Amateur Film Offers a Glimpse of San Francisco Streets in 1955
This piece by noted amateur filmmaker Tullio Pellgrini features a windshield-bound tour of some of the city’s most famous sights in 1955, but it also offers a peek into the changes some of our major streets have undergone since the earlier days of the motor age.
Some differences are striking, like the additional vehicle lanes on streets like Market and the Great Highway and the lack of parked cars on others. One eye-catcher for me was seeing cars driven through the Powell Street cable car turnaround on what is now Hallidie Plaza. A friend also pointed out the since-removed mid-block crosswalk on Van Ness between City Hall and the War Memorial Opera House.
A reminder of the flexible nature of our streets, for better or worse, is always refreshing. San Francisco streets have changed before and they can change again.