PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO: THE CITY I LOVE

 

SAN FRANCISCO: THE CITY I LOVE

"If you're going to San Francisco,be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...If you're going to San Francisco, Summertime will be a love-in there" I remember my first walk/day here in the US.  I came over to San Francisco in the late sixties, and was somewhat aware of the scenes, mostly was involved in search of a job. Funny, when we look back, we think, we squandered the times of our life when our hormones were in tune with our desires. I was single then, going to school in San Francisco and also at the California State University in Sacramento, during those days really experienced the happening, although a little bit subdued due to work in the day time. That song forever imprinted in my mind "San Francisco" it became an instant hit  and quickly transcended its original purpose by popularizing an idealized image of San Francisco. As the memories flicker down the memory lane, I wish to live back in the sixties with the images of the hills over the bay frozen in time....ASC

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

The Grande Dame of San Francisco Union Square Hotels

At the turn of the century, the guardians of the Charles Crocker family announced plans to build The Westin St. Francis. Their vision was to make San Francisco the "Paris of the West," and their stunning Union Square San Francisco hotel would be their flagship. After studying all of Europe's grand hotels - from those in Berlin, Vienna, and Monaco to Claridge's in London and The Ritz in Paris - construction on the original St. Francis began. Two years and $2.5 million later, on March 21, 1904, the doors of The St. Francis opened. By seven o'clock that evening, a line of carriages and automobiles stretching three blocks waited to approach her brightly lit towers. The hotel became so popular that within six months, the owners announced plans to add a third wing, two floors of apartments, and a ballroom. The St. Francis had become the center of the city's social, literary, and artistic life.
After the Great Earthquake of 1906, the square was dubbed "Little St. Francis" because of the temporary shelter erected for residents of The St. Francis. Documented records of the opening were lost in the fire that destroyed the interior of the hotel's original 250 rooms following the earthquake. Within 40 days of the inferno, a temporary hotel of 110 rooms was erected in a court around the Dewey Monument in Union Square, and The St. Francis continued as a focal point of the city.

The hotel refurbished its interior and re-opened late in 1907, with 450 guest rooms.
A third wing opened in 1908, and further additions followed on Post Street - making The St. Francis the largest hotel on the Pacific Coast. Construction of the 32-story Pacific Tower began early in 1969 - opened in 1971 - adding a vast new complex of guest rooms, suites, and venues and banquet facilities.

Tony Bennett

The spirit of the 'whole generation with a new explanation', as McKenzie and Phillips put it, was centred on San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, a low-rent district next to Golden Gate Park. It was a laboratory for alternative lifestyles, and during 1967 an estimated 100,000 young people headed there in the hopes of enlightenment, freedom and a cheap place to crash.

Despite McKenzie's unease,'The Summer of Love' was not a journalistic invention. The phrase was coined by a local activist group, The Council for a Summer of Love. In April 1967 it announced: 'This summer, the youth of the world are making a holy pilgrimage to our city, to affirm and celebrate a new spiritual dawn --the activity of the youth of the nation which has given birth to Haight-Ashbury is a small part of a worldwide spiritual awakening.'

Haight-Ashbury today is more psychedelic supermarket than holy city, the hippy vibe kept alive by souvenir stores that sell postcards reading Having A Groovy Time In Haight-Ashbury and tobacconists who stock exotic glass pipes next to warning signs that say Intended For Legal Use Only. The change is hardly surprising. We are now as far away from the events of the Summer of Love as the original hippies were from the release of Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer, the first movie to use speech.

The Grateful Dead are to Haight-Ashbury what The Beatles are to Liverpool. True to themselves, egalitarian, exploratory, they exemplified the spirit of the time and place. Jerry Garcia is still the most prevalent poster image in the stores on Haight Street. Even local fire trucks carry Grateful Dead stickers.

Other bands lived in the area. Jefferson Airplane bought a colonial-style mansion in 1968 across the road from Golden Gate Park at 2400 Fulton Street and Big Brother and the Holding Company got together with Janis Joplin at 1090 Page Street. Izu said that Jimi Hendrix briefly lived in an apartment over 1524 Haight Street (now The Tobacco Centre) which was a haven for draft-dodgers.

Almost all the Haight Street stores from 1967 have gone. The Psychedelic Shop, the original drug paraphernalia store, has been replaced by Fat Slice Pizza. The premises of the multicoloured underground newspaper The Oracle have become Recycled Records. The Drogstore Cafe, a favourite hippy hangout, is now the Magnolia Pub and Brewery.

The more overtly political counterpart to Haight Street is Telegraph Avenue, over the Bay Bridge in Berkeley. The story of this strip in the Sixties is currently being told in a black-and-white photo display in the window of Rasputin Music (2403 Telegraph). It shows police firing tear gas, students putting flowers down the barrels of National Guard rifles, sit-ins and Martin Luther King preaching Civil Rights.

