The fair and wondrous city that embraced me half a century ago has been transfigured. In the space of just a few years, so much of San Francisco’s urban fabric has been effaced that I barely recognize it anymore. My documentation of what has been and will be so carelessly thrown away and forgotten is necessarily limited and leaves much of the City unaccounted-for, although it is representative of what is happening to San Francisco as a whole. As San Francisco is transformed, so too is my relationship with the City. My daily life is infused with sadness, a wistful kind of sorrow, the melancholy of lost hopes and forgotten dreams.
“6th Street Hotels” (2014)
“SoMa and Beyond” (2014)
The revitalization, so to speak, of the mid-Market corridor was already well underway when I shot this series of photos. Cranes and construction curtains are evident in many of the images. Years after the Great White Way had faded and died, its residuum sustained the landscape’s familiarity. Now, even that is disappearing. The St. Francis Theater was demolished April 2013. Soon, everything on the north 900 block of Market, except the Warfield Building and Crest Theater (Crazy Horse), will be razed. On the south 1000 block of Market, both the Imperial Theater and Kaplan’s (remnant of the Forrest Building) are slated for demolition. The old buildings will be replaced by high-rise condominiums, a multi-level shopping mall and a purported arts center,* all quite aloof and aseptic. Too soon, I fear, I will feel like an outlander in a strange and surly domain.
*Other than Hospitality House on Market Street, there is only one center for the arts in this town that has my undying love and respect, and that is Galeria de la Raza on 24th Street.
(Reminder: all images can be enlarged with a single click.)
“Gone is the Glamour” (2014)
“Faded Beauty” (2014)
Last summer, I photographed a series of bird’s-eye views of the central city, which I am just now getting around to processing and editing. Rather than wait until they are all finished, I will post them in small batches as I go, starting with these.
“Central City” (2014)
“Market and Taylor” (2014)
“Central Market” (2014)
Thanks to the kindness and generosity of a friend, I recovered all my gear on October 16. In the time since then, I have been out taking pictures of Market Street and the back streets between 5th and 7th. So much change is taking place, I want to capture what remains of the old district before it irrevocably disappears. These shots are among my favorites so far.
“Construction Site – Jessie Street” (2013)
“Federal Hotel” (2013)
“Stevenson Street” (2013)
“Grant Building” (2013)
“Sunday Morning – Market Street” (2013)
“Mechanics Savings Bank Building” (2013)