01 January 2017

Mount Olympus and Buena Vista Hill, San Francisco: 1 January 2017

Buena Vista Hill, 569 feet (173 meters), is located in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco. Credit for designating Buena Vista Hill as a park dates to 1868 when San Francisco Surveyor Bill Humphreys laid out the park in a master plan for the expanding city. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors formally named the hill as a park on 8 May 1894. 

As the city expanded, there was a need to provide residents of the Sunset District with rapid access to that portion of the city east of Buena Vista Hill. In 1922 the city decided to build a streetcar tunnel under Buena Vista Hill. 

The successfully implemented streetcar tunnel that the city built under Twin Peaks in 1918 proved to be very popular and it became a model for the Buena Vista tunnel. On 18 April 1925, Mayor James Rolph formally approved the $1,000,000 project. Construction of the 4,200-foot tunnel began in June of 1926. The tunnel was ready for its first passengers on 21 October 1928; the tunnel was named the Sunset Tunnel. Today, the N Judah light rail line which is the sole user of the tunnel is the busiest line in the city. It served an average of 45,000-weekday passengers in 2015. Visitors to Buena Vista Park are seldom aware that streetcars are rumbling through a tunnel far below the hill. 



NOW This photo was taken from Buena Vista Park. It shows the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit Catholic university located on Lone Mountain. Lone Mountain was at one time the location of the Calvary, Masonic, Laurel Hill and Odd Fellows CemeteriesSt Ignatius Church is visible on the campus of the University. On the far right is a keyhole view of the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. Magnificent Mount Tamalpais overlooks the scene. The view is looking northwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



THEN The cemeteries are visible at the base of Lone Mountain. This photo was taken in 1898. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



A few of the lovely houses seen on this ramble.
 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.


Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


This is a view of the East Portal of the Sunset Tunnel. Buena Vista Hill is above the tunnel. The view is looking west. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



 On 21 October 1928, Mayor James “Sunny Jim” Rolph piloted the first N Judah streetcar through the Sunset Tunnel. This is a view of the streetcar exiting the Western Portal of the tunnel. The view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



NOW Mount Olympus has an unusual history; the 570-foot (174 meters) hill is topped by an empty pedestal. Until 1955 there was a twelve-foot-high cast concrete statue on top of the now empty pedestal. Titled “Triumph of Light,” it showed Lady Liberty. The statue was given to the City of San Francisco in 1887 by Adolph Sutro. The statue was on the top of Mount Olympus for sixty-eight years, and it had a hard life. The concrete weathered and crumbled; water got to the statue’s metal supports and in 1955 the city decided to remove the statue because it was deemed to be a hazard. All that is left on the crest of Mount Olympus today is a massive pedestal; its inscription is defaced and illegible. Mount Olympus is located at the geographical center of San Francisco. This location provides a good point from which to view the city’s beautiful vistas of bay, peaks, ocean, parks, and bridges. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



THEN The Triumph of Light statue as seen on the top of Mount Olympus in 1947.  Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


 An illustration of the Triumph of Light statue. The sculptor was Antoine Wirtz (1806 - 1865).  Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


This is a view from Mount Olympus looking southeast; three hills are visible. From left to right they are: Potrero HillBernal Heights Hill, and Bay View Heights.  Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


This is a view is from Buena Vista Park looking north. The Tiburon Peninsula and the city of Tiburon are visible across San Francisco Bay; a portion of Angel Island can be seen on the right side of the photo. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

"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 these 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

26 December 2016

Salesforce Tower is now the tallest building in San Francisco: 26 December 2016

 The San Francisco Salesforce Tower is currently under constructiongroundbreaking took place on 27 March 2013. Initial occupancy is expected sometime in 2018. It will then officially be known as the tallest building in San Francisco. The Salesforce Tower, when completed, will have a roof elevation of 920 feet (326 meters) and an antenna elevation of 1,070 feet (326 meters).
Click on an image to view the full-size photograph.
This picture looking southwest was taken from Yerba Buena Island. The western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is straight ahead. The Salesforce Tower is the tall building under construction. 

This photo was taken from the pedestrian/bicycle pathway on the recently constructed replacement of the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The Salesforce Tower and Yerba Buena Island are visible. The final connecting section of the pedestrian/bicycle pathway was open to Yerba Buena Island on Sunday, 23 October 2016. 

The western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is visible, as is the Salesforce Tower. This picture was taken from the pedestrian/bicycle pathway on the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

A view of the Salesforce Tower dominating downtown San Francisco, as seen from Yerba Buena Island. The Transamerica Pyramid building was previously the tallest in San Francisco. The Transamerica Pyramid is visible on the right side of this photo. The view is looking southwest. 

The Salesforce Tower is located at 415 Mission Street between First Street and Fremont Street. 

