupied by the Church of Scientology. 


THENEl Capitan Theatre opened at 2353 Mission Street on 29 June 1928. Decreasing ticket sales brought about its demise on 15 December 1957. The theatre's auditorium was demolished in 1961. The theatre's facade remained because it was an integral part of the El Capitan Hotel, which is still in business today. After the theatre's auditorium was demolished the owner converted the auditorium's location to a parking lot. This photo is circa 1933.


NOW: Here is a view of the El Capitan Hotel and the facade remnant of the El Capitan Theatre. This is San Francisco Landmark #214.


NOWThis scene shows a view of the parking lot which now occupies the site of the theatre's auditorium.


THEN: This commercial waterfront building was constructed in 1889 by Hippolyte d'Audiffred. The building is located at 1 Mission Street; it is near the Ferry Building, and the cross street is the Embarcadero. It is fortuitous that the building survived the 18 April 1906 fires. This photo is circa 1906.


NOW: The structure is now known as the Audiffred Building. It is San Francisco Landmark #7 and is National Register #79000528.


THEN: The New Mission Theatre opened on 14 May 1916; it is located at 2550 Mission Street. The New Mission vertical sign has been a Mission Street landmark for over seventy years. This photo is circa 1943.


NOW: The New Mission Theatre closed in 1993, and it became the location of a furniture store. The theatre building was eventually purchased by City College of San Francisco, which proposed to demolish the building and construct a new college campus on the site of the theatre. There was a strong lobbying effort to save the theatre. The endeavors taken to keep the theatre were successful, and the theatre reopened in December 2015. The building is San Francisco Landmark # 245.


GO HERE to view part one of San Francisco then & now.

GO HERE to view part three of San Francisco then & now.

GO HERE to view part four of San Francisco then & now.

GO HERE to view part five of San Francisco then & now.

GO HERE to view part six of San Francisco then & now.


"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lang 

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Cartier-Bresson

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 photos.

Catherine Accardi is the author of  San Francisco Landmarks. Her book was helpful in assembling this gallery of ‘Then and Now’ photographs.

  Jack Tillmany is the author of Theatres of San FranciscoHis book was helpful in assembling this gallery of ‘Then and Now’ photographs.

Market Street Railway was helpful in assembling this gallery of ‘Then and Now’ photographs. 

A Sony camera was used to take the present day photographs.

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