Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Then and Now - Pine and Hyde

What a difference 50 years can make to the quality of our streets. Below are two photos of the intersection of Pine and Hyde, looking West

Left: 1954 ; Right: 2009

The image on the left is from Walt Vielbaum via the Market Street Railway blog. MSR's caption:
Downtown-bound O'Farrell, Jones & Hyde cable car No. 57 swings 'wrong-way' from Hyde into the oncoming traffic of Pine Street, (1954). The overhead neon sign warns motorists that an eastbound cable car is invading the one-way westbound street for two blocks, before it turns south on Jones Street. This mechanism was set up when the City made Pine one-way. Downtown interests longed to do the same with O'Farrell Street where two automobile garages were being built. The pressure for a one-way downtown street grid helped doom this fabled cable car line, which shut down two weeks after Walt Vielbaum took this great photo. -Market Street Railway
It's interesting to see what's changed and what has stayed the same. The buildings on three of the four corners are still there, but are now fronted with trees. The St. Francis Memorial Hospital has replaced Thomas Coffee Shop on the Southeast corner.

Traffic is still one way, now unperturbed by that pesky cable car.

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