Upside Down Car Is The Least Interesting Thing In This 1942 Bernal Heights Photo


I found this photo via the San Francisco Public Library, and it’s wonderful in so many ways. This is a view of Army Street (Cesar Chavez) looking south at Folsom on May 29, 1942.

Let’s zoom and enhance

In the foreground we see a rather handsome group of neighbors, lounging casually alongside an overturned Chevrolet. (???!)  “Move along! Nothing to see here!!”


In the background, the original parochial school building dominates the site of St. Anthony’s Church. (It’s still there today.)


Right behind that, there’s the Yosemite Meat Market, on the corner of Folsom and Precita, in the storefront now occupied by Charlie’s Cafe. The market’s sign is clearly visible on the Precita facade:


And of course, behind that is Bernal Hill, looking rather bare-naked, with no Sutrito Tower or trees on the summit — just a lone antenna mast. Bernal Heights Boulevard had been completed just a few years before, however, and the full “loop to nowhere” was open to traffic all the way around the hill.


All in all, it’s a scene that feels very familiar and somewhat different, all at the same time.

PHOTO: San Francisco Public Library on Flickr

16 thoughts on “Upside Down Car Is The Least Interesting Thing In This 1942 Bernal Heights Photo

  1. Pingback: Hashagans, meet La Taqueria « Burrito Justice

  2. There’s a man’s face directly above the little boy in the sailor’s hat. How did that get there? Was Photoshop 1.0 even released in 1942? Maybe a beta version?

  3. I looked at other photos in the SFPL’s Flickr stream and it seems like all of the accidents shown from that era had cars their sides or on their roof. Just found that to be interesting.

  4. If you look closely, one can see a young woman jogging in a wool bathing suit in the background

  5. Pingback: Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog San Francisco

  6. This isn’t a picture of Army (Cesar Chavez) Street looking south at Folsom. It’s a pic of Folsom Street looking south at Army (Cesar Chavez)

  7. Pingback: Then and Now: Folsom at Precita, 1943 | Bernalwood

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