A glimpse into the past: San Francisco historical house photos now available

Just released for public viewing by the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu: 94,000 photos of houses, shops, and other structures in San Francisco, dating from the 1940s to the 2000s. Visit this webpage for a map showing properties with available photographs, including instructions on requesting an image to view. Alternately, enter your address on this page.[Page can load slowly.]

Not every house in the city is included, but many are. On the map, once you have located your property lot, mouse over, and a pop-up text block will give the needed information to access the image — the block and lot number, the box number, and the bundle number. On the address search page this info is displayed in a table

With that info, you may visit the SFHC during photo-viewing hours, when they will pull the photo you want at that time.  You can also order a scan for $20.

Plan a visit to the SF History Center, on the top floor of the Main Library, Grove and Larkin: Hours for the photo desk at Tuesday and Thursdays 1 to 5pm, and Saturday 10am-12pm and 1-5pm.

[Covid-19 update: The SF History Center and all SF Public Libraries are shut.]