Today things are tranquil. The steps of Sproul Plaza, where the Free Speech Movement started in 1964, are deserted and, judging by the nearby notice boards, today's students are more interested in clubbing than being clubbed. Telegraph Avenue, like Haight Street,has become a haven for collectors of tie-dye T-shirts and small scales for weighing smoking materials.

/2007/06/HaightHouse_MS_186x250.jpg

Houses in Haight-Ashbury now
sell for upwards of $1,500,000

The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that began in the United States during the early 1960s and spread around the world. The word hippie derives from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. These people inherited the countercultural values of the Beat Generation, created their own communities, listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs such as cannabis and LSD to explore alternative states of consciousness. In January 1967, the Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco popularized hippie culture, leading to the legendary Summer of Love on the West Coast of the United States, and the 1969 Woodstock Festival on the East Coast.

 

 

I left my heart in San Francisco: Touring the vibrant city that inspired a song

I came to San Francisco in search of a new life. Well, not the song itself - that was already on my plans- but the cityscape that inspired me and the sweet flower people in their new awakening.

Released almost half a century ago by Tony Bennett, I Left My Heart In San Francisco is one of the most evocative city anthems ever recorded.

In 1964, it was picked up by the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau to add a musical punch to its campaigns. Five years later, it became one of two official city songs (the other being San Francisco from the 1936 film of the same name). 

Oakland Bay Bridge At San Francisco

Ablaze with newness and vitality: San Francisco's bright skyline framed by the Oakland Bay Bridge

To immerse myself in the song, there was only one place I could stay - the Fairmont Hotel, where Bennett first performed it during a concert series in December 1961. It was also conveniently 'high on a hill' and very close to the cable cars.

A San Francisco landmark for over a century, the five-star Fairmont has no shortage of claims to fame. It was the HQ for those reconstructing the city after the 1906 earthquake, which struck on the day the hotel was due to open, and is where the United Nations Charter was drafted in 1945. Its list of celebrity guests reads like a Who's Who of the 20th Century.

Yet in its Heritage Hall - a long corridor decked with framed hotel memorabilia - the sheet music to I Left My Heart In San Francisco and a black-and-white photo of Tony Bennett playing in its Venetian Room hang alongside images of princesses and presidents. The Fairmont is justly proud of its unique association with the song.

City song: I left my Heart in San Francisco was a huge hit for Tony Bennett and the city itself

Affixed to the base of the low but wide stage where Bennett once stood is a brass plaque that reads: 'Tony Bennett Time Capsule. To commemorate the restoration of The Fairmont San Francisco, Mr Bennett placed a time capsule containing personal mementos in the stage of the Venetian Room where he first sang I Left My Heart In San Francisco in 1962 [sic].'

It is dated October 19, 1999. One of the items in the capsule is a red Baccarat heart from Tiffany & Co given to the singer by Liza Minnelli.

'It was pure nostalgia. We missed the warmth and openness of the people and the beauty. We never really took to New York.'

'New York is a hard, ruthless city. It lives on the edge of terror and catastrophe. New York is tired. San Francisco has newness and vitality.'

 

The Fairmont Hotel

High on a hill: The Fairmont Hotel where Bennett first sang his hit

The song was recorded at CBS Studios on 30th Street on January 23, 1962, and released as the B side of Once Upon A Time. DJs, however, preferred I Left My Heart In San Francisco and it became a hit. An album with the same title followed. 'That song helped make me a world citizen,' said Bennett. 'It allowed me to live, work and sing in any city on the globe. It changed my whole life.'

I had decided to explore San Francisco using the song as my guidebook. The Fairmont was a good place to start. From my 17th-floor window I could see the city laid out like a menu of tourist attractions, from Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz Island.

Yet, as everybody knows, San Francisco isn't really a city 'high on a hill' as the song suggests. It is a city on many hills, ranging from the 100ft Rincon Hill to the 925ft Mount Davidson.

Surprisingly the exact number of hills is still a matter of dispute - if there is a hill on top of a hill, does that make one big hill or two small ones? The official count is 43 (44 if you consult Wikipedia), but San Francisco hill-lover Tom Graham, currently attempting to walk every street in the city, claims to have found hitherto unrecognised hills that would bring the total to more than 50.

The most accessible hill for looking over the city is Twin Peaks (922ft), charmingly known as Los Pechos de la Choca (The Breasts of the Indian Maiden) by early Spanish settlers.

There is only a viewing terrace and a telecommunications mast on top but the view across the city and over the water to Oakland and Berkeley is unparalleled, as is the tranquillity. 

Cable car looking out over the bay

Heady heights: A cable car scrambles up one of San Francisco's many steep streets with Alcatraz Island in the background

Next on the song's tick list were the little cable cars that 'climb halfway to the stars'. No matter how many times you've ridden them, these cars, with their sounds of bells and grinding Victorian machinery, always provide a kick. And the route that runs closest to The Fairmont, the Hyde Street line, happens to be the one that will get you closest to the stars. Its steepest gradient, 21 per cent, is the sharpest on the system.

