Muni Streetcar No. 1051 Dedicated to Supervisor Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk Dedication onboard Streetcar 1051

We at Market Street Railway is very proud of our work with the SFMTA to honor Harvey Milk with the dedication of PCC streetcar no. 1051. I especially want to thank Dan Nicoletta for his advice, support and use of his photography for the interior informational panels. Dedication ceremony photos by Georg Lester »

The SFMTA press release:

PCC No. 1051 will honor the memory of Milk with permanent exhibit

San Francisco—The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni), joined with its non-profit partner Market Street Railway (MSR) this morning at 17th and Market streets to dedicate historic streetcar No. 1051 to the memory of human rights pioneer and transit advocate Supervisor Harvey Milk. Supervisor Milk was the first San Francisco Supervisor to regularly use a Fast Pass.

Milk served as a strong advocate for the quality of life issues still essential to San Francisco today. His exceptional and enduring contribution to the betterment of public transit in San Francisco will live on as this streetcar travels from Market and Castro to Civic Center, just as he did each day he was in office.

“This rolling classroom will inform Muni customers on the F Market line about Supervisor Milk’s passion for improving Muni and city government in general for all San Franciscans,” said SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. “This is a meaningful way to help visitors and residents appreciate this pivotal civic leader.”

“Harvey Milk’s legacy in the human rights movement is well known, and we wanted to draw additional attention to his efforts to improve Muni and make San Francisco a better place to live,” said MSR Board of Directors President Rick Laubscher. “We call the streetcars moving museums and this car will serve as a dynamic presentation of San Francisco history.”

The historic streetcar displays the green and cream livery of the 1970s and is the same Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) model that was in service at that time. It was featured in the film “Milk,” which will premiere tonight at the Castro Theatre.

» About Muni Streetcar No. 1051
» PCC Streetcar Makes a Cameo in Harvey Milk Movie

» Harvey Milk Remembered

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Streetcar to be Dedicated to Harvey Milk on Tuesday

Streetcar No. 1051

Streetcar No. 1051 turning at the corner of Noe & Market, one block from Castro.

On Tuesday, October 28, at 11 a.m. at Castro and Market Streets, PCC streetcar No. 1051, painted in Muni’s 1970s green and cream “simplified” livery, will be dedicated to Harvey Milk for his advocacy of public transit during his all-too-brief tenure as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978. At that time, Milk was the only member of the Board who rode Muni every day, and he was the first Board Member to use the then-new Fast Pass regularly. The dedication is co-sponsored by Muni and Market Street Railway and will complement the many other tributes paid to Harvey Milk as a human rights pioneer. The public is invited to attend.

The choice of this trolley to honor Harvey Milk is based both on its livery — the same as the streetcars he rode every day from the time he was elected Supervisor to his assassination on November 27, 1978 — and on the fact that this streetcar makes an appearance in the new movie “Milk” which has its world premiere that same evening, October 28, at the Castro Theater.

» About Streetcar No. 1051
» Harvey Milk Remembered
» S.F. streetcar to be dedicated to Harvey Milk (Chronicle)

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Loss of a Young Friend

In one of those tragedies that just leaves you feeling so hollow, a young man — and friend of the vintage streetcars — has been taken from us. His name was Pippin Seales. He was playing with two friends in a cave at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz on October 11 when it collapsed on them. One friend got out, one was injured, and Pippin was killed. He had just turned 11.

He was a boy with an amazing range of interests according to the remembrance published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. One of those interests was rail transportation:

More than one family vacation was centered around trains: steam railways in Britain, rail travel in California, streetcars in San Francisco. He was passionately interested in public transit, and in the hours he spent planning & working on his model train layout with his father – drawing wiring diagrams, solving design issues, perusing catalogs – he always kept alive the connection between the imaginary world he was creating and the real world of trolleys, buses, streetcars, and trains. He would have made an excellent civil engineer.

Pippin’s family named Market Street Railway as one of the two causes to which donations could be sent in his memory. We have already received a number of them. If you’d like to join in honoring Pippin, you may donate to our acquisition and restoration fund, as Pippin’s family designated.

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Muni Derailed by Wall Street?

The Los Angeles Times ran a troubling story saying that many large transit agencies, Muni among them, could face big-time financial problems because of rail car lease deals gone sour in the current economic meltdown. The Times noted that between 1980 and 2003, many transit properties sold their rail cars and leased them back, reaping a one-time cash infusion. But in the case of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, at least, the leases — with the troubled financial services giant AIG — may have to be paid back suddenly, which would require drastic service cuts.

The Times story offered no details on Muni’s situation, and we haven’t seen any specifics on it in local coverage. We do know that Muni sold, then leased back, its LRV fleet around 2003. We also know that at the time some Muni staffers wanted to include the vintage streetcar fleet in the lease, but Market Street Railway objected and the idea never went anywhere.

So, at least the F-line cars won’t be making any unscheduled stops on Wall Street.

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The End of the Innocence: Market Street, 1957

Muni No. 176 and a couple of Twin trolley coaches pass Weinstein’s department store near Sixth Street. Clark Frazier photo. Few felt it, but a seismic shift in American culture had begun. Grandfatherly Ike was President, friendly dairyman George Christopher was Mayor, stalwart Republicans both. Most white, middle-class San Franciscans (the majority then) saw these as comfortable times, and change as not terribly threatening. Now over there in North Beach, we’re getting some weirdos: Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, what was that Herb… — Read More

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Cable Car to Castro

As part of our mission, Market Street Railway creates displays on-board the historic streetcars to educate San Franciscans and visitors on interesting aspects of the city’s transit history. We call it the Museums in Motion project. This is an online version of one of those displays. Last day of the Castro Cable, April 5, 1941. Market Street Railway photo. Today, the electric streetcars of the F‑line take you out Market Street to the Castro. But before there were streetcars on… — Read More

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See the ‘Dinky’ Streetcar at Castro Street Fair

Market Street Railway will be operating a booth at the Castro Street Fair this Sunday, October 5, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and we’re happy to announce that we will be showing off one of the seldom-seen members of Muni’s historic streetcar fleet: Market Street Railway Co. streetcar No. 578. Market Street Railway photo. Built in 1895, this single-truck ‘Dinky’ is — to our knowledge — the world’s oldest trolley in active municipal service (so old, it looks like… — Read More

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Cable Cars Get Their Due

San Francisco history podcast Sparkletack returned a few weeks ago from a long hiatus with a weekly time capsule. Each episode normally tells just one story from local history, but host Richard Miller is using these time capsules to cover nuggets from San Francisco’s past that don’t quite warrant an entire program of their own. And this week’s time capsule is how I learned it was 44 years ago today — October 1st, 1964 — when our cable cars became… — Read More

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