Saturday, July 18, 2015

"South of Market" — Wonderful Color Photos Documented an Old San Francisco in the Early ’80s

In 1978, Janet Delaney moved to San Francisco's South of Market (SoMa) district because the location was central and the rent was cheap. On the weekends she photographed with her large format camera at the nearby construction site for what is now the Moscone Convention Centre. After witnessing the nighttime demolition of an adjacent residential hotel, Delaney became interested in the rippling economic effects urban renewal was having on poor and working class residents. Leaving the construction site behind, Delaney joined local efforts to protest the city’s treatment of the community and began to photograph and interview her neighbors in their homes and places of work.

South of Market is not a romantic representation of San Francisco's past, but rather a testament to a vanished community made up of blue-collar workers, small business owners, families with children, artists, and gay men. The work is especially relevant today, as a new wave of gentrification brought on by the second internet boom is again driving less affluent residents out of San Francisco. “As I continue to photograph in San Francisco and in urban areas around the world,” says Delaney, “I see that who plays and who pays remains, as it always was, the central issue.”

Delaney's series is also available for purchase as a photo book.

Mercantile Building, Mission and 3rd Streets, 1980

10th at Folsom Street, 1982

David, Father Leo Joseph's Roommate, 60 Langton Street, 1981

Transbay Terminal Newsstand, 1982

Shantiben Dahayabhai Patel, Park Hotel, 1040 Folsom Street, 1980

Eviciton, 158-160 Langon Street, 1980

Saturday Afternoon, Howard between 3rd and 4th Streets, 1981

Flag Makers, Natoma at 3rd Street, 1982

Artist in her Studio, Project One, 10th at Howard Street, 1980

Longtime Neighbors, Langton at Folsom Street, 1980

Mr. Giannini in his Barbershop, Established 1932, 480 6th Street, 1980

Hamburger Mary’s, 1582 Folsom at 12th Street, 1980

Painting Mural, Langton Street, 1980

Russ Street Apartments, 1981

(South of Market, all photos © Janet Delaney)

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1 comment :

  1. I was born and raised on Langton St. I know every place she photographed and the people shown on the corner of Langton & Folsom. I went to see Ms. Delaney's collection at the DeYoung in Golden Gate Park. Interesting that I didn't meet Ms Delaney when I live on Langton St. at that time.