Synopses & Reviews
Looks at how a city used to runthe old transport systems, former city halls, stores, theaters and cinemas, gas stations and car showrooms, restaurants, and people on the sidewalk Aspects of lost San Francisco that are examined here include the Victorian Alcatraz, Cliff House Hotel before it burned down, the early Embarcadero, the devastation of the 1906 earthquake, horse-drawn streetcars, the grandeur of the Sutro Baths both outside and in, the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition buildings, the changes made to combat a possible Japanese invasion during World War II, and some of the key hippie stores on Haight-Ashbury before the area became more upscale.
"Kos and Evanosky's (East Bay Then and Now) fourth book-length collaboration on the history of San Francisco bills itself as an archive of the city's forgotten institutions: buildings long demolished in the name of progress or leveled by natural disaster, cemeteries whose dead were exhumed and reburied, amusement parks shuttered for 'odors and horrible noises.' Apart from the well-documented earthquake of 1906 (the city's 'single biggest moment of loss'), the book presents a historical topology not only of past curios and tragedies, but the ordinary ebb and flow of architectural development and street life. Detailed anecdotes illustrate the general tenor and partialities of the city the Overland Monthly describing the postearthquake burning of Chinatown as the 'divine wisdom' of 'the fire god' or writer Carl Close likening the repair of the Fillmore district to 'trying to unscramble an omelet' and serve to rescue the prose from tedious textbook-style chronologies. Though meticulous in its research and accessibly written and illustrated, to totally enjoy this book demands considerable knowledge of the city's history and would have better served a general audience with a short introduction." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Dennis Evanosky is the city editor at the Alameda Sun, a weekly newspaper across the bay from San Francisco. Eric J. Kos formed Stellar Media Group in 2001 to publish his own weekly newspaper. They are the coauthors of East Bay Then and Now, Los Angeles Then and Now, and San Francisco Then and Now.