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San Francisco's Lost Landmarks Paperback – July 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Word Dancer Press (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884995446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884995446
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A gemstone of historical information. Smith's passion for its special place in his life fills these pages . . . in a friendly conversational style that's accompanied by fascinating historical photographs. Reading this was a journal of discovery." --www.blog.CharlesMarkee.com (September 2011)

From the Author

When I meet people who used to live in San Francisco or visited in years gone by, they often give me the tired old line, "I used to love going there but it's no longer the same." That's the point of this book. San Francisco has never been "the same" in its entire history and it's not just because of the 1906 earthquake and fire. The city began in a state of metamorphosis and has never stopped. Fifty years from now, the complaints will be the same.

I've captured some of the fun places and events in the city with the goal of entertaining first, then educating. There's no test at the end of San Francisco's Lost Landmarks. With over 150 photos and graphic representations, it's written to be read.


More About the Author

California historian James R. Smith is the author of San Francisco's Lost Landmarks as well as a number of historical articles. Upcoming books include Playland at the Beach: The Early Years as well as California Snatch Racket and Serious Mischief with co-author W. Lane Rogers. A well-respected authority in California history, he has spent years chronicling the stories of San Francisco and California. Smith is a frequent lecturer and discussion leader at universities, historical societies, libraries and bookstores.

A member of the California Historical Society, the San Francisco History Association, the San Francisco Historical Society, and the Library Fund at the University of California, Berkeley, Smith is active in the preservation and promotion of history and historical lore.

Smith is a fourth-generation native of San Francisco and a sixth-generation Californian. He is often found haunting the libraries and archives of his native city and enjoying its social life with his wife Liberty.

Customer Reviews

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I bought this book to help me research a novel - superb details of the past, lots of great photos.
A Reader in the Mitten
From the Tivoli Opera House and Gardens to Ralston's failed Grand Hotel, San Francisco's Lost Landmarks is history at its best.
Midwest Book Review
I have many books in my library that I have only read once, but this one is definitely going on the coffee table.
Paul W. Ryner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bill Roddy on July 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
At age 83 I never thought a book would come along that would help me relive my memories of growing up in San Francisco in the 1930s.

Jim Smith has fulfilled that need.

I did not know all of his landmarks, but I remember with affection the Golden Gate International Exposition, Playland at the Beach, Topsy's Roost, Sutro Baths and many more from this wonderful and well written book.

Thank you, Jim, for taking me back.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Charles T. Markee on August 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
San Francisco's Lost Landmarks by James R. Smith

Whether you're a native, a relative or a tourist, this book will be your personal gemstone of historical information. From the gold rush through the twentieth century it takes you to the parks, the wharfs, the saloons, the theaters, the International Expositions, the restaurants, hotels and the history that have made San Francisco uniquely, The City.

Smith is a fourth generation native of The City and his passion for its special place in his life fills these pages. He tells the tale of its evolution from sand dunes to metropolis in a friendly conversational style that's accompanied by fascinating historical photographs and quoted inserts by natives who lived during times past. What develops as you read is a picture of people with determination who built a city first with gold, then with agriculture, trade and industry. There is no other place like San Francisco and Smith captures its uniqueness simply by documenting a reality that is frequently stranger than anyone could create with fiction. How many times did buildings burn to the ground only to be rebuilt in grander style?

My own personal history came alive reading this: The water chute at Playland, swimming at Sutro's, breakfast at the Cliff House, dancing at Bop City, riding the ferry boat to the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, my grandmother's memories of the 1906 earthquake and fire, brunch at the Palace Hotel or meeting Emperor Norton walking along Market Street. But more than nostalgia, I gained a perspective of San Francisco's place in the growth of our nation and the development of its place in the a global economy.

Reading this was a journey of discovery. I didn't know there was an earlier, 1894 International Exposition.
Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul W. Ryner on July 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am an amateur history buff with a special interest in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was facinated with this new book by James R. Smith. I had seen many of the pictures before, but never organized in a way that told such an interesting story. The text is punctuated with personal observations and anecdotes from people that were there in the golden years, that took me back to those times that were beginning to fade from my memory.

After reading for an hour or so, I set the book down to rest my eyes. When I opened them I expected to see ornate wallpaper, gas lights, and oriental carpets. Instead I was brought back to reality by the sight of popcorn ceilings, incandescent lights, beige walls and matching Berber carpet.

I have many books in my library that I have only read once, but this one is definitely going on the coffee table.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David de Alba on July 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is my pleasure to say to the readers here at the Amazon Web Site that Mr. James R. Smith's new book release "San Francisco's Lost Landmarks" has taken me back to a most delightful time when San Francisco was at its peak of glory.

I was extremely lucky to have lived and entertained in the San Francisco Bay Area between the Years of 1969 to 1989 and the best days of my life were spent there.

As I keep reading this most informative material about this wonderful City by the Bay and looking at the most interesting photos displayed on this book, I say to Mr. Smith...."Bravo, bravo, because you have breathed life into this book and San Francisco, at least while this book brings all its grandeur back and all the ghosts come rushing back smiling as if they were alive once again in the city where they lived, loved and worked. God bless, David de Alba, The Cuban Legend from Finocchio's.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ron Filion on August 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
There are plenty of books on San Francisco History. So why read this one? Because James Smith has put together a very nice book on the various "Lost Landmarks" of San Francisco, including the Cliff Houses, buried ships, amusement parks, gambling houses, early theaters, popular restaurants and hotels of yesteryear, international expositions, and more!

Along with the detailed research, there is a voluminous amount of photographs. This is one of those books that you can read cover-to-cover in one sitting, or pick up at various times at various places in the book. In addition, it makes for a great historical resource, and it definitely has a place in my collection.

So, this book is a definite must for any San Francisco History Buff. And, by the way, get one for your friends too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. Stark on July 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book will take you back to San Francisco's wild and colorful past, complete with personal anecdotes, priceless old photos, and an abundance of fascinating insight from the author. So much of the physical past has been lost over time due to earthquakes, economic hardships, and just plain neglect, but if you take anything from Mr Smith's book, you discover that it's really a story of people. Restless, original thinkers, above all, never afraid to follow their own visions. Only a dreamer would have created the early Cliff House, the Palace of Fine Arts, or Woodwards Gardens. Jim's book will give you a new appreciation for this city.
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