Public spaces change fast here in San Francisco, and for better or worse, it can be pretty crazy when you see what the City used to look like. Every week, we'll bring you Then & Now, a comparison of historic photos of the Bay Area with current views from the same perspective. Have a suggestion for a photo comparison that looks totally different (or shockingly the same)? Drop us a tip in the Curbed Inbox or leave a comment after the jump.
Quick note: See that vertical green bar in the middle of the then and now photos? You can move it horizontally to see the photos side by side.
[Then photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY/ Now photo: Bing Maps] When the city was still growing, the outer avenues were sparsely developed, leaving room for block-long building sites. One particular block at 10th & Fulton was home to the "largest pleasure resort in America" - the Chutes water park.
Toboggan slides were popular in Europe at the turn of the century, and after one opened in Coney Island, San Francisco opened their own version in 1895 at Haight & Cole. When the site proved too small for the popular ride, they moved the park to 10th & Fulton, taking up the whole block, with a theatre across the street.
Sanborn Map showing The Chutes amusement park in 1905 [Photo: ProQuest Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970]
The site also had a restaurant, bar, museum, merry-go-round, and zoo. Visitors rode a boat down a 350-foot water slide and careened into a lake at the bottom.
The inside of The Chutes with the theatre in the background, c1904 [Photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY]
In 1909 the park relocated to Fillmore Street, only to burn down in 1911. It was never rebuilt, but a waterslide called the Chutes was part of Playland at the Beach til the 1950s.
· The Chutes at Fulton and 10th Ave., 1902-1907 [Found SF]