December 17, 2010

big names in San Francisco


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

E-gads, I've got to be the worst "street phototographer" -- if not in the whole world, then at least in the urban jungles of San Francisco.

Oh, I don't know what I was thinking -- I'm sure I may have gotten a better snap had I been spooking around natural beauty a bit closer to home.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Today Fifth and Mission isn't the nicest place in the City to stroll, but the Chronicle Building is certainly a part of San Francisco's history.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young, the paper grew along with San Francisco and was the largest circulation newspaper on the West Coast of the United States by 1880.

The newspaper grew in circulation to become the city's largest, overtaking the rival San Francisco Examiner. The demise of other San Francisco dailies through the late 1950s and early 1960s left the Examiner and the Chronicle to battle for circulation and readership superiority; the competition took a financial toll on both papers until the summer of 1965, when a merger of sorts created a Joint Operating Agreement under which the Chronicle became the city's sole morning daily while the Examiner changed to afternoon publication (which ultimately led to a declining readership). The two newspapers' editorial staffs combined to produce a joint Sunday edition, with the Examiner publishing the news sections and the Sunday magazine and the Chronicle responsible for features. From 1965 on the two papers shared a single classified-advertising operation. This arrangement stayed in place until the Hearst Corporation took full control of the Chronicle.
  (source:   Wikipedia)



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

The de Young family controlled the paper, via the Chronicle Publishing Company, until July 27, 2000, when it was sold to Hearst Communications, Inc., which owned the Examiner. Following the sale, the Hearst Corporation transferred the Examiner to the Fang family, publisher of the San Francisco Independent and AsianWeek, along with a $66-million subsidy. Under the new owners, the Examiner became a free tabloid, leaving the Chronicle as the only daily broadsheet newspaper in San Francisco.
(source:   Wikipedia)



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

The "New" U.S. Mint stands guard over Safeway on upper Market Street, but this is the "Old" U.S. Mint within a stone throw of the Chronicle.

Within the first year of its operation, the San Francisco mint turned $4 million in gold bullion into coins. The second building, completed in 1874, was designed by Alfred B. Mullett in a conservative Greek Revival style with a sober Doric order. The building had a central pedimented portico flanked by projecting wings in an E-shape; it was built round a completely enclosed central courtyard that contained a well—the features that saved it during the fire of 1906, when the heat melted the plate glass windows and exploded sandstone and granite blocks with which it was faced.

The building sat on a concrete and granite foundation, designed to thwart tunneling into its vaults, which at the time of the 1906 fire held $300 million, fully a third of the United States' gold reserves. Heroic efforts by Superintendent of the Mint, Frank Leach, and his men preserved the building and the bullion that then backed the nation's currency. The mint resumed operation soon thereafter, continuing until 1937.

In 1961 the Old Mint, as it had become known, was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The given name of "The Granite Lady" is somewhat of a misnomer as most of the building is made from sandstone. While the base/basement of the building is made of granite, the entire external and upper stories are made of sandstone. The Granite Lady was a marketing term given in the 1970s that stuck.

The Old Mint was open to visitors until 1993. In 2003 the federal government sold the structure to the City of San Francisco for one dollar—an 1879 silver dollar struck at the mint— for use as the Museum of the City of San Francisco. In the fall of 2005, ground was broken for renovations that would turn the central court into a glass-enclosed galleria. The Museum is scheduled to open in 2012, but the Old Mint is used for special events, some open to the public, prior to the Museum's official opening.

(source:   Wikipedia)



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Oh yeah, go ahead and put your card into this ATM machine -- I dare you...

As Hyacinth Bucket once said to the Parson; "Oh, I would never put my cash card into one of those -- you never know who's been before"...



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2 comments:

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Don't give up on your street photography. I like it. I thought the hand holding couple next to the advertisement poster doing likewise was a nice capture.

Scott said...

That's "Boo Kay". I need to spend some time on my "Street Photography" too. So much to learn!!! Love the cash machine and she's right, it could have been Onslo or Our Rose that was just there.

 
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