03 June 2017

San Francisco's Sunset District, then & now, part one. Plus, Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army. 3 June 2017.

This was a ramble in the Sunset District of San Francisco. A brief review of the Symbionese Liberation Army is included at the bottom of this posting.

Click on an image to see the full-size photograph.
On April 15, 1974, Patty Hearst was seen on a bank surveillance camera. She was armed with an M-1 carbine rifle, holding up a branch of the Hibernia Bank along with several Symbionese Liberation Army members. The robbers shot two people in the bank and stole more than $10,000. Nancy Ling Perry, Donald DeFreeze, and Patty Hearst are visible from left to right. They are running out of the bank and jumping over one of the two people they shot during the robbery. Both people survived their gunshot wounds.


NOW  The Little Shamrock Irish Pub was established in 1893 by J.P. Quigley.

THEN  The Little Shamrock Irish Pub is located on Lincoln Way at Ninth Avenue, across the street from Golden Gate Park. 
THEN  Henry Doelger was a prolific builder of houses in the Sunset District. His most active period was during the 1930s. There is a section of the Sunset District known as Doelger City. This building was his main office. The right portion of this office building was built in 1932; the left wing was added in 1940. This image is courtesy of Mark Weinberger and the History Guild of Daly City/Colma.
NOW  The exterior of the building looks very similar to how it looked seventy-seven years ago. The building is located on the north side of Judah Street, between Eight Avenue and Ninth Avenue. In 2012 the building became San Francisco's historic landmark No. 265. 
THEN  The Loma Prieta earthquake struck on October 17, 1989. This brick apartment building, located on Judah Street at Seventh Avenue, was built in the 1920s. It received severe earthquake damage, and the City of San Francisco disallowed any continued occupancy of the building; the building owner demolished the structure. This image is courtesy of Lorri Ungaretti.
NOW  This replacement apartment building was constructed in the early 1990s. 
THEN  This photo was taken in 1948; a No. 6 streetcar is traveling north on Ninth Avenue. The streetcars are now gone, replaced by electric-powered buses. A grocery market occupied the street-level commercial space. This image is courtesy of Emiliano Echeverria; the photo was taken by Arthur Lloyd.
NOW  The apartment building is located at the southeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Kirkham Street. A clothing cleaning store now occupies the commercial space. 
THEN  This was the Irving Theater, located on Irving Street between Fourteenth Avenue and Fifteenth Avenue. The theater opened for business in 1926; it was sited between a Safeway market and a United Grocers market. The theater closed in 1962 and was replaced by an apartment building. This image is courtesy of Jack Tillmany.
NOW  This is the apartment building that replaced the Irving Theater. Note that the brick building that housed the Safeway market is still standing. 
THEN  This is a photo of a gas station as seen in 1951. It is located on Judah Street at Forty-fifth Avenue. This image is courtesy of the Western Neighborhoods Project.
NOW  The gas station building is desolate; it is boarded-up and behind a fence. 
THEN  This photo was taken in 1951. Roth's Drugs occupied this building; it is located on Irving Street at the southeast corner of Twenty-first Avenue. This image is courtesy of the Western Neighborhoods Project. 
NOW, This is the same building with the tower removed. The building is now occupied by a Bank of the Orient branch. 
THEN  This is a picture of a gas station located on Irving Street. The photograph was taken in the 1940s. The gas station closed in the 1990s. 
NOW  The remains of the gas station are still in place. The location is on Irving Street at Sixteenth Avenue. 
THEN  This photograph was taken in 1914. The location is Twentieth Avenue at Kirkham Street. The view is looking north. In 1914, the No. 17 streetcar route ran along Twentieth Avenue. This image is courtesy of Emiliano Echeverria, and the photograph is by Randolph Brant. 

NOW  The streetcar tracks are gone, and cars now rule Twentieth Avenue. Golden Gate Park is ahead. This photo was taken on June 16, 2017. 

THEN  This photo was taken on Noriega Street at Twentieth Avenue in the late 1930s. This building housed a grocery market and a pharmacy. This image is courtesy of John J. Hills. 
NOW  The building is occupied by the East West Bank. 
THEN  This photo of the Hibernia Bank was taken in 1976. The bank was located on Noriega Street at Twenty-second Avenue. This image is courtesy of the Western Neighborhoods Project.


