Chapter

Metropolitan Scene

David Kipen

in San Francisco in the 1930s

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268807
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948877 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520268807.003.0012
Metropolitan Scene

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Times Square and Picadilly Circus recall the metropolitan grandeur of New York and London. Although San Francisco has no single spectacular landmark by which the world may identify it, the greatest cities have long since welcomed it into their company. Portsmouth Square, the Palace Hotel, and the Ferry Building, which served successively as symbols of civic vanity, no longer resound with much more public clamor than many another plaza, hostelry, or terminal. Only Market Street accents for the casual observer San Francisco's character of a metropolis. Southwestward from the Ferry Building to the Twin Peaks Tunnel, Market Street's wide, unswerving diagonal bisects the city. Jasper O'Farrell's survey, a century ago, laid the foundation for Market Street's development. Long before the forty-niners paved it with planks, the tallow and hides of Peninsula ranchos rolled down its rutted trail in Mexican oxcarts to Yerba Buena Cove.

Keywords: San Francisco; landmark; Portsmouth Square; Palace Hotel; Ferry Building; Market Street; metropolis; Jasper O'Farrell

Chapter.  13060 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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