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San Francisco's Lost Landmarks Paperback – July 1, 2005
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The Amazon Book Review
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From the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 ›
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great details about places in San Francisco most people don't know about. This is my go to book, then I search on line for additional info.Published 6 months ago by JoseG
Gift for my dad who used to live in SF during the 70's. Great book, very interesting read and shipped very fast.Published 7 months ago by A.Ce
Wow! Was I pleasantly surprised with this book. I was imagining this was going to be just another rehash, but it really did tell me about places I had not heard about or gave more... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Tutu
I was born in San Francisco and remember some of these landmarks but this is an excellent compilation if you're interested in the early days of the City.Published 12 months ago by john heltsley
I enjoy history and was born in San Francisco so enjoyed learning more about it's history.Published 15 months ago by Nancy M.
I am impresse with this book. I will take it with me when I go to San Francisco again. Because as they say I left my heart in San Francisco.Published 16 months ago by Marv
easy reading with excellent photos... great coffee table book and conversation piece. I am fortunate enough to have my copy signed by the author, who is a wealth of historic... Read morePublished on July 18, 2014 by Shawn H.
Received the book in excellent condition. Just as described in the listing. I was raised in the City and have enjoyed reading about the history of San Francisco.Published on May 9, 2014 by Carlo G.