Another first for me was visiting the Cable Car Barn Museum at 1201 Mason. This building, which houses some examples of cars from the early days, is still the powerhouse of the system. From the mezzanine you can see the engines and wheels that wind the cables through the subterranean channels and pulleys.

Although the song doesn't introduce the most obvious San Franciscan image - the Golden Gate Bridge - it does mention the 'morning fog', which best displays its dramatic power as it rolls under and over the familiar rust-coloured structure. Indeed, it was a photo of a fog-wreathed bridge that graced the cover of Bennett's I Left My Heart In San Francisco album in 1962.

The ideal place to see the bridge in all its glory is from Crissy Field, a recently restored waterfront recreation area that begins not too far from Fisherman's Wharf and ends at Fort Point. And the best way to explore Crissy Field is by bike (hire from Blazing Saddles outside Pier 41).

It's a beautiful ride through a peaceful area of promenade, sand dunes and reclaimed marsh. On my way out, the fog was but a wisp. By the time I was halfway back, only the tops of the bridge's towers were visible. It can happen that quickly.

The one remaining image from the song was the 'blue and windy sea'. To experience this, I went on an hour-long cruise of the bay that took me from Pier 39, where sea lions bask in the sun on floating platforms, down to Golden Gate Bridge and back again via Alcatraz. It was all I needed to confirm that the sea is indeed blue and the wind is windy. 

Golden Gate Bridge

In for a chill: The city's fog, seen engulfing the Golden Gate Bridge, is infamous

   

File:FinancialNorth.jpg

File:SF From Marin Highlands3.jpg

    photo

    Golden Gate Bridge from Marshall Beach

    File:FerryBuildingEmbarcaderoBayBridge.JPG

     

    Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

    350 miles north of Los Angeles, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge welcomes you to San Francisco.

    Introduction

    Possibly the most mythologized part of the most mythologized country in the world, California is where Americans go to live the American dream. The third largest and most populous state in the Union lies on the sun-drenched Pacific coast, with thousands of years of history and wave after wave of arrivals shaping its present. Its size is equal to an entire nation, as is its wealth, with the entertainment, wine and tourism industries all adding to its financial muscle and all-round desirability.

    Life might not be quite as easy as the myth for some, but its usually as sunny as you imagine, and California does try its best to live up to its own hype.

    Most accounts say the "summer" actually began Jan. 14, 1967, with the "Human Be-In," billed as "a Renaissance of compassion, awareness and love" in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which drew up to 20,000 people. The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane performed, and among the speakers were poet Allen Ginsberg and LSD guru Timothy Leary, who for the first time used the phrase he would make famous: "Turn on, tune in, drop out." The event established San Francisco as the center of the emerging counterculture of hippies and flower children, and Scott McKenzie's hit song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" promised that "summertime will be a love-in there." Several San Francisco activists soon formed the Council for the Summer of Love to help prepare the city for the influx of young people from across the country that was expected after schools and colleges let out for summer.

    .

     

     

       

    photo

    Cable Car in the Intersection, San Francisco, California

    The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last permanently operational manually-operated cable car system, and is now an icon of the city of San Francisco in California. The cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway, or Muni as it is better known. Cable cars operate on two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, their low speed, small service area, and premium fares for single rides make them primarily a tourist attraction.

    The first successful cable-operated street railway was the Clay Street Hill Railroad, which opened on August 2, 1873. The promoter of the line was Andrew Smith Hallidie, and the engineer was William Eppelsheimer. The line involved the use of grip cars, which carried the grip that engaged with the cable, towing trailer cars. The design was the first to use grips.

    The line started regular service on September 1, 1873, and it was such a success that it became the model for other cable car transit systems in San Francisco and elsewhere. It was a financial success, and Hallidie's patents were enforced on other cable car promoters, making him a rich man.

    The current cable car network consists of three lines:

    The Powell-Hyde line runs north and steeply uphill from a terminal at Powell and Market Streets, before crossing the California Street line at the crest of the hill. Downhill from this crest it turns left and uphill again along Jackson Street (as this is one-way, cable cars in the opposite direction use the parallel Washington Street), to a crest at Hyde Street. Here it turns right and steeply downhill along Hyde Street to the Hyde and Beach terminal, which is adjacent to the waterfront at the San Francisco Maritime Museum.

    The Powell-Mason line shares the tracks of the Powell-Hyde line as far as Mason Street, where it crosses Washington and Jackson streets. Here the line turns right and downhill along Mason Street, briefly half left along Columbus Avenue, and then down Taylor Street to a terminal at Taylor and Bay. This terminus is near to, but several blocks back from, the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

    The California Street line runs due west from a terminal at California and Market Streets, close to the junction of Market with the waterfront Embarcadero. The whole of the line lies on California Street, running at first uphill to the summit of Nob Hill, then more gently downhill to a terminus at Van Ness Avenue.

     

    California Street is one of the longest and most important streets in San Francisco.

     

    The Bay Bridge connects downtown San Francisco via Yerba Buena Island with Oakland and the East Bay.

