Archive for the ‘History’ Category

The Bay Area’s Largest Mock Nuclear Explosion, A Small Mushroom Cloud Over Treasure Island, San Francisco, 1957

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Well, this explosion on TI back in ’57 certainly is news to me, as I’d never read this bit in the Chronicle from last year:

Capturedfssss copy

But if you want to wallow in alarmism, well then be my guest

What other unknowns are hidden out there at TI? I’m sure we’ll all find out over the next 10, 20, 30 years…

OMG, Oakland IS Brooklyn – And Brooklyn is Oakland, Sort Of – This Map From the 1800′s Shows All

Monday, August 11th, 2014

From the OK Council:

@OKcouncil Great old map of #Oakland before the City of Brooklyn east of Lake Merritt was annexed in the late 19th century.

News to me!

Take a Look at Japantown in 1942: “Cherryland Sukiyaki (Japanese and American), 1650 Post St., sake and beer”

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Oh wow, man. I’m not used to seeing outer Post Street from the pre-Redevelopment era.

Western Addition: Cherryland Sukiyaki (Japanese and American), 1650 Post St., sake and beer

Hansel Mieth and Otto Hagel—Streets of San Francisco, 1942

(Then the people from SPUR came along with “ideas and action for a better city” to Urban Renewal this place with big, hulking, earthquake-unsafe buildings (“The Mall Has It All!” – that’s what the SPUR people used to say before they changed their name to hide from their legacy) and garages and that’s where we are today.)

Harlem of the West

Esquire: “For Sukiyaki complete with chopsticks, visit “Cherryland,” where only Japanese food is served.”

Via the Prelinger Archives: “San Francisco: Story of a City (1963)” – A Nice 22-Minute Video from a Half-Century Ago

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

From Paul Hoefler Productions, it’s “San Francisco: Story of a City (1963)

Prolly could have addressed the wobbly projection issue with a simple one-click fix, but this is a great video.

OMG, an Update from Sparkletack – Silent for Six Years – San Francisco History Podcasts – A Big Audio Archive

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Sparkletack

“San Francisco history lovers:

A notice that’s a bit overdue: I haven’t recorded a podcast for years, now, and the chances that I’ll return to this project are slim.

That said, I’m committed to leaving ALL THESE PODCASTS online – as a resource for San Franciscans, of course, but also for lovers of this fascinating city from all around the world.

Peruse the list (over there on the right) for hours and hours of San Francisco stories, trivia, and history.

And thanks for listening!”

R.I.P. Reggie Pettus, 73 – The Fillmore’s New Chicago Barber Shop Now Shuttered – Memorial on May 11th, 2013

Monday, May 6th, 2013

R.I.P.

Reggie Pettus
ProprietorNew Chicago Barber Shop, 1551 Fillmore

The memorial will be on Saturday May 11th from Noon to 6:00 PM at Duggan’s Funeral Home, 3434 17th St. near Valencia in the Mission District, San Francisco, California 94110 (415) 431-4900.

Click to expand

Via Seth N:

“To my great dismay, I stopped by to get my hair cut today, only to find the place boarded up. It seems the barbers have moved on to other places.

Kevin has moved to 1315 Fillmore, just down the street, while Al and Gail have moved to Esquire Barber Shop at 1826 Geary Blvd.

I’ve been getting my hair cut her e since 2006, and it’s a shame to see such a place just disappear. The barbers were nice, remembered me even after I left the city for a couple years, and always fixed me up right. Plus, the moment you walked in you could feel the history of the place, there was a nice feel there.

I wish the staff all the best, and I’ll be seeking out Kevin soon at his new location.”

Well Here It Is, Your Moment of Zen: A Nine-Minute Video Called “Rehabilitating the Presidio Officers’ Club – An Overview”

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Our Presidio Trust just posted a video to the YouTube about the OC being in rehab.

You people want history* in the Presidio? Well here, have some, via un film du Melissa Peabody:

“No place in the Presidio is more beloved than the historic Officers’ Club, located on the Main Post. Over the course 235 years, the building has played many roles. It served as offices and living quarters for the fort commander, as a post headquarters, as officers’ quarters, and as a social center for the Spanish, Mexican, and United States armies. With each new use the building has grown and evolved, like the Presidio itself.

Today, the oldest and most revered building in the Presidio (and one of the two oldest in San Francisco) is undergoing a comprehensive historic rehabilitation that will revive its original grandeur and restore it as a focal point for visitors and as a venue for cultural events.

This video provides an overview of the Officers’ Club history and plans for returning it to its place as the Presidio’s premiere social destination.

The Officers’ Club will reopen as a community and social hub housing the Presidio Heritage Center in 2013. The project is expected to receive a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

This film is by Melissa Peabody. Copyright 2012, Presidio Trust”

*As opposed to a modern art building or a lodge or a working movie theatre or anything else the richers of the Marina actively fight against…

Finally, Corruption in Chinatown that Rose Pak has Nothing to Do With – 1885 Map: “White Prostitution, Chinese Prostitution”

Friday, December 16th, 2011

It’s Farwell’s Map of Chinatown in San Francisco (1885) by way of The BIGMAPBLOG.

Here’s Grant Avenue and Pacific, which then, as now, is just to the west of Columbus, which you can see in the lower right corner:

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Here’s your legend:

        CREAM: “General Chinese Occupancy” 
        SALMON: “Chinese Gambling Houses” 
        GREEN: “Chinese Prostitution” 
        YELLOW: “Chinese Opium Resorts” 
        RED: “Chinese Joss Houses” 
        BLUE: “White Prostitution” 

People were very direct back in the day, non? 

