Explore Bernal History With This Awesome Photo-Map Tool Thingy



At the present moment, at the cusp of the fifteenth year of the new millennium, we are enjoying a golden age for two disciplines that have previously been confined to the far fringes of geography geekdom: Cartography and Archival Photography.

Digital networks have liberated both maps and historical photos from the musty confines of academia and libraries, with generally euphoric results. Happily, its never been easier to visualize a place both as it is today — and as it was in the past.

HistoryPin is a very cool website that brings maps and historic photos together in a wonderfully intuitive way, but placing historical photos on a map that shows where the images were captured. It’s simple and fun, and at the moment, HistoryPin is featuring a special collection about Bernal Heights:


It was in this way, for example, that I discovered the fantastic 1941 photo from the corner of Andover and Cortland that’s shown above.

First, check out the Farmer’s Market store! With Acme Beer! So gorgeous.

Also, now we know the answer to a minor mystery I’ve wondered for a long time: What’s up with the narrow little lot that now serves as the Good Life parking lot? How did that happen? Answer: It used to be the side-yard of a residence that’s now incorporated into the structure of 461 Cortland. Who knew???

There’s lots more geek-pleasure to be derived from exploring the HistoryPin map. Do check it out!

Here’s a parting shot. Can you guess what business now occupies the 1956 location of John Anconi’s Accordion Studio?


Answer: Zante’s Pizza, at 3489 Mission, near the corner of Cortland! Who knew?


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