The Emporium–“California’s Largest, America’s Grandest Store”–was a major shopping destination on San Francisco’s Market Street for a century, from 1896 to 1996. Shoppers flocked to the mid-price store where they could find anything, from jewelry to stoves. This book features more than 200 vintage images and memories of the store with its beautiful dome and bandstand, a meeting place for friends to enjoy tea while listening to the Emporium Orchestra. Many San Franciscans remember with great nostalgia the Christmas Carnival on the roof, complete with slides, a skating rink, and a train. The Emporium Santa was like a rock star, and always arrived in grand style with a big parade down Market Street.
San Francisco’s Ferry Building tells the story of one of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks. For many years, visitors traveling to San Francisco came via ferry, and the Ferry Building, which opened in 1898, stood ready to welcome them. In the 1920s, the Ferry Building was the world’s second-busiest transit terminal (after Charing Cross, London), with more than 50,000 people a day passing through the elegant structure. The more than 200 photos in the book tell the tumultuous story of the building’s heyday and decline after the two major Bay Area bridges were built and its subsequent revival after the Loma Prieta earthquake. It is once again a beacon of civic pride and a public space that anchors the San Francisco waterfront.
PUBLISHED MARCH 2020 Six Bygone Stores That Defined an Era — In the late nineteenth century, San Francisco’s merchant princes built grand stores for a booming city, each with its own niche. The I. Magnin empire catered to a selective upperclass clientele, while middle-class shoppers loved the Emporium department store, with its Bargain Basement and Santa for the kids. Gump’s defined good taste, the City of Paris satisfied desires for anything French and edgy, youth-oriented Joseph Magnin ensnared the younger shoppers with the latest trends. San Francisco’s Lost Department Stores looks back at the strong, colorful personalities who created six major stores that defined shopping in San Francisco before the days of the Internet.
- Kit Haskell, Program Chair, San Francisco History Assoc.
Copyright © 2021 Anne Evers Hitz