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The Palace: 1920

The Palace: 1920

"Market Street, San Francisco, 1920." Starring the Palace Hotel and, rising behind, the Call Building. 8x10 glass negative. photographer unknown. View full size.


Let There Be Lights

Those extra-tall streetlights are actually historic landmarks, specifically "San Francisco Landmark #200 Path of Gold Light Standards." They're part of the City Beautiful movement of the early 1900s, meant to illuminate San Francisco's then-primary artery Market Street.

Initially installed in 1916, the poles' bases were designed by famed West Coast architect WIllis Polk and feature bas relief images of covered wagons, mountain lions, and alternating prospectors and Native Americans.

For more info on Path of Gold check out this page.

"The Roar of the Four"

The title is in reference to the constant stream of streetcars during the era of competition between the Municipal Railway and the Market Street Railway. Today the Muni has two surface tracks as well as two subterranean tracks at this location. Below them BART has its too tracks. Roar of the Six?

Gorgeous Inside and Out!

My husband and I were able to enjoy this grande dame hotel on a recent visit, and the interior spaces are as beautiful the streetscape. The Garden Court is an amazing space, I only wish we'd been there during the day to see the stained glass skylights.

Street Lights.

The reason the street lights are so high is they served dual purpose. If you look closely you can see where the catenary (trolley wire) is actually attached to them. This actually wasn't all that uncommon at one time, since it allowed the city to have its public transit system, and to hide the (usually) unsightly support poles. What's more, it also meant that you didn't have to clutter things up with a second set of poles for the lights themselves.

What's up?

Those are the tallest street lights/lamps I have ever seen. Can't imagine the purpose of putting them that high up, and maintenance must have been fun.

[They're still in use on Market Street, including at this very corner. -tterrace]

What is written

on the sidewalk at the bottom right.

[CROCKER SAFE DEPOSIT VAULTS. Camouflaged as manholes. - Dave]

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