Fresh from the new collection of building photographs that were recently transferred from the San Francisco Office of the Assessor-Recorder to the History Center–here is one residential block in Sunnyside. More about the collection here.

On a bright overcast day in 1968 or 1969*, a unnamed photographer from the Assessor’s office appears to have shot every house on the 600 block of Mangels Avenue, leaving an unusually complete record of houses there at that time. As this map for the collection shows, coverage of buildings in the collection is incomplete across the city. Some blocks are almost completely documented, others have but one or two photos.

Here are the photos on Mangels  Ave, with screenshots of Google Streetview for comparison today. The mix of houses, generally built from the 1910s through the 1970s, is typical of Sunnyside’s residential blocks.

The odd-numbered side :

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The even-numbered side :

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It’s striking how little the facades of most of the properties have changed, although a couple are dramatically different. At 667 there once sat a tiny 1910 cottage on the back of the lot, so far back the photographer could only record the copious greenery hiding it. The little house was replaced by a new house in 2003. The three-room cottage at 650 was rebuilt. And two vacant lots, one at each end of the block, were subsequently built on.

For car buffs, my best call on the machines in front of: 631, 1955 Chevrolet Belair; 650, 1961 Ford Galaxie with cargo bed; 653, 1964 Plymouth Valiant; 659, 1960 Ford Galaxie; 673 and 679, 1967 Plymouth Barracuda; 690, 1955 Chevrolet Belair (another one). If you know what the coupe in front of 627 and 631 is, drop me a note.

Explore the Assessor’s collection here. Check your own address here.

View photos on this block of Mangels Avenue from the 1910s and 1920s and read about the families living there in this post.


* My estimation of the date is based on the the most recent car captured in the photos, a 1967 Plymouth Barracuda in front of 673 Mangels, with hubcaps (I am reliably informed) that somehow are best dated to 1968. All the other cars were from previous years.

One thought on “One block in Sunnyside: 50 years ago and today

  1. Great job, Amy. The comparisons are wonderful. The best part, is the obvious; the current owners/occupants have taken great pride in their properties and updated them very nicely. See you son.

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