There are many books of then and now photos of major cities, and San Francisco has had a few. The San Francisco Public Library has a great resource of photos of the city online, and today I decided to take a glimpse of some in my neighborhood.
Above is 22nd and Shotwell, taken in 1929. Sixty-seven years later, I moved into my first San Francisco apartment that is midway on the left between the church (now the Polish Club) and the building with the lettered sign. I lived there about 16 months before buying my TIC (now an HOA) on York. The steeple on the church is long gone, but the Polish Club is still essentially the same building as the church, just very much stripped down. And so many more trees.
The most striking thing about this shot of 24th Street and Florida taken in 1945 is the absolute lack of trees. What is great about my neighborhood, the so called “lower 24th” district, is how many trees our busy business district has today. The towering sign of the old Roosevelt Theater (now the Brava Theater Center) marks my street, York. Take a sharp right just before the sign and you will find me at home with Audrey and Shaka. Today, however, the trees make it impossible to see the Brava Theater sign.
Another block down, and we are looking south (as opposed to east above at the intersection of 24th and Alabama taken in 1947 and today below. I am not positive I got this correctly, but it appears that as St. Peter’s School expanded, they tore down retail on the right as the school and church dominated the block.
This final shot may or may not be correct. Described as being 2oth and York in 1920, logic would say that since is looking south towards Bernal Hill. But none of the building correspond below. Perhaps many were demolished and replaced. I will investigate further. And I plan to continue this project with more in the hood in posts ahead.