Then ... Blizzard continues describing his revenge plan against the City of San Francisco. In his mind's eye, his army of malcontents, wearing straw hats for identification, spring into action, intent on sowing chaos in the streets.
... and Now, this is the northwest corner of Grant and Clay in Chinatown, currently occupied by the jewelry store Jen Ju and Co., at 801 Grant (map). The cable car that once traversed Clay Street no longer does.
This same corner was seen years later in The Lady From Shanghai (1947) when Orson Welles' character darts across Clay Street while on the lam from the police (described here in this blog). Note that the cable car line was still operational then.
Then ... More anarchists charge around a corner near the Ferry Building; the view looks down Commercial Street from Drumm Street (map). Note the pedestrian footbridge in front of the Ferry Building. The roof cornice partially glimpsed on the far left side of the photo belonged to the Harbor Police Station.
... in the 1950s ... this photo taken almost 40 years later shows more of the Harbor Police Station at left. Straight ahead the newly built Embarcadero Freeway isolates the Ferry Building.
... and Now, from the same spot today it's unrecognizable since the entire surrounding area was torn down in the 1960s for the Golden Gateway Redevelopment Project which modernized and transformed it into an extension of the Financial District. The Four Embarcadero Center office complex was built astride this particular location.
... in 1925 ... here's a vintage photo showing the footbridge at the Ferry building that spanned the Embarcadero until the 1940s. Note too that an auto tunnel used to carry traffic beneath the busy plaza where the Market Street trams made a U-turn. The arrow points to the location on Drumm Street where the above scene was filmed.
Then ... Back in Chinatown the mayhem gets serious when a policeman is gunned down.
... and Now, this view looks down Sacramento Street from Grant - the corner store today is the Floating Sushi Boat restaurant at 700 Grant.
The rampage expands, setting buildings ablaze.
Then ... The disruptive tactics are a diversion, intended to draw out and tie up emergency police and fire responders - Blizzard imagines the fire department's Engine 10 company charging from the firehouse at 3050 17th Street in the Mission (map)...
... and Now, the site today is a parking lot.
... a vintage photo ... The Engine 10 and Truck 7 firehouse, built in 1895, is pictured here in this 1952 photo.
By way of a trivia observation, just across 17th Street from the Engine 10 firehouse was the very distinctive Mission Police Station, photographed here in 1924. In the next post we will see the police responding to Blizzard's criminal army but filmed elsewhere. For some reason the moviemakers passed on the opportunity to use this police station even though their cameras were already right there filming the firehouse.
... and Now, this was home for the Mission Police Station from 1903 to 1950 at which time it relocated to a new site on Valencia Street. It remains so marked but is now privately owned; its most recent sale was in 2002 for $2.2M. It still exudes character and suggests only hints of what went on over the decades behind those walls.
(Blizzard's nefarious plot continues in the next post - CitySleuth).