07 January 2017

San Francisco's Sutro Heights – Then & Now: 7 January 2017

In the 1880s, large tracts of land located on San Francisco's Outside Lands were purchased by Adolph Sutro. Mr. Sutro was a German immigrant who had earlier built Sutro Tunnel. The tunnel was a drainage tunnel designed to drain the excessively hot water from the deep underground silver mines of the Comstock Lode, located in Virginia City, Nevada

Adolph Sutro became a permanent resident of San Francisco after the Comstock Lode Tunnel in Virginia City had been completedHe constructed many landmarks in San Francisco that are popular to this day. The Sutro Baths, the Mount Sutro Forest, the Sutro Heights Parapet, Mount Olympus, and other resources were made available to San Francisco's people. Thank you, Adolph Sutro!

Adolph Sutro also built the second version of the Cliff House. This beautiful seven-story Victorian structure became, and has remained, the most famous and beloved incarnation of the Cliff House. The second version of the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths was opened in 1896. The Cliff House survived the 1906 Earthquake but burned to the ground in 1907, just fifteen months after the 18 April 1906 earthquake. The Sutro Baths were destroyed in 1966. Adolph Sutro was the 24th mayor of San Francisco, serving from 1894 to 1896

Adolph Sutro arrived in the United States on 21 November 1851. He married Leah Harris in 1856; they had six children, four girls, and two boys. Adolph Sutro died in 1898. The executor of his estate was one of his daughters. She was a medical doctor: Dr. Emma Sutro Merritt. It took Dr. Emma Sutro Merritt more than ten years to settle her father's estate. She did an excellent job; her father's name is still remembered and widely respected, one hundred and nineteen years after his death.

I began this ramble by taking a few pictures at and around the Ferry Building downtown San Francisco. All of the below photographs were taken amid a multi-day storm which provided the parched Northern California terrain with much-needed rain and snow. I used a waterproof camera to take the photos.

Click on an image to see the full-size photograph.
A view of the Lincoln Park Steps. The steps were constructed in the early 1900s. In May 2015, a celebration was held for the beautiful and delightful mosaic tile work

This is a view of Ocean Beach, as seen from Sutro Heights. The picture is looking south. 

The San Francisco Ferry Building was designed in 1892 and was completed in 1898. It is located on the Embarcadero at Market Street

Streetcar #1893 was built in Italy in 1928 for the Milan, Italy municipal streetcar line. It is now in service on the San Francisco F streetcar line

Streetcar #1057 was built in 1948 and is painted to honor Cincinnati, Ohio, which ran streetcars from 1939 to 1951. It is now in service on the San Francisco F streetcar line

I took a San Francisco public transit bus to Geary Boulevard at Arguello Street and began my ramble to Sutro Heights and the Pacific Ocean. This picture was taken on Clement Street. This mother and daughter are thsame people seen in a photo that I snapped during November 2016 on Clement Street. 

These pictures of Adolph Sutro were taken by Mathew Brady sometime between 1865 and 1880.

THEN This picture of the Sutro Baths was taken in 1897. The buildings were constructed in 1894. 

  NOW A fire destroyed the Sutro Baths in 1966The rock outcropping straight ahead is known as North Seal Rock. 

This map of Sutro Heights and Sutro Baths is circa 1896. 

THEN This is a picture of the second Cliff House constructed at this location. The picture was taken in 1896; Adolph Sutro spent $75,000 to build this beautiful building; the Cliff House is resplendent in all its glory. The photo was taken from the observation tower located on Sutro Heights Plaza.  Seal Rocks are visible, as is a steamship about to enter San Francisco Bay. This version of the Cliff House was destroyed by fire on 7 September 1907. A picture of the observation tower may be seen in this picture gallery

THEN This picture was taken in 1868. It is a photo of the first Cliff House. The photographer was Carlton Watkins (1829-1916). Mr. Watkins was a famous American photographer of the 19th Century, and his area of expertise was landscape photography. The first Cliff House was destroyed by fire in1894

THEN This picture is circa 1930, and it shows the third and current version of the Cliff House. Dr. Emma Sutro Merritt, the executor of the Sutro Estate, did not want to build another wooden Cliff House because of the proven fire danger. In 1909 she authorized the construction of the third Cliff House. The building she had created was constructed of steel and concrete. 

      NOW  I took this picture of the third iteration of the Cliff House. The building has had numerous modifications over the past one hundred and five years, but it is still the same essential building. This photo was taken from the Plaza on Sutro Heights Parapet
THEN This is the entry gate to Sutro Heights as seen in 1886. The Sutro family donated 18 acres of property to San Francisco in 1938. In 1939 the Works Progress Administration (WPA) demolished the residence. Most statues were removed, except for the Lions at the entry gate. Sutro Heights Park is no longer a city park; it is now a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

NOW The Lions are still guarding the entryway to Sutro Heights. 

THEN. The Sutro Heights Parapet and plaza as seen circa 1894. Note the observation tower, and in addition, please note the stairway seen in both this photo and the below photograph

NOW. This photo of the Sutro Heights Parapet was taken from the North Esplanade. Note the same stairway as seen in both of the above photographs.  

THEN. This picture of the Sutro Heights Conservatory was taken in 1896. 

NOW.  This was the site of the Sutro Heights Conservatory

Ah yes, here is where the mouth of San Francisco Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. The view is looking north. 

Moving through Lands End and rambling northeast on the Coastal Trail

This photograph was taken from the Lands End Trail. Ahead is a small cove which is known as China Beach. Surrounding China Beach is a portion of the Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco. The beach visible on the left is part of Baker Beachlocated within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It was previously a part of the Presidio, an Army military base. China Beach is a part of the City and County of San Francisco. This view is looking southeast. 

A view of the Golden Gate Bridge as seen from the Lands End TrailAngel Island is visible behind the bridge. This view is looking east. 


Going to downtown San Francisco on a Muni Metro 38R bus. The bus is now on Geary Boulevard, traveling east through the Richmond District

The distance traveled was approximately 6.3 miles (10.1 kilometers). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS-generated track. The cumulative elevation gain was about 471 feet (144 meters). 

"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.

An Olympus TG-4 camera was used to take these photographs.

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

05 January 2017

Albany Hill in Albany California and Point Isabel in Richmond California: 5 January 2017

Northern California is enjoying a short respite from a series of storms. Below are a few photographs taken from Albany Hill in Albany, and from Point Isabel in Richmond.


A view looking southwest from Albany Hill. The freeway interchange is the intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 580. Golden Gate Fields racetrack is visible as is the former site of the City of Berkeley's garbage dump. The landfill site behind the racetrack was the location of the city's garbage dump from the 1920's to the 1980's. The site is now known as Cesar Chavez Park. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


Brooks Island is straight ahead, and Mount Tamalpais is in the distance. The view is looking west from Albany Hill. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


Directly ahead in the center of the photo is Albany High School. Just in front of the high school are the elevated BART tracks. The view is looking east from Albany Hill. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


This photo of Richmond's Inner Harbor was taken from Point Isabel. This locality has historical significance: There are many oil storage tanks located on all four sides of the hill. That is the site of the first California oil refinery; it started refining oil in 1902, and it is still operational. The houses visible along the shoreline of Richmond's Inner Harbor are situated on a portion of the Kaiser Richmond World War II shipyards. The four Richmond Shipyards produced 747 ships during the Second World War, the most ships built in any US shipyard during the war. This view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.


The Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Point Isabel Regional Shoreline. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


Point Isabel. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.


Point Isabel is also the location of CostcoClick 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

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.