31 December 2019

San Francisco – A view of Nike Missile radar site SF-89C, which was located on the summit of Mount Sutro. Plus, a ramble on Mount Davidson: December 2019

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This photograph shows one of the three Presidio missile launching pads known as SF-89LThe houses in the distance are located in the Richmond District of San Francisco, and the view is looking south. The mountain on the far left is Mount Sutro. Sited at the summit of Mount Sutro, at an elevation of 909 feet, is radar tracking site SF-89C. It was designed to guide the missiles toward incoming enemy aircraft. This picture is circa 1958-1960.

Ramble #1: This map shows the route traveled from the Ashbury Heights neighborhood over Mount Sutro and concluding in the Sunset District on 19th Avenue at Judah Street. I used a Garmin GPS receiver to track the route: The distance traveled was approximately 4.4 miles, and the cumulative elevation gain was about 645 feet.

This is a view of the Fairy Gates Trail on Mount Sutro. The elevation of Mount Sutro is 909 feet. 

This is a view of the summit of Mount Sutro. In the 1950s,1960s, and early 1970s, the U.S. Government had between 250 and 300 Nike Missile defense sites constructed and installed in the United States during the Cold War. Each missile site was occupied by military personnel and consisted of two plots of land separated by approximately two miles. One parcel of land was used as the missile launching site. The second parcel of land was where radar antennas scanned the sky for enemy planes traveling toward the land area protected by the Nike missile site. 
This area on the summit of Mount Sutro, known as SF-89C, was the site of the radar antennas. The missile launching position, SF-89L, was located about two miles north of Mount Sutro, in San Francisco's Presidio Army base.

One of the several former military positions is located on the south side of Mount Sutro. It is approximately 200 feet from the radar antennae positioned on the summit. This location was used by the soldiers who operated the radar tracking equipment. This facility is now being used as a native plant-growing site.

This empty and unused structure was a military police guard building located near the former radar tracking site.

Here is a view looking northwest from the vicinity of Nike radar site SF-89C, located on Mount Sutro's summit. Ahead in the distance is the location of the Presidio U.S. Army base, which was the site of the three SF-89L missile launch pads. Each launch pad had four missile launching positions. Twelve missiles could thus be launched simultaneously if needed. No missiles were ever launched from any of the Nike missile sites located throughout the United States.

This is a picture of the upper part of Oakhurst Lanea steep and long stairway on the west side of Mount Sutro. The stairway goes from the upper portion of Mount Sutro down to near the mountain's base.

This photo was taken from the Oakhurst Lane stairway; the view looks northwest, towards the Inner Sunset DistrictGrandview Park is located on the hill in the distance.

This is the Sunset branch of the San Francisco Public Library. The building is located on 18th Avenue at Irving Street. Andrew Carnegie donated the money necessary to construct this library building and six other San Francisco library buildingsAndrew Carnegie built 2,509 libraries throughout the world between 1883 and 1920. 1,689 libraries were built in the United States, 660 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and 125 in Canada. He also constructed libraries in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Serbia, France, Mauritius, Malaysia, and Fiji. This library branch opened on 18 March 1918. Thank you, Andrew Carnegie.

Ramble #2: This map shows the route traveled from the West Portal neighborhood over Mount Davidson and concludes at the Glen Park BART train station. A GPS recorded the route taken. The distance traveled was approximately 3.3 miles, and the cumulative elevation gain was roughly 555 feet. Mount Davidson, at 927 feet, is the highest natural point in San Francisco.

Here is a view from the West Portal neighborhood. This two-car K-Ingleside streetcar exited the Twin Peaks Tunnel and is heading outbound to the Balboa Park station.  

A view of West Portal Avenue. Ahead is the Barbagelata Real Estate Company. John Barbagelata (29 March 1919 - 19 March 1994) founded and owned the real estate company. He was the father of eight children, one of the members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and a 1975 San Francisco mayoral candidate. He lost the 1975 mayoral election to George Moscone by less than 5,000 votes.

This is a view from San Lorenzo Way. Edgehill Mountain (734 feet) is ahead.

This is a view of the Forest Hill Extension neighborhood.

St. Francis Wood Neighborhood (4)

A view of Mount Davidson is seen from a pedestrian walkway that crosses over Portola Drive. Also visible is San Francisco Fire Department Station #39.

Mount Davidson is shrouded in fog.

A view of Mount Davidson as seen from the Sherwood Forest Neighborhood.


A view from Mount Davidson looking southeast.

Near the summit of Mount Davidson, looking north.

The Mount Davidson Cross is located on the summit of Mount Davidson.

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

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

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams

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

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

   Either a Sony camera or an Olympus camera was used to take these photographs.

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