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11 Vintage San Francisco Postcards and the Same Views Today

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War Memorial Opera House, 1930s.


ScenePast is a modern-day delivery system for vintage postcards in app form. Even for those of us who aren't the sort to send out e-cards, the app is something akin to a free-form game of Then & Now. There's a map view that lets users navigate around the city in a virtual tour of midcentury San Francisco in all its tinted, Technicolor-hued glory. Views of landmarks like the War Memorial Opera House don't change (though the cars out front certainly do); meanwhile, midcentury restaurants are reborn as banks and the tourist buses stopping at Fisherman's Wharf look more like tech shuttles than the double-decker omnibuses of yore.
Last time we compiled a bunch of before-and-afters from around the Bay Area—from Sutro Baths and the Villa Roma to a Spanish mission in Sonoma that's barely changed since the 50s—and in today's batch we're zeroing in on San Francisco proper.




The fish market at Fisherman's Wharf, corner of Jefferson and Taylor, 1920s.




Civic Center Motel at 364 Ninth Street, 1950s.




The Fairmont, 1920s.




Rickey's Town House Restaurant at 1801 Van Ness, 1950s.




City Hall, 1930s.




Omnibus Tours on Pier 43, Fisherman's Wharf, 1950s.




Old Barbary Coast, 1930s.




House of Prime Rib at 1906 Van Ness Avenue, 1950s.




Franciscan Restaurant at Pier 43 1/2, 1950s.




Chinatown Gate at Bush Street and Grant Avenue, 1970s.


· Here Now, 32 Vintage Postcards from San Francisco [Curbed SF]
· ScenePast [Official Site]
· Then & Now Archives [Curbed SF]
· 10 Vintage Bay Area Postcards and the Same Views Today [Curbed SF]