Oh, hey, speaking of 1880′s San Francisco, here’s what happens when you let “downtown” take over San Francisco municipal government, when you try to help legacy businesses fight back against “unfair” competition:

In the 1880s, Chinese immigrants to California faced many legal and economic hurdles, including discriminatory provisions in the California Constitution. As a result, they were excluded, either by law or by bias, from many professions. Many turned to the laundry business and in San Francisco about 89% of the laundry workers were of Chinese descent.

In 1880, the city of San Francisco passed an ordinance that persons could not operate a laundry in a wooden building without a permit from the Board of Supervisors. The ordinance conferred upon the Board of Supervisors the discretion to grant or withhold the permits. At the time, about 95% of the city’s 320 laundries were operated in wooden buildings. Approximately two-thirds of those laundries were owned by Chinese persons. Although most of the city’s wooden building laundry owners applied for a permit, none were granted to any Chinese owner, while only one out of approximately eighty non-Chinese applicants was denied a permit.

Yick Wo (益和, Pinyin: Yì Hé, Americanization: Lee Yick), who had lived in California and had operated a laundry in the same wooden building for many years and held a valid license to operate his laundry issued by the Board of Fire-Wardens, continued to operate his laundry and was convicted and fined $10.00 for violating the ordinance. He sued for a writ of habeas corpus after he was imprisoned in default for having refused to pay the fine.

The state argued that the ordinance was strictly one out of concern for safety, as laundries of the day often needed very hot stoves to boil water for laundry, and indeed laundry fires were not unknown and often resulted in the destruction of adjoining buildings as well. However, the petitioner pointed out that prior to the new ordinance, the inspection and approval of laundries in wooden buildings had been left up to fire wardens. Yick Wo’s laundry had never failed an inspection for fire safety. Moreover, the application of the prior law focused only on laundries in crowded areas of the city, while the new law was being enforced on isolated wooden buildings as well. The law also ignored other wooden buildings where fires were common—even cooking stoves posed the same risk as those used for laundries.

The Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Matthews, found that the administration of the statute in question was discriminatory and that there was therefore no need to even consider whether the ordinance itself was lawful. Even though the Chinese laundry owners were usually not American citizens, the court ruled they were still entitled to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Matthews also noted that the court had previously ruled that it was acceptable to hold administrators of the law liable when they abused their authority. He denounced the law as a blatant attempt to exclude Chinese from the laundry trade in San Francisco, and the court struck down the law, ordering dismissal of all charges against other laundry owners who had been jailed.

Yick Wo totally pwned corrupt San Francisco government back in the day. (Shortly after, we went in a different direction. “Separate but equal” came along and kind of messed things up, but anyway.)

Thanks for the map, Big Map Blog!

Presidio Trust’s Annual Redmond Kernan Lecture on Thursday: Michael Corbett on the Story of the Port of San Francisco

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

All the deets:

“PRESIDIO’S ANNUAL REDMOND KERNAN LECTURE EXPLORES ROLE OF PORT IN SF’S DEVELOPMENT

Presidio of San Francisco (November 15, 2011) — Historian and author Michael Corbett recounts the rarely told story of the Port of San Francisco in the Presidio Trust’s annual Redmond Kernan Lecture Thursday, November 17 at 7pm at the Golden Gate Club. Admission is free.

Corbett uses historic images to trace the physical development of the port and its central role in San Francisco’s growth and prosperity from the 19th century to World War II. The port’s familiar piers and warehouses, created through monumental works of engineering, are now some of the most desirable urban real estate in the United States. Corbett not only chronicles the heyday of the port as a flourishing hub of shipping and commerce, but places it in a contemporary context as well.

Port City: The History and Transformation of the Port of San Francisco, 1848-2010.

Before his talk, Corbett will be signing copies of his latest book, Port City: The History and Transformation of the Port of San Francisco, 1848-2010, which was released in February. An independent architectural historian who has been writing about San Francisco since 1973, Corbett has authored several books including Splendid Survivors: San Francisco’s Downtown Architectural Heritage (1979), the influential survey that formed the basis of the downtown plan and remains a standard reference on San Francisco architecture.

The lecture, Fundamental San Francisco: The Creation of the Port and the Development of the City, is the last in the inaugural season of the Presidio Trust’s new series, Contemporary Historians at the Presidio: Voices and Views. The series, which features some of the nation’s pre-eminent historians, explores a wide range of issues, some of which are specific to the Presidio, and others which delve into larger themes in American and world history that help put the Presidio’s extraordinary past into context as a former military post and now an innovative national park.

The Redmond Kernan Lecture is presented annually by the Presidio Trust. It honors the late Redmond Kernan, a former Army officer and long-time Presidio advocate. This year’s lecture, Fundamental San Francisco: The Creation of the Port and the Development of the City, takes place Thursday, November 17 at 7pm at the Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop in the Presidio, and will be preceded by a book signing at 6:30pm. Admission is free.

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to oversee the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio was established in 1776 by Spain and is the birthplace of San Francisco. In 1846, it became a United States Army post and eventually was the headquarters for the 13 U S Army forts that encircled San Francisco Bay and that today make up the heart of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Presidio was named a National Historic Landmark District in 1962 and it became a national park site in 1994. Today, more than 8,000 people live and work in the park, setting this park apart from other national park sites.”

Ever more deets, after the jump.

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The Sidewalk Monoliths of Battery Street: Why Are They Here, What Do They Want?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

I’m thinking this could have something to do with our maritime history, but I don’t know.

400 Battery at Sansome:

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Courage.