    Because of its unique geography—making beltways somewhat impractical—and the results of the freeway revolts of the late 1950s,[171] San Francisco is one of the few American cities that has opted for European-style arterial thoroughfares instead of a large network of freeways. This trend continued following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, when city leaders decided to demolish the Embarcadero Freeway, and voters approved demolition of a portion of the Central Freeway, converting them into street-level boulevards.[171]

    Interstate 80 begins at the approach to the Bay Bridge and is the only direct automobile link to the East Bay. US 101 extends Interstate 80 to the south along the San Francisco Bay toward Silicon Valley. Northbound, 101 uses arterial streets Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Street to the Golden Gate Bridge, the only direct road access from San Francisco to Marin County and points north. Highway 1 also enters San Francisco at the Golden Gate Bridge, but diverts away from 101, bisecting the west side of the city as the 19th Avenue arterial thoroughfare, and joining with Interstate 280 at the city's southern border. Interstate 280 continues this route along the central portion of the Peninsula south to San Jose. Northbound, 280 turns north and east and terminates in the South of Market area. State Route 35, which traverses the majority of the Peninsula along the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains, enters the city from the south as Skyline Boulevard, following city streets until it terminates at its intersection with Highway 1. State Route 82 enters San Francisco from the south as Mission Street, following the path of the historic El Camino Real and terminating shortly thereafter at its junction with 280. The cross-country Lincoln Highway's western terminus is in Lincoln Park. Major east–west thoroughfares include Geary Boulevard, the Lincoln Way/Fell Street corridor, and Market Street/Portola Drive.

    Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in San Francisco, with about 40,000 residents commuting to work regularly by bicycle.

    Pedestrian traffic is a major mode of transport. In 2011, Walk Score ranked San Francisco the second most walkable city in the United States.[

    Public transportation

    Main article: San Francisco Municipal Railway

    A cable car descending Nob Hill

    A third of commuters in San Francisco used public transportation in 2005. Public transit solely within the city of San Francisco is provided predominantly by the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni). The city-owned system operates both a combined light rail and subway system (the Muni Metro) and a bus network that includes trolleybuses, standard diesel motorcoaches and diesel hybrid buses. The Metro streetcars run on surface streets in outlying neighborhoods but underground in the downtown area. Additionally, Muni runs the highly visible F Market historic streetcar line, which runs on surface streets from Castro Street to Fisherman's Wharf (through Market Street), and the iconic San Francisco cable car system, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

    Commuter rail is provided by two complementary agencies. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a regional rapid transit system that connects the San Francisco peninsula with the East Bay through the Transbay Tube. The line runs under Market Street to Civic Center where it turns south to the Mission District, the southern part of the city, and through northern San Mateo County, to the San Francisco International Airport, and Millbrae.[176] The Caltrain rail system runs from San Francisco along the Peninsula down to San Jose.[176] The line dates from 1863, and for many years was operated by Southern Pacific.

    The Transbay Terminal serves as the terminus for long-range bus service (such as Greyhound) and as a hub for regional bus systems AC Transit (Alameda & Contra Costa counties), SamTrans (San Mateo County), and Golden Gate Transit (Marin and Sonoma Counties).[178] Amtrak also runs a shuttle bus from San Francisco to its rail station in Emeryville.[179]

    A small fleet of commuter and tourist ferries operate from the Ferry Building and Pier 39 to points in Marin County, Oakland, and north to Vallejo in Solano County.[176]

    There is also commuter bus and special train service to the 49ers and Giant's games from Tri Delta Transit, Caltrain and other private operators as well.

    [edit] Airports

    San Francisco International Airport

    Main article: San Francisco International Airport

    San Francisco International Airport (SFO), though located 13 miles (21 km) south of the city in San Mateo County, is under the jurisdiction of the City and County of San Francisco. SFO is primarily near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno, but also borders the most southern part of the city of South San Francisco. SFO is a hub for United Airlines, its largest tenant,[180] and the decision by Virgin America to base its operations out of SFO[181] reversed the trend of low-cost carriers opting to bypass SFO for Oakland and San Jose. SFO is an international gateway, with the largest international terminal in North America.[182] The airport is built on a landfill extension into the San Francisco Bay. During the economic boom of the late 1990s, when traffic saturation led to frequent delays, it became difficult to respond to calls to relieve the pressure by constructing an additional runway as that would have required additional landfill. Such calls subsided in the early 2000s as traffic declined, and, in 2006, SFO was the 14th busiest airport in the U.S. and 26th busiest in the world, handling 33.5 million passengers.[183]

    [edit] Seaports

    The Ferry Building along the Embarcadero

    Main article: Port of San Francisco

    The Port of San Francisco was once the largest and busiest seaport on the West Coast. It featured rows of piers perpendicular to the shore, where cargo from the moored ships was handled by cranes and manual labor and transported to nearby warehouses. The port handled cargo to and from trans-Pacific and Atlantic destinations, and was the West Coast center of the lumber trade. The 1934 West Coast Longshore Strike, an important episode in the history of the American labor movement, brought most ports to a standstill. The advent of container shipping made pier-based ports obsolete, and most commercial berths moved to the Port of Oakland and Port of Richmond. A few active berths specializing in break bulk cargo remain alongside the Islais Creek Channel.

