Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aladdin Radio

Aladdin Radio is on Irving and 17th Ave. I always liked the tile:

The Oregon historic vehicle plate caught my eye because my grandma's neighbor in Oregon collected old cars.

Thanks to reader Robert, I now can see that the gate is the shape of a Model T.

The shop is closed. But Grace Cunnane interviewed the owner, John Wentzel. Read her great blog entry here. He opened the business in 1946.

You can peek in the windows:

I wonder what the story is behind these footprints?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Name That Apartment

Just when I thought I would never find another named apartment building in the Sunset, I came across three today. I also had some waiting to make a big enough post. Now I'm afraid it is too long.

Can you name this apartment building?:

It may be 1970's style, but the entry is pretty at night:

Answer: the A Francis Apts. on the 1400 block of 20th Ave:

Here's another lovely:

The Swinging (I like to imagine) Swinford Apt. on the 1300 block of 10th Ave:

Just a block away is this beauty:

If this looks familiar, that's because a reader shared his photos on Flickr. It took a year and a half but I finally stumbled upon it on my own. Pretty funny since I pass 10th & Judah several times a week:

Can you handle the suspense? It's Sunset Village:

Next up:

These apartments are actually run by the 7th Avenue Church two doors down:

Park Sunset:

I was thrilled to find that one of my favorites is a named building (hey, at least I'm easy to thrill):

The 200 Irving Apartments:

Finally, I leave you with the obvious:

The difficult to photograph Sunset Towers Apartments aka Avalon Sunset Towers :

Here are the other posts with named apartments:

June 22, 2008
June 30, 2008
September 20th 2008
October 11, 2008

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Chirstmas

Dreaming of pastel houses and trees.

Monday, December 21, 2009

G B Jackson & Son

A couple weeks ago the sun was hitting this building at 1309-1317 20th Avenue just right and I could make out the old name. My friend had blogged about searching out the past life of another building so I decided to see what I could find.

The first challenge was getting back there at the right time on a sunny day in December to capture the letters. It says G B Jackson & Son. I looked in old San Francisco City Directories on-line to see what kind of business it was. The latest free one is from 1938, and it wasn't listed.

The parcel map is confusing, too. That address doesn't exist. This building seems to be considered part of the taller building on the corner.

(click on this for a big version where you can read the name)

Then I asked the trustee readers at the Western Neighborhoods Project message boards, and a fellow Norwegian clued me in. It was a hardware, furniture and appliance store in the 1940's. I'm still a little unclear about the building, there were different entrances, and this one was used later, when the business was just a hardware store. I have yet to find an old photo of it.

The well-loved Bowcock's market was next door on Irving Street. There are great photos of the grand opening at the San Francisco Public Library's Picture This collection. You can read about Robert Bowcock, who helped run the family business for many years and wrote a book about Butchertown, in this San Francisco Beacon article.