THEN  This is the interior of the Hibernia Bank. The date is Monday, April 15, 1974; the time is 10:05 a.m. This image is from a security camera located in the bank. The bank is in the process of being robbed. The man and the woman in the picture each hold a short-barreled M1 Carbine rifle. This bank robbery was unusual; the two robbers in this picture are Patty Hearst and Donald DeFreeze. They are both members of the Symbionese Liberation Armyand the S.L.A. is on the offensive. More information about the S.L.A. can be found in this photo gallery. 

NOW  Hibernia Bank is no longer in business. The building is now occupied by North East Medical Services. 
THEN  This photo was taken in 1951. The building contained a medical/dental business and a drug store on the ground level. This image is courtesy of the Western Neighborhoods Project.
NOW  A Vietnamese restaurant is located in the building. The site is at the southwest corner of Judah Street and Forty-sixth Avenue. 
THEN  This photo was taken in 1915, and the view looks west. Workers are installing a water pipeline on Irving Street; the Pacific Ocean is the distance. 
NOW  This is a view of the location as seen in 2017. 
THEN  In 1926, this building was constructed as a movie theater. The Surf Theatre was the third theatre to occupy the building. The Surf Theatre opened in 1957 and closed in 1985. The location is on the north side of Irving Street, just west of forty-sixth Avenue. 
NOW  The old theatre building is now home to the San Francisco Grace Christian Church. 
THEN  Busy Bee Market occupied this building from the 1960s through the 1990s. This image is courtesy of Robert Herbert.
NOW  Today, the building is occupied by the Mollusk Surf Shop. The location is at the northwest corner of Irving Street and Forty-sixth Avenue. The Pacific Ocean is nearby; the tides and rip currents are dangerous, and the water is frigid. Some resilient surfers live in the area and are always ready to go surfing
THEN  This photo was taken in 1926 while workers constructed the turnaround for the new N-Judah streetcar line. The turnaround is being built at the western terminus of Judah Street, a few hundred yards from Ocean Beach and the Pacific Ocean. 
NOW  A  two-car N-Judah streetcar is visible and is turning around and traveling to downtown San Francisco. The N-Judah streetcar line is the busiest streetcar route in the city. This picture was taken from a sand dune. 
The distance traveled was approximately 6.2 miles (10.0 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 369 feet (112 meters). Mile markers are displayed on the G.P.S. generated track.

Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army 1973 - 1975
This is 2603 Benvenue Avenue, Berkeley, California. In 1974, Patty Hearst was a student at the University of California, Berkeley. She and her boyfriend lived in apartment #4 in this apartment complex. This photo was taken in 2013. 

This is a photo of 625 Morse Street, San Francisco. On 18 September 1975, the F.B.I captured Patty Hearst living in the upstairs unit. This photo was taken in 2022.

This is how the F.B.I. describes the moment when Patty Hearst lost her anonymity forever:

"Around 9 o'clock in the evening on February 4, 1974, there was a knock on the door of apartment #4 at 2603 Benvenue Avenue in Berkeley, California. In came a group of men and women with their guns drawn. They grabbed a surprised 19-year-old college student named Patty Hearst, beat up her fiancĂ©, threw her in the trunk of their car, and drove off. Thus began one of the strangest cases in F.B.I. history." 

Strange, indeed. Hearst's kidnappers were part of a small group of self-styled revolutionaries called the Symbionese Liberation Army. The group distinguished itself with slogans like "death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people."

But the group was no joke. In November 1973, members ambushed and murdered Oakland school superintendent Marcus Foster, the district's first African-American school superintendent. Why did they murder Foster? The S.L.A. branded him a fascist because it mistakenly believed he had backed a plan to require I.D. cards for all Oakland high school students.

