21 November 2015

A visit to Lake Chabot Park to explore Nike Missile Site SF-31L/C: 21 November 2015

Nike Missile site SF-31 had two components that by design were physically located in two separate locations. The locations are about 1.5 miles from one another.

1. One component is the Nike Missile launching site (SF-31L), where the missiles were stored underground and were able to be fired towards incoming airplanes, in the event of an enemy attack by air. An East Bay Regional Park service yard now occupies the former Nike missile launching site. The service yard is closed to the public, but friendly service yard personnel allowed me the opportunity to walk through the site and photograph the remnants of the Nike missile battery. Two of the underground Nike Missile storage/launching sites are currently visible in the service yard. 

2. The second location of the Nike Missile site is the radar communications and control facility (SF-31C). I left the East Bay Regional service yard and drove about two miles west on Fairmont Drive. I then parked in the small parking lot at the beginning of the Fairmont Ridge Trail. It is the trail that leads to the former Nike Missile radar location (SF-31C) where missile targeting and fire control took place. The former Nike Missile radar site is now occupied by the radio transmission tower of KYA-FM San Francisco, and microwave repeater communication antennas. 


An East Bay Regional Parks service yard now occupies the former Nike missile launch battery site. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Click on the image to see the full-size map.
The remains of a hydraulic lift used both to store missiles underground and also raise missiles to ground level for firing. After the missiles had been raised, the missiles were rolled by hand a short distance from the hydraulic lift, raised up and put into firing position. These were surface to air missiles with a range of between 25 and 50 miles. They were designed to protect the continental US from an enemy attack from the air. The Cold War was active at the time, and the main concern was that the Russians would launch a surprise attack. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The missile storage areas are still underground. Each storage area was capable of storing 8 Nike missiles. I was able to locate two underground storage areas. The storage areas are located about 30 feet underground. An underground storage area interior dimensions are about 40 feet wide by 75 feet long and 15 feet high. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
I believe this was designed to be an emergency exit from the underground missile storage area. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Here is a second missile storage area/firing area hydraulic lift. I was able to locate two hydraulic lifts on the East Bay Regional Park site. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
This view is looking west at Fairmont Ridge. Fairmont Ridge was the location of the Nike missile radar installation. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
At the end of the Fairmont Ridge Trail is the entry to the former SF-31C Nike Missile Radar Station. The site is currently being used as an FM radio transmitter location, and it is fenced and inaccessible to the public. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
 Inside the radar station site. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The guard post located at the main entrance to the radar station site. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Inside the radar station site. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

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"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.

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

24 October 2015

San Francisco's Potrero Hill, Dogpatch and Mission Bay communities: 24 October 2015

A group of 50 adventurous people did a walk from the Mission District up to Potrero Hill, down to Dogpatch and Mission Bay, and then back to the Mission District.

Click on an image to view the full-size photograph. 
In the Mission.
The approximate distance traveled: 7.2 miles. Approximate cumulative elevation gain: 420 feet. 
24th Street in the Mission District. 
In the Mission. 
On Potrero Hill. 
Crossing the 280 Freeway. 
In China Basin. 
This is a graffiti tagger's dream! The building is located on 16th Street. 

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"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.

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

11 October 2015

Nike Missile Site SF-93A/L/C - San Rafael, California: 11 October 2015

 I spoke with an Army veteran who described his experiences when he was stationed at Nike Missile Site SF-93L in San Rafael, California. I had little knowledge of the San Rafael Nike site, and listening to the veteran describe his time at the site convinced me to locate and view both the launching site and the radar site. After reviewing some maps of the area and recording the necessary latitude and longitude coordinates on my GPS, I was ready to do some exploring!

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

A view of SF-93A, the Nike Missile Site Administration Area. It is now occupied by a drug and alcohol detox center. 

This photo was taken sometime between 1956 and 1971, when the missile site was active. A view of the Administration Area (SF-93A) is seen in the foreground, and the Launching Area is on the top of the hill  (SF-93L). The Launching Area is at an elevation of 97 feet, and the Administration Area is at the height of 10 feet. This view is looking southeast. San Francisco Bay is at the upper left of the photo (GGNRA).

A Google Earth view of the launching site. The red line shows the route I took as I explored the area. The blue circle indicates where the missile launchers were located. US Route 101 (aka Redwood Highway) can be seen on the left. 

Here is a view of the SF-93L Launching Site. The picture is looking northeast. The three launching areas and underground missile storage areas could launch four missiles simultaneously. They have all been covered with up to seven feet of dirt. A little concrete and asphalt are the only indication of what was once there; it is not easy to locate. 

The launching site, looking west. Mount Tamalpais is in the distance. 