 

 

 



This is a view of Treasure Island, as seen from Yerba Buena Island. Treasure Island has an interesting history. The Island is man-made and was constructed between 1936-37. The island was built as the site of the 1939-1940 Golden Gate International Exposition. The federal government created the island; in 1941, the island became a US Navy base known as Naval Station Treasure Island. The island remained under the control of the Navy until 1997. The Navy sold the island to San Francisco in 2010. This view is looking north. 



"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 these 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.

17 December 2016

San Francisco's Inner Sunset District; a ramble on the residential hills of Golden Gate Heights: 17 December 2016

This was a beautiful day for a ramble through Golden Gate Heights, a neighborhood located in the Inner Sunset District of San Francisco.


Here is a five image panoramic photo of the Sunset District. Abraham Lincoln High School and Sunset Reservoir are both identifiable in the photo. On the horizon, 25 miles in the distance, and at the center of the image, is a barely visible view of the Farallon Islands. The picture was taken from within Sunset Heights Park, and just below the summit of Larsen Peak, 761 feet (232 meters)Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

Thanks to Brian Stokle for publishing this excellent topographic map of the hilliest area in San Francisco. The peaks comprising Golden Gate Heights are a part of this ramble. San Francisco is said to have 47 hills located within its boundary. Go here for more information about San Francisco's 47 hills. Click on the image to see the full-size map.

A tip of the hat to Brian Stokle for publishing this informative photograph which shows some of the hills that were traversed during this ramble. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

The distance traveled was approximately 9.0 miles (14.5 kilometers). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. The cumulative elevation gain was about 1,575 feet (480 meters). Click on the image to see the full-size map.

This is Rustic Bridge; it is located in Golden Gate Park. The bridge was erected in 1893; it spans Stow Lake and connects Strawberry Hill with the rest of Golden Gate Park. Stow Lake is a man-made lake that was constructed in 1893Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

Here is a view from near the summit of Strawberry Hill, 404 feet (123 meters); the hill is surrounded by Stow Lake. A portion of the Outer Sunset District is visible in the distance. This view is looking southwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

Collis P. Huntington, a railroad tycoonwas persuaded In 1893 to pay for the construction of Huntington Falls, a man-made 110-foot cascading waterfall on the east side of  Strawberry Hill. The waterfall emptied into Stow Lake and cost Mr. Huntington $25,000. The above rock has the following statement chiseled on its face: "Huntington Falls, a gift of Collis P. Huntington, 1893."

This photo was taken from the intersection of Kirkham Street and 15th Avenue. This is the bottom of the 15th Avenue Steps. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

A view from the top of the 15th Avenue Steps. Ahead are Golden Gate Park, the Outer Richmond District, and Lands End. In the far distance, across San Francisco Bay, are the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. Strawberry Hill which is located in Golden Gate Park, is visible on the right side of the photograph. The view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

After ascending 15th Avenue Steps, it is a short walk to the top of the Hidden Garden Steps, and we then descended the stairway. The steps are located between Lawton Street and 16th Avenue. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

The Hidden Garden Steps. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

The Hidden Garden Steps. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

The Hidden Garden Steps. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

These are some of the people who made the Hidden Garden Steps a reality. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

After the descent of the Hidden Garden Steps, it is a short distance to the intersection of Moraga Street and 16th Avenue, the location of the lower portion of the Golden Gate Heights Mosaic Stairway. This delightful work of art has received worldwide publicity since the mosaic tile work was completed in 2005. There are many people walking on the stairway and taking photographs, and for a good reason: this mosaic tile stairway is a beautiful sight to see. This view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.


After ascending Golden Gate Heights Mosaic Stairway, we continued uphill to Grand View Park which is located at the summit of Grand View Hill, 666 feet (203 meters). The next four photographs were taken from the summit of Grand View Hill. 
 Sited on a high plateau at Lands End is the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The medical center hospital building was completed in 1934, and the VA Medical Center is located on the site of the Fort Miley Military Reservation. The view is looking northwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

 Golden Gate Park, the Richmond District, the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais are all visible in this photo. This view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

 Mount Sutro, Sutro Tower, and Twin Peaks are visible in this photo. The view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

 Downtown San Francisco is visible in the distance. In the far distance across San Francisco Bay are the Berkeley HillsThe view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

This is West Portal Elementary School. The school accepted its first students in 1926. The site of the school is located about 200 feet north of the West Portal entryway to Twin Peaks Tunnel. The tunnel became operational on 3 February 1918. Ninety-nine years later it is still providing excellent streetcar access between Market Street and the residential areas southwest of Twin Peaks. Click on the image to see the full-size picture.

A graph of the elevation changes encountered during the walk. Click on the image to see the full-size chart.

Thanks again to Brian Stokle. He published this excellent topographic map of San Francisco. 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 

"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 initial publication of San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view the 2002 to 2011 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