Three days after the kidnapping, the S.L.A. announced they were keeping Hearst as a "prisoner of war." They imprisoned her in a small studio apartment at 1827 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

The Hearst kidnapping transfixed the nation as it took one strange, scarcely believable turn after another. Shortly after Hearst's disappearance, the S.L.A. demanded that the Hearst family undertake a massive food distribution program throughout California as a condition for the release of the kidnapped heiress. The Hearst family agreed with the demand and put together an effort that, by February 22, made its first food distribution within San Francisco.

It was a disorganized disaster. Scores of people were injured as panicked workers threw food boxes off moving trucks as vast crowds of people unexpectedly showed up for the food. The S.L.A. issued a "Communique" the next day demanding that a community coalition be put in charge of the effort.
Patty Hearst issued a series of tape-recorded verbal messages over a few weeks. Among other things, she criticized her family's poor response to the food distribution demand. Eventually, she declared she had joined the revolution and that "I would never choose to live the rest of my life surrounded by pigs like the Hearsts." 

Patty Hearst was captured in San Francisco on September 18, 1975, and was arrested along with Wendy Yoshimura. They were hiding in a house located at 625 Morse Street in the Outer Mission District. On January 15, 1976, Patty Hearst stood trial for bank robbery. Her attorneys argued that fearing for her life, she began to sympathize with her captors. On March 20, 1976, she was convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to seven years in prison. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter commuted her federal sentence to the twenty-two months she had already served. She was then pardoned.

THEN  This is 1827 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco. This building was a hideout of the Symbionese Liberation Army. Patty Hearst was blindfolded and confined in a closet in apartment #6 for eight weeks.

NOW  This is 1827 Golden Gate Avenue today. It appears that all is now peaceful and quiet. This photo was taken on June 5, 2017

THEN  Here is Patty Hearst, as seen a few weeks after her capture by the F.B.I. She was brought back to 1827 Golden Gate Avenue to describe to the F.B.I. what she remembered while being held captive in apartment #6. In this photo, she is seen leaving 1827 Golden Gate Avenue. To her left is a female police officer whose right arm is adjacent to Patty Hearst's back. 
NOW  This is the view seen from within the entryway to 1827 Golden Gate Avenue. This photo was taken on June 5, 2017.

GO HERE to view part two of The Sunset District, Then & Now.

"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


San Francisco's Sunset District (Then and Now), written by Lorri Ungaretti, helped in the assemblage of this then-and-now photograph gallery.

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 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.


29 May 2017

San Francisco – The Richmond District, Then & Now: 29 May 2017

I walked through the Richmond District of San Francisco with the intention of putting together a small gallery of ‘Then and Now’ photographs of the district. Here are the results. The photographs are shown in the order in which I walked through The Richmond. A map of the route is shown below.

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

NOW  This is St. Ignatius Church; it is located on Parker Avenue at the intersection of Shrader Street. This is a picture of the church one hundred and three years after it opened. 

