Customer Reviews


26 Reviews
5 star:
 (21)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More San Francisco Memories
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...
Published on July 13, 2005 by Bill Roddy

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better
Some very interesting tidbits here, but as a San Francisco resident I kept asking "what's there now?" It would have been great to include more (brief) history on what happened to the properties after these places were no more, or at least the addresses of the buildings that are there now. Some of this info is there, but it's hit or miss. Also, poor editing is a...
Published on March 26, 2008 by Amazon Customer


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More San Francisco Memories, July 13, 2005
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your personal gemstone of SF history, August 24, 2005
By 
Charles T. Markee "C.T. Markee" (Santa Rosa, California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (Paperback)
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. I didn't know that Treasure Island was also intended to be the location of the San Francisco International Airport. And the list goes on.

Yes, there was crime and graft wherever there were people and money and it's included as part of the city's history. But San Francisco was and is a spectacular fairyland of sweeping vistas, rolling hills, wind swept beaches, amazing bridges and beautiful buildings. The fairy castle on the book's cover exemplifies this theme. It's the third Cliff House, built in the French Chateau style, completed by Adolph Sutro in 1896 and burned to the ground in 1907.

Reviewed August 24, 2005 Copyright 2005 Charles T. Markee
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Ryner on "San Francisco's Lost Landmarks", July 7, 2005
By 
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars De Alba comments on James Smiths' new book., July 7, 2005
By 
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I wrote this book..., August 3, 2005
By 
Ron Filion (San Francisco, NoCal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "San Francisco's Lost Landmarks" - review, July 11, 2005
By 
G. Stark (San Jose, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History at its best, December 5, 2005
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (Paperback)
So many books appear yearly on San Francisco that it's easy to miss one - and San Francisco's Lost Landmarks is not one to miss; it holds riches like few others. Where competitors offer listings of dates and facts, San Francisco's Lost Landmarks uses vintage pictures to blend with history to tell of lost pieces of the past. From the Tivoli Opera House and Gardens to Ralston's failed Grand Hotel, San Francisco's Lost Landmarks is history at its best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great History of San Francisco, July 11, 2005
By 
Diane Cox (Rialto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (Paperback)
As a family historian, James Smith's "San Francisco's Lost Landmarks" provides wonderful background and "color" to my names and dates. James begins with pre-Gold Rush San Francisco in 1847. He includes extensive illustrations as he explores San Francisco over the years. A great book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, fascinating history about The City By the Bay, August 28, 2005
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (Paperback)
We all know San Francisco is a growing, changing city. But it's not just businesses, buildings, and other human-created landmarks that have changed in San Francisco over the years. The coastline, streams, marshes, bays, hills, valleys - all these natural parts of the landscape were filled, leveled, increased, decreased, and otherwise radically modified in the City's early years.

All that information is just part of the first chapter of this fascinating book. Other chapters look at famous San Francisco restaurants throughout the years, the theater scene, hotels, expositions, gambling halls, and many other notable attractions in this always-fascinating City by the Bay.

It seems like fully half the book is pictures: photos, vintage drawings, theater playbills, even a menu for the Clift Hotel, that closed down just recently. The pictures are all interesting and clearly captioned. The information is all reliably presented and well-organized. The author, a San Francisco native and local historian, obviously did his homework well. What a fun book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine book about a great city, August 27, 2005
This review is from: San Francisco's Lost Landmarks (Paperback)
The book is packed with old photos and drawings. The pictures, together with the

detailed textual descriptions, helped make each lost landmark come back to life.

Each time I read about an amusement park, restaurant, or hotel I could actually

imagine being there.

My favorite chapter was the one on restauants of the past.

Those restaurants are gone but, as the author points out, they have

been replaced by many more great restaurants. After reading that chapter

I was ready to hop on the Bay Area Rapid Transit and go to "the city" for dinner.

I really liked the book's organization. I would recommend reading chapter 1 first

but I believe the remaining chapters could be read in any order.

I am looking forward to the author's next book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

San Francisco's Lost Landmarks
San Francisco's Lost Landmarks by James R. Smith (Paperback - July 1, 2005)
$14.95 $10.71
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.