Let’s do some time travel, courtesy of the Bernal History Project (from whence this fantastic image came our way).
The year is 1888, and the place is the intersection of Mission Street and Army (now Cesar Chavez Blvd.), as seen from Bernal Hill.
The resolution of this photo is extremely good, so let’s zoom in to take a closer look. We’ll start right at the intersection of Mission and Army. No Palace Steak House yet, and Precita Creek is still an exposed, swampy mess:
A little farther south on Mission, we see some points of interest in the future La Lengua Autonomous Zone. There’s an awesome shed on Valencia painted with ads for Hood’s Sasparilla and The San Francisco Morning Call newspaper. We also see the site of the future El Rio, as well as the building that would later become Mission Chevrolet before becoming today’s O’Reilly Auto Parts. The Bancroft Library stands on the future expansion site of St. Luke’s Hospital. And what’s up with that lighthouse-like tower on Coso (which is also visible here)?
A little to the northwest, we see the intersection of Valencia and Army. Here too, Precita Creek is a muddy ravine, but that big brick building that’s now the Salvation Army on Valencia and 26th is clearly present. At the time, it was a shoe factory.
Lastly, we head east along Army, to the intersection of Army and Howard (later renamed South Van Ness). Apparently, Howard didn’t yet continue through to Army. Also, note that big, bendy building on Army,
purpose unknown. UPDATE: Mapmeister Eric Fischer identifies the big, bendy building as the home of the North Star Brewery! Image Annotation added below.
Thanks for journeying back through time with us. Feel free to geek-out with the high-res version of the full 1888 image on your own; please report back if you find anything interesting.
PHOTO: Courtesy of the Bernal History Project