THEN  This is a view of St. Ignatius Church under construction. The picture is circa 1910. The church opened on 2 August 1914. (Courtesy of California Province of the Society of Jesus Archives, Los Gatos, California.) 
THEN  This picture was taken in 1938. The streetcar is on the No. 21 line which ran along Fulton Street. Fulton Street is contiguous with the northern boundary of Golden Gate Park. A Safeway market is visible on the northwest corner of Fulton Street and Fifth Avenue. (Courtesy of Jack Tillmany.) 
NOW  The streetcar line is now history, as is the Safeway market. A four-story residential building now occupies the site of Safeway. All of the other buildings are still located on Fulton Street. 
THEN  Fernando Nelson, along with his four sons, was a major San Francisco homebuilder in the early Twentieth Century. This photograph of some of the houses that he constructed was taken in 1938 on Third Avenue. The view is looking east. (Courtesy of Julie Norris O'Keefe.) 
NOW  This is a view of the houses as seen in 2017. The location is Third Avenue between Cabrillo Street and Balboa Street.
THEN  Pope John Paul II visited San Francisco in 1987. This is a picture of the Pope traveling east on Geary Boulevard near Third Avenue. (Courtesy of Mark Adams.) 
NOW  This is a view of the location in 2017; the view is looking north. 
THEN  The German Savings and Loan Society was the first bank to put a branch in the Richmond District. The bank opened this branch on 27 December 1914. (Courtesy of John Freeman.) 
NOW  Tat Wong Kung Fu has three locations in the San Francisco Bay Area This location is at 601 Clement Street at Seventh Avenue. Please note that the building's owner increased the length of the building sometime in the past. The view is looking southwest. 
THEN  This photo was taken on Clement Street in 1905; the view is looking east. There is a streetcar rounding the corner at Sixth Avenue, and some horse-drawn wagons are waiting on the north side of Clement Street. (Courtesy of John Freeman.) 
NOW  This is the same view in 2017. All of the buildings are original, but they have all had significant alterations in the past one hundred and twelve years. Green Apple Books is visible in this picture. 
THEN  This is a view of Clement Street at Ninth Avenue; the scene is looking east. The Coliseum Theater is on the right. The theater opened on 22 November 1918 and closed seventy-two years later, on 17 October 1989. This photo was taken in 1944. (Courtesy of San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.) 
NOW  In 2000, the theater building was gutted, and it was transformed into fourteen residential condominium apartments along with a Walgreen's drugstore at street level. 
THEN  The Alexandria Theatre opened in 1923; this photo was taken in 1944. The theatre closed in 2004. (Courtesy of Jack Tillmany.) 
NOW  Major construction work is occurring at the theatre site. This photo was taken on Geary Boulevard at Nineteenth Avenue; the view is looking east.
THEN  Dick's Saloon & Restaurant was located at the northwest corner of Forty-third Avenue and Point Lobos Road. The photograph was taken in 1903, and the location of the saloon is only a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean and the Cliff House. (Courtesy of a private collector.) 
NOW  The saloon is long gone; the site is now occupied by a four-unit residential building. The former location of the Fort Miley Military Reservation is one block north of this locale. 
THEN  The Balboa Theatre opened on 27 February 1926; this photo was taken in 1968. The theatre has an interesting history. (Photograph by Tom Grey; courtesy of Jack Tillmany.) 
NOW  The building is still functioning as a movie theatre. The theatre is located at 3630 Balboa Street, on the north side of the street. 
THEN  This hotel, located on Fulton Street at the intersection of Thirty-sixth Avenue, opened in 1907. The building is located across the street from Golden Gate Park and about one mile from Ocean Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The building functioned as a hotel until 1920, at which time it began to be used as a sanitarium. The building was converted for use as an apartment building in 1932, which continues to the present day. (Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.) 
NOW  It cost $50,000 to construct this building in 1907. The structure has been nicely maintained over the past 110 years. This view is looking northwest. 
The distance traveled was approximately 8.1 miles (13.0 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 580 feet (177 meters). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. Click on the image to see the full-size map.
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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 book San Francisco’s Richmond District was helpful in assembling this gallery of ‘Then and Now’ photographs.

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 an Olympus 17mm lens was used to take these photographs.

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


27 May 2017

San Francisco – From the Sunset District to the Mission District: 27 May 2017

 
Click on an image to view the full-size photograph.
This well-cared-for house is located in the Sunset District on 34th Avenue. The view is looking west

Chu Supply is a building supply store. It is located on Vicente Street in the Parkside neighborhood of the city. The view is looking southeast. 

The distance traveled was approximately 7.9 miles (12.7 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 588 feet (179 meters). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS-generated track. 

El Burrito Express is located on Taraval Street. The view is looking southwest. 

Qi Gong & Tu Na Health Center is on the south side of Taraval Street. 

The Ingleside Terrace neighborhood of San Francisco. The view is looking south. 

This photo was taken from Mission Street. The view is looking west. Mount Davidson, the highest natural point in the city, is ahead. Interstate 280 is a fifty-seven-mile-long highway that connects San Francisco and San Jose

This view, looking south, shows a portion of the Excelsior District. 

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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 these 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.


