Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense – Constructing San Francisco, Part II


Good Evening:

The weird thing about the future is that sometimes it gets tangled up in the past or with the past. The 900 block of Mission Street will become the home of still another apartment complex, but first the developers had to tear down a decrepit building. Teardown accomplished, and a brick wall that had not seen daylight for decades becomes visible from street level:


I took the shot with a Nikon S9100 and edited it in iPhoto, converting it to black-and-white and making other adjustments to make the words more visible. Sign painters covered the old lettering, then more sign painters covered the newer lettering, and finally some tagger managed to spraypaint something below the “Ric” in “Richardson.” He must have stood on the roof of the older building; notice how the bricks suddenly turn dark on the top third of the wall.

I love the language; “beer drawing apparatus,” “vacuum heating systems.” I have no idea what the latter item might mean. I think the second line from the top reads “Furnished Rooms For Rent 2.00 <illegible>.”

By this time next year, a new building will cover this wall. Paradoxically, the only reason we can glimpse the past today is because of the future.

Over on Market Street, I passed a building that has housed different businesses over the years. First, a shot from 2006 when the place housed an art gallery:


Now, the same storefront today:


The final shot is from the collection, another one of my beloved construction cranes. But here we see the future, represented by the crane, the present, represented by the highrise, and finally the past, represented by the church.


I hope you liked looking through these.

Vonn Scott Bair


6 responses »

    • suej: Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. Creating a decent B&W from a color file still requires a lot of trial and error for me, but I seem to have greatest success with a vintage look, such as this one. Vonn Scott Bair

  1. I need to learn from you and document the architecture in my neighbourhood with photographs. When things change, I can never remember what was there before!

    • Sas: You’re not the only one. I can’t remember what stood on the site of where I work today before the SFPUC constructed its new headquarters. Fortunately, it seems that everyone has a camera with them at all times, and these modern cameras are quite versatile–you can even make phone calls with them. Vonn Scott Bair

    • T.R.S.: Thank you for the kind words. I do try to avoid the sort of pictures that might appear on postcards, but sometimes I can’t resist, just for the sake of making fun of myself. The first picture in is a good example. Vonn Scott Bair

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