    Many piers remained derelict for years until the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway reopened the downtown waterfront, allowing for redevelopment. The centerpiece of the port, the Ferry Building, while still receiving commuter ferry traffic, has been restored and redeveloped as a gourmet marketplace. The port's other activities now focus on developing waterside assets to support recreation and tourism.

     

    L

    Looking for the HTML code and photo file link? Check out this FAQ.

    Almost half a century ago. Looking up Powell St. from Market St. The canteen at Woolworth on your right, served me well at lunch. During my job search, the hills of San Francisco was a hindrance. I think my overdeveloped legs were the outcome of the constant walking in SF. The Filipino community has grown remarkably since World War II and has spread to all areas of the city, especially the South of Market area. The affluent Castro district (technically Eureka Valley near Twin Peaks) has attracted gays and lesbians from throughout the country, becoming perhaps the most famous gay neighbourhood in the world. Its streets are adorned with elegantly restored Victorian homes and landmarks highlighting significant dates in the struggle for gay rights. It is said that no local politician can win an election without the gay community's vote.  

    Dropping down California St. Fabled hills, were the scourge of the handicap, nowhere in any city but San Francisco, where wheel chairs are absent...my own observation. I remember there were so many people coming in for the Peace March, we wondered around listening to the sounds of the bands warming up at the Union Square. The guitars faded in and out like the morning fog that drifted in and out on the breeze off the bay. Again, there was the thick smell of incense and marijuana, but there was something else in the atmosphere as well: the air was glowing electric with excitement and anticipation. Everyone felt that we were about to be part of something really big.




    That summer was ripe for change. It was only two years after the Watts riots in Los Angeles, 3 1/2 years after the Kennedy assassination, and more and more American troops were being sent to fight in the Vietnam War. Against the backdrop of an ever widening chasm between the nation's youth and their parents that would eventually be dubbed "the generation gap," young people all over the country headed toward San Francisco.

    File:SF Chinatown CA.jpg

    1966 Fox Plaza, it stands on the site of the former Fox Theatre, demolished in 1963. I remember  walking thru Van Ness and Market St. the strong winds of San Francisco magnified like a wind tunnel. It Acts like a sail, that many times my hat blew away. My recollection about this building were all positive, all the five years of my stay in Highway design and Urban Planning. The first twelve floors contain office space. Unlike many buildings, Fox Plaza has a 13th floor actually labeled "13", although this floor is the service floor and is not rented out. The 14th floor contains a gymnasium and laundry facilities as well as apartments, while floors 15 through 29 are exclusively rental apartments. The main attraction during coffee break was the fashion show atmosphere of beautiful young ladies well chosen by private companies at Fox Plaza to the delight of bachelors like us.

    San Francisco was undeniably one of the most important epicenters of change. The city's history with the Renaissance poets, the Beats, and a vibrant folk scene left it in a good position to serve as a cultural engine, and the ignition of the San Francisco Sound came from dozens of sources, from Bob Dylan, Paul Butterfield, and the British Invasion to UC-Berkeley's 1964 Free Speech Movement, the evolution of freeform FM radio, and the proliferation of hallucinogenic drugs. By 1967, San Francisco was the most psychedelic city in America, if not the world

    A few customers stand beneath the doomed marquee on the night of February 10, 1963. The building was demolished and in its place the "Fox Plaza" was constructed a combination office and apartment building. Fox Plaza 5th floor was the site of my office in Urban Planning, Dept. of Transportation, State of California in the late 60's.  The last film's were shown on February 15, 1963. The following night an event called "Farewell to the Fox" tookplace. After a week or so of selling off artifacts from the theater the wreaking ball took over

    The 1906 Great Earthquake of San Francisco in colour: never-before-seen photos uncovered a century later in the Smithsonian

     

     

    The snaps were unearthed in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History of what is considered the worst natural disaster in US history

    The snaps were unearthed in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History of what is considered the worst natural disaster in US history .

    Thought to be the first colour photos from the devastating earthquake were taken by pioneer photographer Frederick Eugene Ives

     

    Thought to be the first colour photos from the devastating earthquake were taken by pioneer photographer Frederick Eugene Ives

     

    Skyline: These images look South East from the Hotel Majestic roof, towards what appears to be the dome of City Hall on the horizon (centre right)

    The first colour images of what is considered the worst natural disaster in U.S. history have emerged, showing in beautiful and horrific detail the deadly force of the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.

    The subsequent fire that engulfed the city left more than 3,000 dead and thousands more injured. Images of the devastation left behind were captured by pioneering photographer Frederick Eugene Ives.

    The never before seen snaps of the city's downtown area were taken from the roof of the Hotel Majestic, where Ives stayed on an October 1906 visit, and were unearthed by a volunteer at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

    Skyline: These images look South East from the Hotel Majestic roof, towards what appears to be the dome of City Hall on the horizon (centre right)

    His shots show the devastation in the North East of the city, near San Francisco Bay. They were stowed amid other items donated by Ives' son, Herbert, and discovered in 2009 by volunteer Anthony Brooks while he was cataloguing the collection.

