Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Web Store features San Francisco History

High quality historical photographic images are available economically through our web galleries unframed and framed. Prints are made on a variety of media including giclees, canvas wraps, photographic style papers. the framing interface is easy to use and pre-visualize your design. Our hand-tinted collection is included. Orders are produced and shipped to anyone in the world from Washington State - normally tax free.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Our Web Galleries are redesigned & updated

Select from over 100 high-resolution black and white, sepia and hand-tinted San Francisco historical and contemporary images. Order directly from our web galleries - prints available on a variety of archival media, including photographic, watercolor paper, canvas, even notecards. Design a custom frame for your piece and pre-view the final piece on line. Also, browse collections from Silicon Valley, Oakland, California and around the world.

Great prices. Shipping from out of state - no sales tax.

San Francisco Photography Galleries

All Galleries: World Wide Archive Web Galleries

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The San Franciscans, 1972-1989

Collection of my favorite characters photographed over about two decades of San Francisco history, many hand-tinted; by Bennett Hall,
Bennett Hall Photography

Thursday, April 16, 2009

U.S. District Courts feature City's Largest Permanent local history exhibits

Main Exhibit Overview Display, 19th Floor Ceremonial Courtroom, 450 Golden Gate
Learn More: U.S. District Courts Tour

Here is a surprise from the Federal Government- quietly over the last 5 years, working together with local Federal Judges, led by Judge Bryer, we have created the largest permanent local history exhibits on San Francisco and the Bay Area's History. Distributed over 4 floors at the top of 450 Golden Gate Ave, the program details the tales of the City from 1850's through the construction of the TransAmerica Pyramid. Vignettes feature the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, the creation of the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island,the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition, the Palace Hotel, the Earthquake and Fire of 1906, the Cliff House and Sutro Bathes, Civic Center, Recreation, Districts around town, the Waterfront, transportation and cable cars, the City's great hotels, notable characters, as well as selected content from others areas around the 9th District the Court serves. Each images has a detailed narrative telling the story behind the picture. Additional programs are installed in San Jose and Oakland Federal buildings.

The program was conceived as a gift to the public from the Court, led by Judge Breyer in San Francisco and Judge Seeborg in San Jose. The intent was to express the integration of Courts with the community, providing education heritage content, foregoing conventional decorative art for the interior walls. Displays are located throughout the public space of the San Francisco and San Jose building, as well as chambers and Jury Rooms. The project started by considering the Jurist experience in the deliberation rooms, which often were windowless.

Story on program in San Jose Mercury News

Business Image Group, led by Bennett Hall, design and developed the content, accompanying narrative, refined the often faded original images and framed and install the pieces through his production company in San Francisco, Eco Framing.

Each photograph was digitally mastered at highest resolution ensure the restoration of missing details, contract and fading problems, cracks and defects, according to our best practices for historical content.

Many of the images in this exhibit can be purchased economically through our web galleries:
World Wide Archive - San Francisco Galleries

San Francisco Images Main Website

San Francisco Jury Room display of Vintage San Francisco

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Palace Hotel History — new slideshow

Palace Hotel, Market and New Montgomery Street circa 1880

Built on a sandhill, the eight-story Hotel opened in splendor in 1876 as the largest hotel west of the Mississsippi. Two and a half acres in size, with 800 rooms and six of its seven gold-and-white stories decorated in parallel banks of bay windows, the Palace was this boomtown's pride and joy.

______Web galleries where you can obtain prints of Palace hotel images -

San Francisco History - handtinted

San Francisco History - Black and white

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bennett Hall launches photography website

San Francisco Images creator and photographer Bennett Hall has launched a new websites to showcase his work. The new website includes art photography,architecture, landscape, special effects, hand-tinting, and collage work produced from 1974 to present. Trained initially at San Francisco State University with Jack Welpott and Don Worth, Hall shoots in all formats; digital, 6x7cm through 8x 10" view. Hall is available for assignment photography and special creative projects by commission.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What will our ruins look like?

Over 3000 deaths were caused by the catastrophe, primarily in San Francisco. The population of San Francisco at the time was about 400,000, and over half were rendered homeless. 28,000 buildings were destroyed.

City Hall, from corner of Ninth and Market, after San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 18, 1906

Something was not quite right about the engineering of San Francisco's City Hall. When the Quake came in 1906, the structure came apart at its seams. 

The new $6 million building, which had been under construction for 20 years, was considered by some to be more noble as a ruin. Entire walls crumbled and massive stone columns fell into the street, leaving the relatively intact dome oddly perched above the twisted debris.