I left the SF-93L launching site and drove a few miles south to a trailhead on San Pedro Mountain. My plan was to ascend single-track hiking trails and dirt fire roads to 984 feet, the elevation of SF-93C, the radar site. This picture was taken during my hike up Gold Hill Trail on San Pedro Mountain. Downtown San Rafael is conspicuous, with beautiful Mount Tamalpais gracefully overlooking the scene. The view is looking southwest. 

This view is looking south. San Rafael Creek is visible, as is the industrial/warehouse area of San Rafael. 

Here is a Google Earth view of the route I took to and from the radar site. The approximate distance traveled was 5.3 miles. The approximate cumulative elevation gain was 1,249 feet. The blue circle depicts the location of the radar site. 

A graph of the elevation changes encountered in the route. 

SF-93C radar site. 

I noticed this survey marker at the radar site. The marker was installed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1975. 

SF-93C radar site. 

Hamilton Airfield was initiated in 1932 as an Army airfield. It then became an Air Force airfield and finally reverted to an Army airfield. In January 1976, it was placed in US Government caretaker status. The airfield was located just above sea level, as seen in this photo. This photo was taken from the SF-93C radar site. The view is looking north. 

The Marin County Civic Center was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Construction began in 1960, and the building was completed in 1962. This view is from the Scettrini Fire Road on San Pedro Mountain. The view is looking northwest. 
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 "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 that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view those photos.

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

06 October 2015

San Francisco – from the Ferry Building to the Marina District: 6 October 2015


The San Remo Hotel was constructed in 1906 after the earthquake, and is unchanged today. The hotel is located at 2237 Mason Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Angel Island and Alcatraz Island as seen from Chestnut Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Looking west at the Marina District. The treed area in the distance is part of the Presidio. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The route. The approximate distance traveled was 3.6 miles. 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


19 September 2015

A little ramble from the East Portal of the Sunset Tunnel to Geary Boulevard: 19 September 2015

A little ramble that started at a Muni Metro streetcar stop located at the East Portal of the Sunset Tunnel. I concluded the ramble on Geary Street at 20th Street, at which time I boarded a 38 Muni Metro bus going to downtown San Francisco.


The East Portal of the Sunset Tunnel is located adjacent to Duboce Avenue at Noe Street. The tunnel opened for streetcar use on 21 October 1928. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
A six-unit apartment building located on Noe Street at 14th Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
1450 Masonic Avenue. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The route. The distance traveled was approximately 4.5 miles. The approximate cumulative elevation gain was 413 feet. 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


30 August 2015

San Francisco's Chinatown: 30 August 2015

I did a walk through Chinatown after reading "San Francisco Chinatown, A Guide to its History and Architecture." The book, written by Phillip P. Choy and published in 2012 by City Lights, is well written and informative. Mr. Choy passed away in 2017.

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

Portsmouth Square is located on the first public square established in the early 19th century in the Mexican community of Yerba Buena, whose name was changed to San Francisco in 1847. Captain John B. Montgomery of the USS Portsmouth was ordered to seize Yerba Buena during the Mexican-American War. On 9 July1846, the first American flag was raised near the Mexican adobe custom house in the plaza that would eventually be named Portsmouth Square in honor of the ship.
Many historical events have happened at the plaza. In 1847, the first public school in California was erected at the plaza's southwest corner. On 11 May 1848, the discovery of gold was announced when Sam Brannan showed his gold to a crowd. On 12 June 1849, a group was gathered at the plaza, demanding the election of delegates at the Monterey Constitutional Convention. On 29 August 1850, a memorial service was held after the death of US President Zachary Taylor. The First Admission Day celebration was held on 29 October 1850, when California became the 31st state of the United States.
Portsmouth Square Park is located in the heart of Chinatown. 

A view from Portsmouth Square looking west, as seen on 22 June 1851. "Near harbor in 1851 — San Francisco during the Gold Rush. Early daguerreotype. Signs visible in the image include Book and Job Printing, Louisiana, Sociedad, Drugs & Medicines Wholesale & Retail, Henry Johnson & Co, Alta California, Bella Union." 






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"Constructed in 1858, this elegant brick building played a major role in the financial and entrepreneurial development of frontier San Francisco. From his offices in this building, William M. Lent, President of the Savage Mining Company, organized the financing of the Comstock Lode located in Virginia City, Nevada. The wealth created by the successful mining of the Comstock provided capital for the development of the West in the years following the Civil War. The Society of California Pioneers." The building is San Francisco Landmark #27.
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I have an unbounded interest in Virginia City and have visited Virginia City many times.

Here are my photo galleries from Virginia City, Nevada.




The route through Chinatown. The approximate distance traveled was 4.5 miles.

"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.

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