Detailed Photos: Vintage Market St. 1920-1956

May 15 at 6am

By Jennifer Maerz

Market Street has one of the more rapidly changing skylines in San Francisco. Old buildings and their grungy neon signs are being torn down to make room for shiny new condos, restaurants, and office spaces. These changes are symbolic of the times, but they're also true of any big city that invites the masses – no urban skyline remains the same over the ages. I love looking through old photos of busy San Francisco streets to see what the city used to look like before most of us were here, and the San Francisco History Center at the San Francisco Public Library offers an amazing portal into our past. 

We've worked in collaboration with the SF History Center and non-profit mapping project Historypin to look back at various San Francisco neighborhoods through old images of the city. This month, in celebration of our Central Market Microhood tonight (May 15) from 6-8 p.m., the two organizations have brought us this collection of Mid-Market photos. You can help map the city and read the stories Historypin is collecting on its Year of the Bay page

The photos with the thick borders are from the San Francisco Police Department Records within the SF History Center archives. Among these pics, you'll see an donut truck collision from multiple angles together with the San Francisco fashion and car styles of the times. 

Hyde & Market St. (1956)

McAllister & Market St. (1948)

Market & Jones St. (1940)

Market & Jones St. (1940)

Market & Jones St. (1950)

Market & Jones St. (1950)

Market & McAllister St. (1939)

Market & Jones St. (1939)

Market & 7th St. (1948)

Market & 6th St. (1920s)

Crystal Palace Bowl, 1032 Market St. (1946)

All photos courtesy of the San Francisco History Center at the San Francisco Public Library. Top photo is Market & 8th St. (1953).

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