The Tenderloin District of San Francisco Through Time is a brief history of a neighborhood known to early San Franciscans as St. Ann’s Valley.
The story of this once-placid piece of real estate provides us with a fascinating microcosm of urban history as we follow its turbulent passage from an outlying village of Gold Rush pioneers to prosperous but quiet residential respectability; its development into a hotel, entertainment, and vice district; its gradual decay into decades of mean and homeless streets; and its on-going efforts towards economic rehabilitation.
Numerous photographs and images offer glimpses of its successive worlds of early settlers in the sand dunes; houses, churches, schools and mansions in a respectable middle- and upper-class neighborhood; fancy and not-so-fancy hotels and restaurants and saloons and theaters; ward politicians and political bosses, labor unions, gamblers, entertainers, high-class brothels, and petty criminals; bars, strip clubs, burlesque, and poker joints; and the politics of a decaying central city neighborhood trying to save itself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Peter M. Field was educated at San Francisco City College, San Francisco State University, and the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. He worked as a social worker with the homeless mentally ill in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, Tenderloin, and South of Market districts, in Contra Costa County’s North Richmond, and in San Mateo County. He has published articles on the history of the Tenderloin and of Maiden Lane. He leads history walks in San Francisco’s Tenderloin and Richmond districts.