    Hand-colored photographs of the quake's destruction have surfaced before, but Ives' work is probably the only true color documentary evidence, Shannon Perich, associate curator of the Smithsonian's photography history collection believes.

    American Cities

    2

     

    Previous images: The subsequent fires tore through the city leaving nearly two-thirds of the population homeless

    The pictures are street-level shots of San Francisco's shattered downtown and rooftop views overlooking miles of ruins.

    They depict buildings damaged by fire and broken by the shaking ground. Some of the buildings still exist.

    The process he used to produce colour images, creating separate slides for each primary colour in the light spectrum, required a long exposure and therefore was not conducive to capturing people and objects in motion.

    Ives is well-known for inventing the half-tone reproduction process still used to print photographs in newspapers.

    The Great Earthquake measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale as was felt as far away as Orgeon, Los Angeles and Nevada.

    Around 227,000 and 300,000 people were left homeless out of a population of about 410,000 and lead to refugee camps set up along the coast, which were still operational two years after the quake.

    The cost of the damage from the earthquake was estimated at the time to be around $400million, which is around $9.5 billion in today’s money.

    She said Ives was one of only a few photographers experimenting with colour photography in the early 20th century and that his San Francisco images were meant to be viewed through a 3D device he invented but which never became a commercial success.

    Perich told the San Francisco Chronicle: ‘Can you imagine how shocking these were?’

    The Hotel Majestic, Ives base for these photographs, was built in 1902 - four years before the earthquake struck - and still stands on Sutter Street today. It claims to be 'San Francisco's oldest continuously operating hotel'.

    The history section of its website, relating to the time of the disaster, states: 'The terrible fires that ravaged the city were halted at Van Ness Avenue, two blocks from The Majestic.'

    San Francisco hill

    San Francisco view today from the Coit tower.

    Downtown San Francisco Bay View from Kite Hill in San Francisco
    This map of San Francisco shows the hotel where Ives stayed and from its roof he pointed his camera East to Union Square and South to City Hall to photograph the destruction in colourThis map of San Francisco shows the hotel where Ives stayed and from its roof he pointed his camera East to Union Square and South to City Hall to photograph the destruction in color .

     

    The quake caused around $9billion-worth of damage in today's money, and the extent of it can be seen in this shot of Union Square with the Victory statue in the distance

    The quake caused around $9billion-worth of damage in today's money, and the extent of it can be seen in this shot of Union Square, with the Victory statue in the distance

    Vibrant: Downtown San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake

    Vibrant: Downtown San Francisco before the  1906 earthquake

     

     

     

    San Francisco Earthquake 1906

    Crumbling buildings line a street and smoke rises in the background after the San Francisco earthquake

     

    2

    San Francisco City Hall, 1906

    The 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco largely gutted City Hall. Source: U.S. Geological Survey

    Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

    This area of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco has been built up in a Holland theme, beginning with the windmill and the large patches of beautiful tulips.

    This windmill was a gift to the park from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands

    'Including my feet in the shots was my idea as I like having a human element in the shots - it was a good way of shooting a self-portrait and not being too into it,' he said

    This area of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco has been built up in a Holland theme, beginning with the windmill and the large patches of beautiful tulips.

    This windmill was a gift to the park from Queen

    Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of the opening of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Before 1937, the city's growth was hampered by a reliance on ferry traffic. The 8,981 ft (2,737 m) suspension bridge changed that, creating a link between San Francisco to Marin County. Its construction was completed under budget, but at the cost of 11 workers' lives. Collected here are images from the building of this iconic bridge, as well as scenes from its 75 years of service and from Sunday's celebration.

    High-power lights illuminate the Golden Gate Bridge as part of the span's 75th anniversary celebration in San Francisco, on May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

    High-power lights illuminate the Golden Gate Bridge as part of the span's 75th anniversary celebration in San Francisco, on May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

     

    2

    Before the bridge -- Fort Point in the foreground, looking across the Golden gate (the strait connecting San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean), toward Marin County to the north, in 1910. (National Park Service) #

    3

    Construction underway on a pylon on the south shore of the Golden Gate Bridge project, ca 1933. (Library of Congress) #

    4

    Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, ca. 1933. A trestle reaches out from the San Francisco shore to the foundation of the north tower. (Library of Congress) #

    5

    Work progresses on the Golden Gate Bridge, as seen in 1934. (AP Photo/Redwood Empire Association) #

    6

    Workers complete the catwalks for the Golden Gate Bridge, hundreds of feet above the strait below, prior to spinning the bridge cables during construction on October 25, 1935. (AP Photo) #

    7

    The Golden Gate bridge, during its construction in May of 1936. (OFF/AFP/Getty Images) #

