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View toward Market Street on Kearny, c. 1903

The domed Call Building, the largest office building in the west, was the latest addition to San Francisco's skyline in a building boom that had begun in the 1890's. The tall Mutual Bank building, to its right, was built in 1902 in French Renaissance style.



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Market Street viewing west from 2nd Street, circa 1900

The distinctive flatiron Crocker Building, which was built in the late 1890s and survived the 1906 earthquake, stands at the intersection of Post, Montgomery and Market. It was eventually demolished in the 1960s. The Hoffman Grill, is on the left at the corner of Second, and the Palace Hotel is one block further up. The Chronicle Building, with its clock tower, is on the right.

Source: BIG

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View North up Kearny Street at intersection of Market and Third Streets, circa 1905

This major downtown hub was flanked by prominent buildings. The Mutual Bank building on the left, was designed by William Curlett in French Renaissance style and completed in 1902. On the right stands the Hearst Building, which housed the Examiner newspaper, while behind it , across Market Street, is the Chronicle Building, with its distinctive clock tower.

Source: BIG

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View west on Market Street from 2nd Street c1880



Right of center is the intersection of Montgomery, Post and Market Streets; to the left is the old Palace Hotel. The tracks are for horsecars; the distinctive slot, indicating a cable line, is nowhere in evidence



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Southside of Market Street from 3rd to 4th Street August 1905

Market Street, before the 1906 Earthquake, was a major shopping district. It offered a diverse range of businesses such as dentists, picture framers, meat markets, gun shops, theatrical costumers, cigar shops and restaurants.


photograph by T. E. Hecht

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Hand-tinted digital image by Bennett Hall

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Chronicle Building, Market Street at Kearny, c. 1900.

This building, designed by Burnham & Root in 1889, was the first steel-frame skyscraper. It housed the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, founded by Michael and Charles de Young in 1865, which was family-owned for 134 years before its sale to the Hearst Corporation in 2000.

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Union Trust Company and Call Building at Market and Grant Ave circa 1915


Claus Spreckels's Call Building, built in 1902, the tallest in the city, continued to raise its curious knobby dome, with 36 round windows. It was so well engineered that its foundation and frame could accommodate six more floors, which were added in 1938 when the dome was removed, making it into an architectural nonentity. The elegant Beaux-Arts Union Trust Company, on the left, was completed in 1910 and is now the Wells Fargo Bank.

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Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, at Montgomery, c. 1920


Willis Polk, a leading architect in the rebuilding of the City after the Earthquake and Fire, designed this 20-floor building, said to be his favorite. Built in 1914, the tower was finished in magnificent ornate style, whereas the lower bulk of the structure was plain so that it was compatible with most buildings on Market Street.


This 262 ft building of 20 floors was designed by William Polk and completed in 1914, and was said to have been his favorite. The lower bulk of the structure is very plain so that it was compatible with most buildings on Market Street. Above the basic structure, rears the tower, nearly as tall as the base, finished on all sides in magnificent ornate style.


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Market Street East from Sansome toward the Ferry Building, c. 1905


Before the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, Sutter Street cable trains’ trailers were uncoupled from their grip (dummy) car at Market Street to continue as a horse operation to the Ferry and back. These horsecars used the outside tracks. Market Street cable cars used the inside tracks.

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Market Street at Post & Montgomery, 1920

This intersection was considered San Francisco’s financial center. On the left is the 1892 Crocker flatiron building designed by A. Page Brown. The 1908 Willis Polk-designed Crocker Bank Building is in the center. Clinton Day’s circa 1905 Union Trust Company building is on the right.


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Parade on Market Street promoting Argonaut Bay, an outdoor historical museum of ships and trains at Aquatic Park, circa 1950


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View from top of Ferry Building, c. 1920

Streetcars and automobiles fill Market Street, the main thoroughfare for the City. The convergence of another major artery, California Street, is seen in the foreground. The City skyline with its tall buildings reflects the general prosperity of the postwar years.


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View east on Market Street past 3rd Street, Palace Hotel on the right in next block


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View west up Market Street from 2nd Street at intersection of Post c1880

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View East up Grant Ave and Market STreet from corner of Stockton

The Phelan Building is on the left, The xxx bld ( now Armani Store) Union Trust Bank center, ( now Wells Fargo) Humbolt Building far right

source SFPL

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Lotta's Fountain on Market Street and 3rd with Palace Hotel in the background circa 1890



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View West up Market from 5th, c. 1944

During the years of WWII there was a popularity in movies, especially war stories, and theaters thrived in this area of Market Street. The Esquire Theater, is seen on the right, behind "Telenews", which ran a newsreel service that was also a major attraction at this time.


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Market Street, viewing East from 5th Street, c. 1880

The opulent Baldwin Hotel & Theater, left, built by mining speculator "Lucky" Baldwin, opened in 1877 with 595 rooms. The 168-foot hexagonal dome contained 5-stories and was reserved exclusively for ladies. The Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1898.

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View of Baldwin Hotel c1900


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Humbolt Bank and Phelan building, Market Street at Grant, circa 1905


Humboldt Bank Building

785 Market Street and Fourth
Floors (OG) 19
Year (start) 1906 Year (end) 1908
Style beaux-arts, Usages office
Features a magnificent wedding cake dome with flagpole.
architect Meyer & O'Brien


foundation was laid before the earthquake,

it was the first building finished after the quake


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Emporium Building on Market Street facing Powell, 1963

Opened in 1896 by Adolph Feist as a loose cooperative leasing space to individual merchants, the Emporium became a thriving shopping center by 1898 on merging with the Golden Rule Bazaar. After the 1906 fire, it was reconstructed with 775,000 square feet of floor space, and ranked among the country's greatest department stores.

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