Hayes Valley is definitely a neighborhood that you can say, "I remember when ..." about and be referencing vastly different phases of its history. The streets have been home to everything from crack houses to condos, but the catalyst for the biggest transformation was inarguably the 1989 earthquake, which damaged the Central Freeway so badly the structure had to be taken down.
(Page & Octavia)
When the freeway still cast a shadow overhead, Hayes Valley didn't see much foot traffic, but its removal opened up this central district, eventually paving the way for Patricia's Green and the Hayes Valley Farm. The farm is gone of course, paved over to make way for the condos that are springing up all over this neighborhood, a sign of the stock developers are putting in this once quiet corner of the city. But the community spirit that created the farm remains in the small businesses, neighbors, and the experiments in urban architecture that remain.
(Hayes & Gough)
On the eve of our microhood celebrating Hayes Valley (Thursday, Aug. 14, 6-8 p.m.) we thought we'd take a look back at our 'hood (home to The Bold Italic HQ), with these archived photos from the early '90s, which were shot just a few years after the big quake. They're here thanks to our friends at Historypin and courtesy of the San Francisco Public Library Historical Photograph Collection.
These specific photos have never been digitized before – this is their online debut! They're from the library's Robert Durden Color Slide Collection; Durden documented the neighborhood with a focus on the architecture and the freeway removal.
(577 Hayes St.)
(425 Hayes St.)
(Rose St. & Market St.)
(Hayes & Gough)
You can see the rest of this Hayes Valley collection pinned to mapping non-profit Historypin's Year of the Bay project, where they are crowdsourcing an archive of Bay Area history. They encourage people to add their own photos and comments, and to solve Bay Area mysteries on their site.
All photos courtesy of Robert Durden Color Slide Collection, San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.