    8

    The Golden Gate Bridge, nearly complete on November 12, 1936. The warship seen passing under the bridge was on its way to attend the opening of the Oakland Bay Bridge. (AP Photo) #

    9

    Opening day -- the Golden Gate Bridge was opened to pedestrians on May 27, 1937. The next day it officially opened to vehicular traffic. (AP Photo/Redwood Empire Association) #

    10

    Traffic from Marin County en route to San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ernest K. Bennett) #

    11

    Military biplanes fly between the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge as pedestrians walk across the span during opening ceremonies in San Francisco ,on May 27, 1937. (AP Photo) #

    12

    View of Marin County, from the top of the southern tower, prior to 1968. (Library of Congress) #

    13

    Motor traffic crosses the Golden Gate Bridge, on November 20, 1940 (date appears to be in error, AP now looking into it -ed) . (AP Photo) #

    14

    Original caption: "Baghdad-by-the-bay 'a city you can almost cup in your hands and admire as your own personal jewel'. Through its narrow Golden Gate (top, right) it welcomes the world to San Francisco, June 23, 1960". (AP Photo) #

    15

    One of the cable seats, atop the south tower, prior to 1968. (Library of Congress) #

    16

    As thousands of people jam the deck of the Golden Gate Bridge during a bridge walk, one person walks across the span 220 feet above the San Francisco Bay, on May 24, 1987. An estimated 350,000 people turned out for the bridge walk, which kicked off the Golden Gate Bridge 50th anniversary celebration. (AP Photo/Doug Atkins) #

    17

    A crowd estimated at 800,000 jams the deck of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, on May 24, 1987, part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the bridge. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) #

    18

    A dreary day view of the Golden Gate Bridge, on February 16, 2009. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) #

    19

    Traffic came to a halt on the Golden Bate Bridge as a deer ambled across the entire span on May 18, 2004, making its way from the Marin headlands to the Presidio in San Francisco, seen in this video frame grab. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District) #

    20

    The Golden Gate Bridge, as the sun rises over San Francisco, on January 27, 2005. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

    21

    California Air National Guard pararescuemen of the 129th Rescue Wing, Moffett Federal Airfield climb up a moving rope ladder, from the chilly waters outside the Golden Gate Bridge, up to a HH-60G Pave Hawk. Tech. Sgt. Mike Sampognaro, flight engineer, monitors the training mission from the troop door. Hovering only six feet above the waves, Lt. Col. Thomas Laut must fly with extreme care as he deals with gusting winds, sea spray, sun glare, and sea swells, as he maintains a "low-and-slow" flight. (Some may recognize this photo as the basis for the Helicopter Shark hoax photograph.) (Lance Cheung/US Air Force via Getty Images) #

    22

    A man takes in the view of the fog-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands in Sausalito, California, on September 24, 2008. (Reuters/Robert Galbraith) #

    23

    Cars drive northbound on the Golden Gate Bridge, on May, 8, 2008. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

    24

    The towers of the Golden Gate Bridge, above waves in the Pacific Ocean, viewed on October 24, 2008. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images) #

    25

    "International Orange" paint coats suspender cables of the Golden Gate Bridge, on May 24, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

    26

    Rusted rivets on the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge, seen on on May 24, 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

    27

    A cargo ship passes through San Francisco Bay at sunrise. (Kike Calvo via AP Images) #

    28

    A man looks over the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge, on January 27, 2005. A controversial film made by moviemaker Eric Steel documenting people committing suicide off of the Golden Gate Bridge opened a debate about why there isn't a suicide barrier on the famous landmark. In 2005, more than 1,300 people were known to have jumped to their death from the span since it opened in 1937. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

    29

    A suicide prevention message on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco California, 2006. More people die by suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge than at any other site in the world. (CC BY SA David Allen Corby) #

    30

    An exhibit of shoes in remembrance of people who have jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge is displayed during a commemoration of the bridge's 75th anniversary on May 27, 2012, in San Francisco. The Bridge Rail Foundation, which advocates for a safety net along the span to prevent suicides, estimates approximately 1,558 people have died after jumping since the bridge opened. A marine-grade stainless steel net is planned, but progress on the project has been slow, and it remains unfunded. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) #

    31

    The Collaborators, a group of aerobatic airplanes from Team Oracle and Team Fusion, perform maneuvers above the Golden Gate Bridge ahead of Fleet Week, in San Francisco, California, on October 9, 2008. (Reuters/Robert Galbraith) #

    32

    A view of hanger cables on the Golden Gate Bridge, and the bridge deck seen from a car on a rainy day, on May 2, 2012. Images made with an iPhone 4s with Instagram's "LoFi" filter. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

    33

    A surfer rides a wave churned by a winter storm underneath the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, on January 4, 2008, in the San Francisco Bay. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) #

    34

    The Russian tall ship Pallada sails under the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco Bay, during the opening of the Sail San Francisco 2005 International Maritime Festival, on July 28, 2005. (AP Photo/John M. Harris) #

    35

    The Golden Gate Bridge, seen from the third tee of the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, on March 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) #

