California Street Hill

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These pre-quake cards look west up California Street to Nob Hill and show no evidence of Fairmont Hotel construction (begun 1903). Left: Detroit 5862, private mailing card postmarked SF 7/02/1902, looks toward Stockton from just above Dupont, with Salina Place just past the cable car. The same sender sent another Detroit 5862 a few months later (see Set: Bliss). Next: Goeggel & Weidner 54, ca. 1902-1903. Next: Weidner 118, postmarked 12/13/1904, the same image in color. The photo is presumably taken from the Kohl Building (built 1901). Right: Mitchell 293 must be taken from the Merchants Exchange (built 1904), so it likely dates from 1904.

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The Fairmont Hotel was in the final stages of construction when the 1906 earthquake/fire struck. Two of these three pre-quake images have added post-earthquake captions. Left: Novelty Import 3. Center: Behrendt 15, postmarked SF 11/09/1908. Right: Weidner 161, postmarked SF 8/20/1907. Hotels: Fairmont Hotel shows the earthquake/fire damage and the reconstructed Fairmont.

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Post-quake, the Hopkins Art Institute at California/Powell is gone and the new pagoda-towered Sing Fat and Sing Chong buildings are at California/Grant. Left: Souvenir 138, postmarked 7/06/1914. Center: Unknown publisher 390, P.P.I.E. seal on front, looking west from Battery. At Montgomery, the Merchants Exchange (14 stories) is at left and the Kohl Building (11 stories) is at right. Right: Piltz 34, much later linen era card showing the Mark Hopkins Hotel (completed 1926).

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These cards look east from above Grant, showing cable cars on California and the Sing Fat / Sing Chong buildings. A Bay Bridge tower peeks out in the Piltz and Smith News cards. Left: Mitchell 1779, postmarked 8/20/1910. Center: Piltz 110, postmarked 4/30/1947. Right: Smith News 6.

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