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Kezar Stadium in its Glory Days

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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: Alex Bevk] San Francisco doesn't have too many outdoor running tracks, but socked in the fog on the southeast corner of Golden Gate Park is Kezar Stadium, once home to the San Francisco 49ers. When it was built in 1925, the stadium held over 60,000 people.

In the early 1920s, the City accepted a $100,000 gift from the early pioneer Kezar family for a memorial, and eventually added another $200,000 to complete construction of the stadium. For its first 20 years, the site hosted a slew of different sports like track and field competitions, car races, rugby, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, boxing, cricket, and football games, and also served as the home field of several local schools.

Kezar Stadium in 1950 [Photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY]

The 49ers were founded in 1946 and adopted Kezar as their home stadium, playing their first game on September 8, 1946 against New York. The stadium was notorious for rowdy crowds and its bird problem, as flocks of seagulls would descend upon the crowd looking for scraps of food. The team played 25 seasons there, before moving into Candlestick Park, with their last game at Kezar Stadium on January 3, 1971 against the Dallas Cowboys. Later that year, Clint Eastwood filmed a famous Dirty Harry scene at the stadium, where he (spoiler alert!) shoots Scorpio from across the field.

>Kezar Stadium and Pavilion today [Photo: Google Maps]

In 1989 the original stadium was demolished (though the original indoor pavilion nearby remains) and rebuilt with seating for 10,000, an eight-lane clay track and a large grass field used for soccer, football, and lacrosse. There is a replica of the original concrete arch on the west side as a tribute to the original stadium.

· West Coast Brew Gave Kezar Stadium Its Color [NY Times]
· Kezar Stadium [Stadiums of Pro Football]
· Kezar Stadium [SF Rec and Park]

Kezar Stadium

600 Frederick St, San Francisco, CA 94117