Landmarks of the Old Town

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:
Landmarks of the Old Town

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The marvel is not that so little but that so much of the San Francisco's venerable and homely architecture has escaped time's vicissitudes of which not the least was the fire of 1906. Recalling the great fire of 1851—in which the El Dorado gambling saloon was saved by the citizenry's desperate stand—one may suppose that the area around Portsmouth Square was spared, less by a shift of wind, than by San Franciscans stubbornly defending the cradle of their traditions. Unlike the carefully preserved Vieux Carre of New Orleans, however, it survives, not through care, but through sheer neglect. On the muddy shores of a little cove at the southeastern base of a rocky hill (Telegraph Hill), San Francisco was born. A short distance inland, Francisco de Haro marked out his Calle de la Fundacion, skirting the shore on its way north-northwest over the hill toward the Presidio (along the present Grant Avenue).

Keywords: San Francisco; El Dorado; Portsmouth Square; San Franciscans; traditions; Telegraph Hill; Francisco de Haro; Calle de la Fundacion; Presidio

Chapter.  6726 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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