Photographing the Beginning of the End of 'Old San Francisco'

“Janet Delaney was a 26-year-old photography student when she arrived in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood in 1978. Then, SoMa was still home to working-class immigrant families, small-business owners, artists, and a vibrant gay/leather community. With relatively low rents, ‘it had a long history of being a port of entry to the city,’ says Delaney. ‘There’s a quote from one of my neighbors that I love: ‘South of Market was a place where you could get yourself together.’

But SoMa was already changing, as the city moved forward with decades-long plans to redevelop the area.…as Delaney thought about the thousands of homes demolished…, she soon focused her lens on her neighbors. Their existences in SoMa were in peril, too.…

In spite of the fact that she’s witnessed the city transform again and again—or perhaps because of it—Delaney doesn’t completely mourn for the future of San Francisco. She went walking around SoMa just yesterday, she says, and enjoyed the energy and bustle of people on bikes and in cafes and at work. The city’s dramatic changes remind her, a little bit, of New York City.…”

Photo: Janet Delaney

Sent us by Kevin Kelly

One Response to Photographing the Beginning of the End of 'Old San Francisco'

  1. Anonymous says:

    it is nice, important too, when someone photographs the "old" things, before they fall apart or are changed. It is one reason, I suppose, that I enjoy your pics of old barns and other old buildings. I feel that if it is not done, it is like losing one of those seldom spoken ancient tribal languages. We lose a part of humanity.

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