Goodbye, Columbus!

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Fred Matthews photo, Walter Rice collection.

It’s 1951 and the “F” in the sign boxes of those Muni “A-type” cars might as well stand for “finished.” Because the original F-line, the F-Stockton, opened in 1914 between Market Street and the Marina District via Chinatown and North Beach, is wrapping up its 37-year run.

Here we see car Nos. 39 and 19 passing each other at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and North Point Street. The new double wire strung outside the single streetcar wire tells us 30-Stockton trolley coaches will soon take over the route.

Perhaps most fascinating, no tourists (there’s now a hotel where the Laminated Paper Products Company stood). And great views of Coit Tower and Sts. Peter and Paul’s twin spires. By the way, if Columbus seems awfully narrow to you, it is! The city later narrowed the sidewalks to make room for two lanes of autos in each direction. Talk about bygone days!

Comments: 4

  1. Wow! =)
    Great post, geez…Columbus looked different.
    I live in Jackson Square, near North Beach and it’s amazing to see these pictures.
    Keep up the good work!!

  2. I’m sure there’s a lot Muni would do if they had enough money, but for now they’re only looking to extend the T-Third Street line as far as Chinatown.
    The plan is to build a subway line via Fourth Street and Stockton and maybe someday extend it from there to North Beach, but the project is already a financial disaster that’s going to cost billions and Muni’s own estimates are that it won’t attract any new riders.

  3. I grew up on Chestnut Street, in the Marina, and I rode the old “Iron Monster” cars on the old F line until they replaced them with the #30 Stockton Trolley Bus. I remember Chestnut Street being all torn up to remove the tracks and reroute the utilities. I was in the Marina Jr. High School Band and we marched down Chestnut Street, from Van Ness Ave., when the project was done. After I graduated from Galileo High School, in Jan. 1960, I rode the #30 Express Bus to Forth and Market and the K car to City College almost daily until April 1962 when I joined the Air Force. I try to return to SF, from San Diego, as often as I can now, buy an all day pass and ride all over town. I really enjoy the PCCs on the new F line. If I could ever ride #130 or #162, I would almost be in tears because all those great memories, from riding the old F line would come flowing back and I’d love that!!

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