Then and Now

‘Then and Now’: Balboa Street and Second Avenue

Above: The two homes and the gas station on the corner of Second Avenue and Balboa Street have all been demolished for apartment buildings. In 1951, the basement of 26 Balboa St., center, housed the Helene Hardin Theatrical Talent Agency. Photo courtesy of a private collector/Western Neighborhoods Project/OpenSFHistory.

Below: This is how the same location looks in 2022. Photo by Michael Durand.

1 reply »

  1. Memories! I grew up on Second Avenue in the 1950s! There were gas stations everywhere and you could get stamps or neat things for your kitchen when your parents filled up at the pump. I still have the 4 metal milkshake glasses in different metallic colors that we got from the gas station on Geary one block from Star of the Sea Church. I don’t miss the ubiquitous gas stations one bit. Though the gas station at the northwest corner of Arguello and California Streets had two cool metal poles we kids used to slide down to reach sidewalk level from the house fronting the gas station. It was a game. You had to go all around the block starting at the northeast side of Second Ave and California climbing only on the retaining walls and backyard fences without ever putting your feet on the ground. You ended up about 6 feet off the ground at the gas station around the corner. So then you slid down the poles and ran home. My block had about 14 kids who always played in the street.


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