Tynan Peterson:  Oops. I goofed. What I circled as Mission Dolores is actually
Mission High School. Mission Dolores is the church I believe you circled between
Mission High School and the New US Mint.

Ida Sanchez Tello:  I could write about this quiz for pages and pages describing how I
found certain landmarks, certain buildings that are still standing (but not landmarks, just
regular apartment or office ones) and how I haven't found others.

You won't find the Coit Tower, it's east from the shot.  

What drove me a little crazy is that the city grid shifts north of Market street, so
following the street lines in the map was taking me to a different place than following
the north line in the shot.

The Embarcadero was also left from this shot, there's no way that tower on the far
right can be it, it's just too on the east. The photographer was pointing north - north
west and the Embarcadero is totally on the east of the peninsula. You would have seen
the Coit Tower first had it been the case. I still can't identify that tower, seems it might
be the Ghirardelli tower, but the proportions are not right and the tower is not that tall.

A lot of things have changed in SF in 63 years, but the Golden Glow Beer billboard is
still there (advertising something else, of course)

[See more about How Ida Solved the Puzzle in the right margin above.]

Q-Gen:  Tynan Peterson lives in Oakland.  She tells me she thinks the tower is the San
Francisco College for Women on Lone Mountain.  Do you think so?  She agrees with
you that it's not the Embarcadero, which is off to the east out of view. Someone else
wrote that the picture was taken from The Mark.  Don't know if that's true.  I am not
familiar with that building.  What do you think?

Ida Sanchez:  I think the Lone Mountain College should be more to the left, but
according to the map it should be in the straight line from the photographer to the north
tower of the GGB. Tynan should more than I do in that regard, I'm mostly basing my
findings on Google Maps.

Tynan Peterson:
 Ooh, this is fun. I'm doing it old school, but I printed out a map of
SF and am drawing trajectories to try and figure out what's what. The church that is
closer (straight up above Sears) I think is St. James Church (23rd and Guerrero).

You're right. Forget what I said about the SF College for Women/ Lone Mountain. (It's
now USF). Lone Mountain is way to the left. Still trying to figure out what the tower is
that I thought was Lone Mountain. It's just to the right of Alta Vista Park.

Ida Sanchez:  Checked The Mark, definitely not from there, the pic looks north, yet
the Mark north east of the Old Sears.

Q-Gen:  It may have been from a helicopter.  I imagine they were used by newspapers
and maybe by private pilots back then.

Carol Gene Farrant:  The photo was absolutely taken from the top of the hill in Bernal
Heights...There is a park on the top of the hill.  Lone Mountain is to the west outside of
the frame of the picture.  It’s no longer a college for women.  It is now the Lone
Mountain campus of the University of San Francisco .  I think it was once the site of a
cemetery. (See Carol's further comments under "From Whence the Photo was taken"

Janice Sellers:  It can't be Lone Mountain.  That's at 2350 Turk Street.  If it isn't
Coit Tower, the only other thing I think is reasonable is Grace Cathedral.

Tynan Peterson:  I think I got it! I think the tower is the 1920s apt building at 2500
Steiner, right next to Alta Plaza. Woo-hoo!

Tynan Peterson: I just took a look at your map and am confused. I don't see anything
to the right of Mission Street/Van Ness in the photo, thus not sure how you can see the
Embarcadero, Grace Cathedral, Coit Tower, Julius's Castle, and the Old Mint.

I sent another photo with the landmarks circled which correspond to the map. Alta
Plaza is the park (at the high point) and the "tower" is the apartment building adjacent to
AP at 2500 Steiner.

So I have:

Mt. Tamalpais
Golden Gate Bridge
USF (Lone Mountain)
St. James Church (Guerrero at 23rd)
Mission High School
Mission Dolores
New U.S. Mint
Alta Plaza
2500 Steiner (apts)
Golden Glow Beer sign (atop apts at 3100 Mission)
Sears building (Mission at Cesar Chavez, formerly Army Street)
Coit Tower
US Mint
See also Quiz #265.
Congratulations to Tynan Peterson, Sharon M Levy, and Ida Sanchez
for great teamwork in solving this puzzle!