    36

    The Queen Mary 2 sails beneath the Golden Gate Bridge as it enters the harbor in San Francisco, on February 4, 2007. The ship, currently on an 81-day voyage around the world, is the largest vessel to ever sail into the San Francisco Bay. (Reuters/Robert Galbraith) #

    37

    Ironworker Kerry Davis, who has worked on the Golden Gate Bridge for the past 28 years, stands at the entrance to the South Tower, on May 25, 2012. (Reuters/Robert Galbraith) #

    38

    San Francisco, the bay, and the Golden Gate Bridge, seen from orbit aboard the International Space Station, on November 6, 2010. (NASA) #

    39

    The Golden Gate Bridge, lit at dusk, seen from at Fort Point in San Francisco, on February 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file) #

    40

    Fireworks erupt from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, on May 27, 2012. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) #

    41

    Fireworks explode over the Golden Gate Bridge during the 75th anniversary celebration of the iconic span in San Francisco, California, on May 27, 2012. (Reuters/Robert Galbraith)

     

     

     

     

    These spectacular images of the San Francisco skyline were taken by a fearless photographer - who dangled his camera and even himself out of a helicopter to capture the perfect shots.

    Michael Shainblum, 23, took to the aircraft in a bid to photograph a series of unique views of the Californian city - from the Golden Gate Bridge to towering, brightly-lit skyscrapers.

    He dangled his legs and arms out of the helicopter at dizzying heights - before snapping the sights below with a camera attached to a tripod.

    Mr Shainblum, who flew with two friends, said he had spent years practicing the daring photography technique, which has recently become popular with urban explorers.

    'The reason I went up was to capture unique images of San Francisco from a perspective most people don't get to see,' he said.

    'I wanted the pictures to make people feel like they are in there with me. I have had people tell me that some of the shots looking down have made them feel sick.'

    He added that despite suffering from a 'slight fear of heights', once he was in the helicopter he was 'too excited to be scared'.

    Breathtaking: This image of San Francisco was taken by a fearless photographer - who dangled his camera and even himself out of a helicopter to capture the ideal shot

    +13

    Breathtaking: This image of San Francisco was taken by a fearless photographer - who dangled his camera and even himself out of a helicopter to capture the ideal shot

    Beautiful: Michael Shainblum, 23, took to the aircraft in a bid to photograph a series of unique views of the Californian city, including this shot of San Francisco at night

    +13

    Beautiful: Michael Shainblum, 23, took to the aircraft in a bid to photograph a series of unique views of the Californian city, including this shot of San Francisco at night

    Famous landmark: He dangled his legs and arms out of the helicopter at dizzying heights - before snapping the sights below with a camera. Above, Golden Gate Bridge

    +13

    Famous landmark: He dangled his legs and arms out of the helicopter at dizzying heights - before snapping the sights below with a camera. Above, Golden Gate Bridge

    'I have had people tell me that some of the shots looking down have made them feel sick,' said the photographer

    +13

    'I have had people tell me that some of the shots looking down have made them feel sick,' said the photographer

    +13

    Different perspectives: The Golden Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, is pictured, left and right, above a sea of green-and-blue water

    Bright lights of the city: Mr Shainblum said he had spent years practicing the daring photography technique, which has recently become popular with urban explorers

    +13

    Bright lights of the city: Mr Shainblum said he had spent years practicing the daring photography technique, which has recently become popular with urban explorers

    Stomach-churning: The photographer, who flew with two friends, dangles his legs out of the helicopter while capturing this incredible photo of San Francisco at night

    Stomach-churning: The photographer, who flew with two friends, dangles his legs out of the helicopter while capturing this incredible photo of San Francisco at night

    'Including my feet in the shots was my idea as I like having a human element in the shots - it was a good way of shooting a self-portrait and not being too into it,' he said

    +13

    'Including my feet in the shots was my idea as I like having a human element in the shots - it was a good way of shooting a self-portrait and not being too into it,' he said

    +13

    Flying high: 'Including my feet in the shots was my idea as I like having a human element in the shots,' he said. Left, Golden Gate Bridge and, right, San Francisco at night

    View from above: Mr Shainblum said that despite suffering from a 'slight fear of heights', once he was in the helicopter he became 'too excited to be scared'

    +13

    View from above: Mr Shainblum said that despite suffering from a 'slight fear of heights', once he was in the helicopter he became 'too excited to be scared'

    'I have had people tell me that some of the shots looking down have made them feel sick,' he added

    +13

    'I have had people tell me that some of the shots looking down have made them feel sick,' he added

    +13

    Busy city: 'I have had people tell me that some of the shots looking down have made them feel sick,' he added. Left, brightly-lit skyscrapers and, right, a major bypass

    Captivating: Mr Shainblum said he had taken precautions during the photography session - but added: 'I did take risks also'. Above, the bright lights of San Francisco

    +13

    Captivating: Mr Shainblum said he had taken precautions during the photography session - but added: 'I did take risks also'. Above, the bright lights of San Francisco

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    No comments: