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Target of the Dead

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The east toll gate of Point Lobos Road, now the intersection of Geary and Masonic Boulevards (looking southeast) c.1865 [Photo Credit: Greg Gaar Collection, via Outside Lands]

Above, the site of the future/maybe Target at the pretentiously-named City Center on Geary Boulevard. Geary was originally known as Point Lobos Road (because that's where it ended- at Point Lobos) and is named in honor of the first post-statehood mayor of San Francisco, John W. Geary.

The unpopular and brutally moderne cement edifice that may/may not become a Target started life as a Sears-Roebuck and stands on the edge of the Calvary Cemetery site at Geary and Masonic Boulevards, here circa 1865. Much of the Calvary site is now occupied by Kaiser Medical Center. Trader Joe's stands on the edge of Laurel Hill Cemetery which ran between Geary and California. Laurel Hill was for Protestants. Calvary for the Catholics and the Masonic Cemetery (it would sprout on the right side of the image above) was for Masons. Masonic cemetery is now mostly housing, plus St. Ignatius and the University of San Francisco. There was also the Odd Fellows Cemetery, but we're going to leave that fraternal bunch alone for now. Under the pressure of development, the City dug everyone up and transported them all to Colma in 1899. Headstones and monuments became landfill, creating the Marina District. And we think we have epic land-use battles.

What we'd really like to see here is some action on making Geary Boulevard friendlier from Japantown and westward, where it becomes a mini-freeway, and bringing it back uphill to Masonic, which it currently passes under. Traffic moves too fast- which of course was the plan back in the 1950's- but those days are over. West of Masonic, trying to cross Geary on foot at most intersections is suicidal. No one's in any hurry to get to Colma. And where's the bike lane, please?

· Target sets its sights on S.F. [SF Gate]
· Streetwise: Dearly Departed [Outside Lands]
· Winner of the Ugliest Building Contest: The City Center [Curbed SF Archive]