"G'job" also to Carol Gene Farrant for traveling to
Bernal Heights for on-site investigation.
The Team's Analysis
Sunrise at Twin Peaks
(looking towards Bernal Hill & Bernalwood)
If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
!-- Start Quantcast tag -->
Quiz No. 421 Results
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Answers to Quiz #421 - November 24, 2013
1. What body of water is between the photographer and the mountains?
2. Name two landmarks in the picture.
3.  When were the landmarks built?
Map created by Tynan Peterson
1.  To the left the Golden Gate Strait; to the right San Francisco Bay
2. There are many: The Golden Gate Bridge, The US Mint,
Dolores Mission Basillica, the Wade Tunnel, etc.
3.  See below.
If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at
CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free
Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the
Forensic Genealogy book.
Comments from Our Readers
Golden Gate bridge towers to left and Mint building (
Quiz 235) in right background.
Comment: a landmark is a prominent feature of the landscape. In that context Mount
Tamalpais  would be  one of the most prominent landmarks seen from a vantage point
above the Mission district of SF. It towers above the left bridge tower. Mount
Tamalpais at 2571 feet in elevation was "built" many millennia ago.
Mike Dalton
Mike is referring to the photo he submitted on "The
Granite Lady" for
Quiz 265 back in 2009.  Click on the
thumbnail for a larger image. - Q-Gen
I am working on this week's photo.   Clearly San Francisco.  There is the Golden
Gate, built over a number of years, finished in 1937.  And Grace Cathedral is visible,
but not finished until 1964!   Trying to figure out the tower on the left.   Its isn't the
Lillian COIT TOWER completed in 1931.   So I am still working on it.   But clearly
the body of water is the San Francisco Bay.    At last 3.33... years at Stanford has
paid off with instrant recognition.
Nelsen Spickard
Too easy
Tynan Peterson
I can offer that the picture was taken between 1933 and 1949 based on the Golden
Glow Beer Sign (years the beer was manufactured)and which also lends itself to
the San Francisco area since the beer was brewed in Oakland.  The actual date is
probably closer to 1938/1939 based on the model of cars in the Chevrolet sales
Edna Cardinal
The current U.S. Mint in San Francisco opened in 1937; the Golden Gate Bridge
opened on 27 May 1937. I can't imagine being involved in the actual construction of
the bridge - not too thrilled about heights!

This photo was taken on 27 April 1950 of the over-crowded Mission District of San

Thanks again for a challenging quiz! Super job as usual!!!!!!!!!!
Grace Hertz and Mary Turner
Team Fletcher!
If I mess up this quiz I should be ashamed of myself.  The body of water is San
Francisco Bay.  There are probably lots of designated historic landmarks in that
picture.  The one that first caught my eye was the new San Francisco Mint built in
1937 in the upper right of the photo.  Construction on the Golden Gate Bridge began
in 1933.  Opening day was May 27, 1937.  That is in the upper left of the photo.  
(They are talking about raising the toll to $8!)  Just a bit in front of the Mint is a tree
lined street.  It runs diagonally down towards the left.  That is Dolores Street.  A few
blocks down from the Mint is Mission Dolores.  You cant really make out the old
mission building.  Its in the shadows.  It was founded as the Mision San Francisco de
Asis in 1776.  The building there was constructed between 1782 and 1791 and is the
oldest building in San Francisco.  Standing next to it, which you can see in the photo,
is the Mission Dolores Basilica.  Its twin towers are visible.  It was built between
1913 and 1918.  And, most impressive of all, it looks like there might actually be
parking spaces on some of those streets.
Carol Farrant
I really wanted to identify the building in the lower left corner but I have not been able
to determine when this landmark was built i.e. Sears Roebuck & Co. in lower left
corner (squarish building with tower over entrance) at 3120 Mission Street (today but
described as corner of Mission & Cesar Chavez aka Army Street  or 3435 Cesar
Chavey aka 3120 Mission). This building houses the Career Link Centre today.