22 May 2017

The Valencia Street Hotel during the 18 April 1906 earthquake: 22 May 2017

Much of San Francisco is built on one of three surfaces: steep hillsides, sand dunes, or former marshland. Of these surfaces, marshlands are probably the most treacherous. To erect structures on marshland, enormous amounts of fill: sand, dirt, and debris, must be brought to the location and dumped until a firm, dry surface is achieved. During the 1906 earthquake, buildings on “made ground" suffered the most damage because the ground was unstable and unsettled. This process, called soil liquefaction, takes place when loosely packed, waterlogged sediments at or near the surface lose strength and cohesiveness in response to strong ground shaking. Soil liquefaction occurring beneath buildings can cause significant structural damage during earthquakes.

By the early 1890s, an old creek and lagoon, in the area in which the Valencia Street Hotel was eventually constructed in 1896, was filled in with dirt, sand, and debris, and then built over. The severe jolts of the 18 April 1906 earthquake caused the soft-packed fill to settle quickly, leaving sinkholes in the street. The buildings on top of the earth fill rocked back and forth, with many buildings falling off of their foundations. The four-story Valencia Street Hotel, located between 18th Street and 19th Street, collapsed into a sinkhole. The top floor dropped to ground level and remained accessible; the bottom three floors collapsed into the sinkhole below the surface of the earth, crushing at least 25 people to death. An additional 20 or 25 individuals drowned due to flooding from a burst water main. There were still people alive under the rubble; rescuers tore apart the top of the building and saved about fifteen people, but more cries for help were heard. Rescue efforts continued for two days. On the third day, the area was engulfed in the firestorm, and those people still alive and trapped in the Valencia Street Hotel were incinerated. The exact death toll is unknown; it is estimated that between seventy-five and one hundred people died in the Valencia Street Hotel.

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

The four-story Valencia Street Hotel as seen shortly after the earthquake. The building was located on the west side of Valencia Street between 18th and 19th Streets. It collapsed as a result of soil liquefaction. The liquefaction also broke two major water mains along Valencia Street, and the breakage was responsible for the loss of water with which to fight fires in the downtown area. The view is looking northwest.  

Built-in 1896, the Valencia Street Hotel was a four-story wood-frame structure with a brick foundation. The Mission district was originally a marshland with creeks and shallow lakes. The landfill began in the 1860s, and by 1888 four hundred acres of solid ground had been created, or so it was thought. There was still a lake flowing underneath the Valencia Street Hotel. The lake was named by the Spanish as The Lake of Our Lady of Sorrows The view is looking northwest

Shortly after the Valencia Street Hotel boarding house collapsed, a large part of the street caved in because two large underground water mains taking water to the downtown section of the city broke due to the quake. With the broken water mains, there was little or no water to be used to extinguish the fires in San Francisco. This picture was probably taken the day after the quake. The general population is now being kept away from the Valencia Street Hotel, and you can see that the rescue workers have already entered the hotel from the roof. Four government officials are on-site, and they are evaluating the situation. The view is looking northwest.  

This is a view of the top floor of the hotel sitting on the ground. Floors one through three fell into an underground sinkhole. The view is looking northwest.

 Here is another view of the hotel. Cable Car tracks are visible in the street bed. The view is looking north.  

 This is a view of Valencia Street looking south from 18th Street. A United Railroad cable car is sitting on the tracks. The hotel is visible straight ahead. 

A coroner’s wagon is on the street in front of the hotel, which can be seen on the right side of the photograph. The dead are being removed from the hotel. The view is looking south

 A view of workers and supervisors on-site at the hotel

This is a view from Valencia Street near 19th Street. The picture was taken on Wednesday, 16 May 1906, approximately thirty days after the quake. Two temporary water lines are visible on either side of the street. The buildings standing in the background are on the west side of Dolores Street, the local boundary of the fire. The view is looking southwest

THEN  This is either the last, or close to the last picture of the Valencia Street Hotel. The area appears deserted. A forlorn cable car is sitting on the tracks with the firestorm about a block away from this location, and moving fast. The view is looking north. 

NOW  This is a view from Valencia Street between 18th Street and 19th Street. The hotel was ahead on the left. The view is looking north, and downtown skyscrapers are seen in the distance. 

NOW  This was the location of the Valencia Street Hotel. This brick building was constructed in 1916. It was originally used as an automobile garage and repair facility. Today it is occupied by a liquor bar and a coffee shop. The view is looking west.
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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 these 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