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Neighborhoods

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ghirardelli Square Sign
One of the many Ghirardelli signs that populate the namesake square. Photo: m01229/Flickr

Events: This weekend's many activities take place at locations all across the city, from Fisherman's Wharf in the north to Lake Merced in the south. See our featured events below.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

One-hundred and eleven years ago, in the cool pre-dawn of April 18th, 1906, a massive earthquake rocked San Francisco, forever changing the landscape and future development of our fair, foggy city.

Among the buildings that never quite recovered from the quake and fires was a handsome brick cable car powerhouse that had stood as a landmark since 1883 at the corner of Market and Valencia streets, which was long known as "The Hub.” The Market and Valencia Powerhouse, owned and operated by the private United Railroads Company, was a key cable car facility, providing propulsion power and a variety of repair services.

Black and white photo taken in June, 1906 of a large brick building on Market and Valencia Streets. The building is partially damaged with the top of a tall smokestack broken off and light black smoke coming out of it.  Surrounding the building are piles of rubble from destroyed and damaged buildings.
A view of the Market and Valencia Powerhouse in June of 1906, two months after the earthquake and subsequent fires, which left residents without basic amenities like potable water. “Boil all water” can be seen scrawled on the side of the building as an impromptu public service notice.

As San Francisco scrambled to get back on its feet after the disaster, most of its cable car lines were converted to electric streetcar lines, and the powerhouse was no longer needed to move cable cars along Market Street. Instead, the facility occupying the block bounded by Market, Valencia, McCoppin and Gough streets became the site of a manufacturing plant for hot, tarry bitumen, a material used in pavement.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A line of lowrider cars drives down a street with bystanders on the sidewalk in the Mission District on a sunny day.Lowriders cruise at the Carnaval parade in the Mission in 2011. Photo: Carnaval.com Studios/Flickr

Events

There will be no shortage of events this weekend in San Francisco. Head over to Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park to catch SF Deltas soccer or to West Portal for the 29th annual Fine Arts and Crafts Show. Check out this week's featured events below.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dozens of people covers in colorful dye in the middle of a park surrounded by trees
Participants at a celebration of the Holi Festival of Colors in Parkmerced on March 14, 2009. Photo: Cary Bass-Deschenes/Flickr

Events: 

As flowers bloom in the park this colorful spring weekend, cheer for orange and black at AT&T Park and celebrate with a festival where you can turn your friends into living rainbows.

Friday, March 24, 2017

From Friday, March 31 to Friday, April 7, the SFMTA is closing off a small segment of northbound Octavia Street, from Linden to Hayes streets, for the Octavia Open Street events that will experiment with opening this block for people who want to walk or bike more in the neighborhood. Through our ongoing community outreach work on the Octavia Boulevard Enhancement Project, we’ve heard a clear and consistent neighborhood interest in creating more public space and creating livability improvements near Patricia’s Green. 

People sitting in chairs and bicycles parked in a public space next to Patricia's Green park on Octavia Street near Hayes Street.

This open streets event won’t just help us evaluate how a closure like this would work. It will highlight the overall public realm opportunities along this popular boulevard for everyone in the area.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Events

This weekend you can enjoy an island Easter egg hunt, National Corn Dog Day and a chance to run off all those extra calories while rocking and rolling 13.1 miles though the city.

Man Running in Rock&Roll Marathon 2016
Rock'n Roll San Francisco Half Marathon on April 3, 2016. Photo: Jun Selta/Flickr

National Corn Dog Day
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
SoMa

Creative corn dog specials from an all-star lineup of food trucks, PBR specials and swag giveaways, a cornhole tournament and corndog eating contest are just a few of the features of the country’s biggest National Corn Dog Day festival. Stop by the SoMa StrEat Food Park this Saturday for a unique day of food and fun.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Daylight Saving Reminder:

Don’t forget to turn your clocks forward one hour this Sunday as Daylight Saving Time begins. It’s a good chance to test your smoke detectors and replace their batteries if needed.

Transbay Terminal Construction Alert:

Now through Saturday, April 1: Construction work for the Transbay Terminal requires a closure of Beale Street between Mission and Howard streets. All routes terminating at Transbay Terminal will have minor re-routes.

Events

Take advantage of the dry weather this weekend and enjoy the parades, music, food and fun in the downtown, Visitacion Valley and Mission District areas.

SFPD mounted units leading parade in 2007.
Members of the San Francisco Police Department’s Mounted Unit at the start of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17, 2007. Photo credit: Sam Soneja/Flickr.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Within our vast historic photo archive are a handful of panoramic gems – sets of images that were composed so to be placed side-by-side and form a wide view.

Thanks to modern digital imaging technology, we can stitch these shots together to experience these historic views from a unique perspective.

This week, we'll share a couple of these panoramic views from 1906 and 1928.

Black and white photo showing damaged houses, leaning and sinking into the ground on South Van Ness and 18th St, taken May 9, 1906 after great earthquake and fire.
Destroyed and leaning houses along Howard St. (today, South Van Ness Ave.) between 18th and 19th streets on May 9, 1906.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

In 1949, the 5 Fulton took you out to the fun part of town: Playland-at-the-Beach.

Playland was an exhilarating (and often foggy) seaside assemblage of good times, with bumper cars, an infamous fun house with the mechanical Laffin’ Sal, an arcade and treats like the famous “IT’S-IT” ice cream sandwiches.

The image of Playland below was taken at the height of the fun, on February 2, 1949 – 68 years ago today. It shows the end of Muni’s 5 Fulton route with a new bus turnaround under construction at the foot of a towering wooden ride.

Black and white photograph looking south from Balboa and La Playa streets at construction of bus terminal in 1949.  To the right is a wooden amusement ride in Playland at the Beach amusement park.
In 1949, a new loop was under construction to allow trolley buses to turn around at the end of the 5 Fulton route at LaPlaya and Balboa streets. Playland structures are visible to the right and in the background.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Muni’s Kirkland bus division has a storied history with the Fisherman’s Wharf district. Located near Pier 39, Kirkland is one of San Francisco’s smallest and oldest bus yards — but also one of the most visible.

To add to the rich history of the area, we recently added banners along the fence around the yard that display a timeline of Muni’s history and photographs from our historic archive. To see the images in order, follow the timeline along the block of Powell Street from Beach to North Point Street.

Two photos of the fence outside Kirkland bus yard on Powell at Beach Street. In one photo, a 47 Van Ness Muni bus is next to the curb.
A new banner along the Kirkland bus yard at Powell and Beach streets features a timeline of Muni history.