Before I ran out of time, this is as close as I got to finding the history of
the building before Sears, Roebuck & Co.: 1928 Jul 28, Sears, Roebuck & Co.
purchased a Mission Street property for $500,000. (SFC, 7/25/03, p.E10)3.  When
were the landmarks built? Source: Timeline SF:
Marcelle Comeau
Was this picture taken from the Top of the Mark?  It is similar to some that I have
seen when searching for this one as far as size of buildings.  If I had to hazard a
guess I would say yes.  If it is, that would also be a historic landmark, although not in
the picture.
Nancy Nalle-Mackenzie
The bridge and the mountains gave the scene away as San Francisco.  I copied and
enlarged the photo and googled some of the signs, "Jess Lanning" and "Golden Glow
Beer" and found that both businesses were located in the Mission District.  I also
noticed a caption on the enlarged photo, "General view of the over-crowded".  
Googling that I found the original photo on Pinterest.
Margaret Paxton
Congratulations to Our Winners

Sharon M. Levy                Janice Sellers
Mike Dalton                Nelsen Spickard
Tynan Peterson                Ida Sanchez
Edna Cardinal                Terry Hollerstain
Arthur Hartwell                Carol Gene Farrant
Cynthia Costigan                Gus Marsh
Debbie Johnson                Sherry Marshall
Donna Jolley                Rebecca Bare
Marcelle Comeau                Nancy Nalle-Mackenzie
Margaret Paxton                Bob Wilson
Jim Kiser                Dianne Abbott
Judy Pfaff

Grace Hertz and Mary Turner
Team Fletcher
How Ida Solved the Puzzle
I think I stared at the picture for about 10 minutes without
recognizing anything in it, thinking I would never figure out which
city it was. All of a sudden, after all that time, I noticed the Golden
Gate Bridge.

That still didn't make my life easier. Other than the bridge itself, I was
not able to recognize anything else, none of the San Francisco I know
was visible.

The first hint at the timing and spot of the city came with the Golden
Glow Beer billboard. After googling exactly that, I fonund a picture
with a Billboard just like this one but in a different building. That
dated about 1956. So I googled "San Francisco in the 1950s" and
went to the images. For some reason, one black and white shot of the
Golden Gate Bridge called my attention and I opened a blog with its
history that contained our weekly quiz. That gave me more of an idea
of the location and landmarks. It also claims that it was taken on April
27, 1950.

Labeling Mission Street, I went to Google Maps and searched for a
spot in which the street turns diagonally left, found the corner with
Cesar Chavez (formerly known as Army) and the Old Sears Building
that appears in the lower left of the pic. That also gave me a tentative
location for the photographer and a perspective of what could be seen
from that spot. All of a sudden, I was virtually walking the streets of
SF all over again.

Ida Sanchez
Sanborn Fire
Insurance Map
dates the Sears
Building to 1929

Timeline San Francisco

1928 Jul 28, Sears, Roebuck & Co. purchased a Mission Street property for
$500,000. (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/25/03, p. E10)
Sears, Roebuck &
Co's store at
Army and
Valencia Sts

San Francisco
Public Library
From Whence the Photo was Taken

The photo was absolutely taken from the top of the hill in Bernal Heights .  There is a
park on the top of the hill.  A friend and I took a ride and a hike today.  It turns out that
my friend doesn’t like hiking as much as I’ve been led to believe.  My wobbly legs
were not able to make it to the top.  I made it to about 37 deg 44’35.59”N and 122 deg
24’42.27”W (according to Google Earth).  There was just about the same scene spread
out before me.  I figure the photographer must have made it to the top of the hill, just a
tiny bit more to the west.  That tall building in the background is still there.  I couldn’t
see what may or may not be the Sears building in the foreground.  It would have been
behind the trees and blocked from my view, if it still exists.  We then set out to find the
tall, skinny building.  After circling block after block over and over again, we gave up
and headed homeward.  On the way home, my friend screamed, “There it is!”  We had
been looking at it before from the side.  It’s not tall and skinny from the side.  It’s tall
and wide.  We believe it to be 2500 Steiner at Jackson .  It’s a residential co-op.  
Property taxes for a unit on the 8th floor in 2013 were in excess of $24,000.

