San Francisco is many things to many people. The popular slogan calls it "Everybody's favorite city," an appellation confirmed year after year as Conde Nast's Traveler magazine rates the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Most San Franciscans call it simply "the City," with a capital "C," a convention followed in this book. Perhaps Rudyard Kipling summed it up best when he said: "San Francisco has only one drawback. 'Tis hard to leave."
San Francisco Then and Now looks at where San Francisco has been, and how it appears today. Photographs of San Francisco at the end of the twentieth century are compared to views of San Francisco as it was in years past; from the 1850s to the 1950s. The pictures have been selected for their ability to tell a story about a particular landmark or part of the city. In some photos the changes are dramatic; in others, the changes are subtle but still revealing. In some cases two historical photographs are compared to show how certain parts of the city changed in the first decades after the milestone 1906 earthquake. While the book's primary focus is on famous vistas and familiar landmarks, it also explores well-known neighborhoods to provide a look how the places where most San Franciscans lives have changed.
This is the story of San Francisco and its people and how they have molded this beautiful and picturesque place into one of the most visually exciting cities in the world.