Fire Burning after the Earthquake, April 1906

Multiple fires swept the City for four days, erupting from damage to gas lines and electric wires, fueled by the wooden debris. The City's water system had not been upgraded to cope with a major fire threat and key water mains were broken, leaving the hydrants empty. Many buildings were dynamited, as recouted by General Funston to create firebreaks - drawing on dynamite supplied by the California Powder Company, whose leading brand product became the namesake of the town of Hercules.

View West up California Street from Merchants Exchange, 1906

The Earthquake and fire of 1906 left over 10 million cubic yards of wreckage that had to be cleared before reconstruction could begin. The business district and three-fifths of the entire city was in ruins, and damage was estimated at $500m. The Fairmont Hotel, at the top of the hill, was about to debut at the time of the earthquake.

Palace Hotel's entrance after the Earthquake and Fire, 1906

The Palace suffered only moderate structural damage in the Earthquake, due to the efforts by William Ralston to make it earthquake resistant. However the "fire-proofing" efforts were a total loss. Artesian water stored in roof top and basement tanks was exhausted well before the fire could be contained. Rubble from the building was later dumped in the Marina area as fill.

Ruins of Hibernia Bank Building, Market and Jones Streets, after the 1906 Earthquake

Wreckage of the Hibernia Bank Building, Jones and McAllister streets. This view shows the McAllister/Market Street-side of the structure. This building was repaired, and temporarily housed the Harbor Police Station after the earthquake. It was restored to bank use, and again became a police substation when the Hibernia Bank closed in the late 1980s.

Rubble after the Earthquake and Fire, view towards Call Building
 (Central Tower), April 1906

To acquire reproductions of these and other San Francisco Images-visit our Web Galleries

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bay Bridge West Tower - sans road and cables c1935

This tower sure turned out well - with baited breath and the patience of Jobe, I look forward to seeing the new tower on the Eastern span rise...a new landmark and symbol of the gateway to the City by the Bay

The West Tower of the Bay Bridge rises to 281 feet, and its concrete anchorage was sunk 235 feet below the water line. Its total height is taller than that of the largest of the Pyramids of Egypt.

Available through our Web Galleries:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gary Starks's Cliff House Project

Gary Stark may work IT by day but his passion of history has led him to create a fascinating site that chronicles the history of Adolph Sutro's 'over the top' mansion known as the Cliff House, Sutro Bathes and its legacy. Over many years, Gary has accumulating hundreds of images and produced this short video on the properties history - a place that is now a shadow of its former self, when the most elaborate of the 4 Cliff Houses on this site burned in a fire in 1907. We should all take our 'hats off' to Gary for this good work

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Banks are the temples of our Gods or?

Flash back to just after the Earthquake in 1906, Bank of California seen her under construction, erecting a structure that is like a Church, a temple to the God money and gold, and if ever there were a modern style for attaining a transcendental experience, the interior of this property can take you there. A hundred years later, these temples are shadows of their former selves, yet strong and resolute in the granite permanence, but no longer are they the place where our Gods reside. Do visit this the next time you venture downtown, experience its sanctity, but I no longer think it is sacred as it may once have been

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Alamo Square Classic View

After many trips studying the lighting,this view captured the right contrast and lighting for the painted ladies - 6x7cm - this shot, after a passing storm is why you fall in love with San Francisco

San Francisco Shopping Center - Shop till you drop

Shop local • Go Green • but do SHOP till you drop.
Will that get us out of this mess, or is that the mess itself. How are shopping centers and their tenants coping right now? What ARE the consequences of everyone not buying at once? A bit like yelling fire in a crowded theater in terms of the effect on the economy. Was the building really burning? Hope that everyone likes the weather once they have gotten outside and does not mind the bodies they trampled over in the process of getting there.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bank of America as Granite Monoilith

Aside from this building's namesake company no longer being here and only being worth about a latte per share, this view remains a favorite, sculpted in light not unlike rock formations in the Sierras, it looks better in detail than the over-built "tombstone" like structure that otherwise dominates the Skyline. Don't forget to visit the "bankers heart" when you are next in this often soulless corridor of downtown.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

under construction...The Pryamid 1972

we rescued the original negatives of the Pyramid from a possible "dumpster ending" back in the 80's -
now, digitally restored along with hundreds of other San Francisco heritage images, they live to see another day.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

When Halloween on Castro rocked

Way back when in a universe far far away, Castro on la noche de los muertos was off the charts, for everyone, by everyone, and with everyone, this was the place to be and experience. Those memories live on and those who were there will never forget

these are the Clone Clowns - c1978

cheers to all who were there and remember