All in all, it was a fun day.

Carol Gene Farrant
Prominent Photo Landmarks
Gold Glow Beer
Golden West Brewing Co.
The Steiner Building was the hardest to identify.  It is the tower in the background right
of the quiz photo. It was initially identified as the Coit Tower and for a while I believed
it could be part of the Embarcadero. But cooler heads prevailed. See discussion below.
Sharon M. Levy: Question: The tower in the back right of the photo.  I though that it
might be Coit Tower.  The dates work but the shadows on the top triangle of the
building don't look like Coit Tower which is circular.

Q-Gen.: I am not sure the Coit Tower is the tall building in the far background to the
right.  If it were the tower, I think from the point of view of the camera, it would be on
the left of the mint, not the right.  The mint is the rectangular building with the columns
to the background right.

Janice M. Sellers: I'm pretty sure it is Coit Tower.  I've
attached a Google Map showing the route from the Mint to
Coit Tower, and it seems reasonable for the photo.  But if
you don't think it's Coit Tower, what do you think it is?  I
can't think of anything else in that direction.

Q-Gen: Maybe you are right.  Here is the map I made:
tiny.cc/8qpr7w  This map makes it seem like the Coit
Tower should be to the left of the Mint in the picture, and not to the right.  It looks like
the tower is directly in the direction down Mission St from the Mint, and not to the

Arthur Hartwell: Oakland Tribune Tower

Q-Gen: If you are telling me that the tower in the background right is the Tribune
Tower, I don't think that is right.  I think that's the Embarcadero.  Some readers
identified it as the Coit Tower, but that can't be right either.  If you look to the left of
the Tower and closer in, you will see the old US Mint - the rectangular building with the
columns.  The Coit Tower should be to the left of the Mint and further back, but I can't
find it.

Tynan Peterson: The POV of the photo is facing northwest. I don't think you can see
Grace Cathedral nor the Embarcadero. Very unusual view of SF. I like it.

Q-Gen:  Have some questions for you.  Check out what I marked up.

Mission Dolores Basillica
Tynan's Map
Version 1

Janice Sellers: I wasn't able to look at your [Google] map
without permission, but I can tell you that Coit Tower is not
down MIssion Street.  It's about a mile away. [See map, right]

Q-Gen:  I agree it's not the Coit Tower.  I thought it might be
the Embarcadero, but Tynan Peterson thinks it's the San
Francisco College for Women at Lone Mountain.
Carol Gene Farrant:  We can date this picture as
having been taken some time between 1937 and
1954.  In the hills to the right of the Golden Gate
Bridge is a light colored rectangle.  That’s the Waldo
Tunnel.  The first bore opened in 1937.  Now there
are two, the second of which opened in 1954.  The
arch over the opening to the tunnel is painted like a

I’m sure I saw the Golden Glow beer sign, but I didn’
t think much about it.  It was the Mint that kept

Tribune Tower
Grace Cathedral
Ferry Building near the Embarcadero
Lone Mountain College for Women
jumping out at me.  Julius Castle is on Telegraph Hill which is topped by
Coit Tower.  They are both to the right outside of the frame of the
picture.  There were three things about this picture that had me stumped.  
One was that tower behind the Mint.  Today what I know as the
Embarcadeo is a street and an area far to the right outside of the frame of
the picture.  I’m wondering if that building is still there.  The one you’ve
identified as the Sears Building was also a problem.  I know where Sears
used to be on Mission Street .  That’s not what it looks like now.  Perhaps
there was an earlier building.  In the photo it looks like there is writing on
the left side of the tower, but I can’t make it out.  What really drove me
nuts was where was the photographer standing when the picture was
taken.  I suspect you have the general area correct, but there is no hill
there from which you could get that view.  Just to the south and a tad east
of Mission and Cesar Chavez is Bernal Heights which is a hill. It was
probably open land when the picture was taken, if that is where it was
taken from.  Now it is covered with houses.

See Carol's comments above "From Whence the Photo was Taken".
Waldo Tunnel