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May 16, 2022

Amazing Photos Capture Everyday Life of South of Market in the Early 1980s

South of Market (SoMa) is a neighborhood in San Francisco, California, situated just south of Market Street. It contains several sub-neighborhoods including South Beach, Yerba Buena, and Rincon Hill.

SoMa is home to many of the city’s museums, to the headquarters of several major software and Internet companies, and to the Moscone Conference Center.

American photographer and educator Janet Delaney took these amazing photos to document everyday life of South of Market in the early 1980s.

Chinese jumprope in front of Bessie Carmichael School, Folsom Street, 1980

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

Across from the Moscone Center, 3rd at Tehama Street, 1980

Ambush Bar, 1351 Harrison, 1980

Bay Casket Company, 1020 Folsom Street, 1980

Bulk Natural Foods, Russ at Howard Street, 1980

Eviction, 158-160 Langton Street, 1980

First office building in redevelopment zone, Lapu-Lapu St, 1980

Folsom at 8th Street, 1980

Giannini in his barbershop, established 1936, 484 6th Street, 1980

Harry Smith, Bay Casket Company, 1020 Folsom Street, 1980

Helen and her husband, Chester, at the Helen Cafe, 486 6th Street, 1980

Langton Street residents Lalett and Vanessa Fernandez with their son, 1980

Man with wheelbarrow, Moscone Center, 1980

Mercantile Building, Mission and 3rd Streets, 1980

Moscone Center under construction, 1980

Painting Mural, Langton Street, 1980

Pat serving coffee at the Gordon Cafe, 7th at Mission Street, 1980

Policeman writing a ticket, Howard near 6th Street, 1980

Project One Artists Studios, 10th at Howard Street, 1980

San Francisco Tennis Club Bar, 645 Sth Street, 1980

School Demolition, 4th at Howard Street, 1980

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

Skip Wheeler and his wife groom their horses after Veteran's Day Parade, Folsom at 2nd Street, 1980

Langton Park, Langton and Howard Streets, 1981

Lathe and Tool Works, 37 Clementina Street, 1981

Longtime neighbors, Langton at Folsom Street, 1981

Marie on Skates, Langton Street, 1981

Russ Street Apartments, 1981

San Bruno Statuary, 563 6th Street, 1981

San Francisco Ballet performing on opening days for the Moscone Center, 1981

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

Walt's Diner, 7th at King Street, 1981

10th at Folsom Street, 1982

Bobbie Washington and her daughter Ayana, 28 Langton Street, 1982

Carnary Island Diner, 1207 Harrison Street, 1982

Charging battery, Moss Street, 1982

Connie Hatch at the Canary Island Diner, 1207 Harrison Street, 1982

Flag Makers, Natoma at 3rd Street, 1982

Greyhound Bus Depot, 7th St. between Mission and Market Streets, 1982

Jean Decottignies, Jean's Auto Body Specialists, 1264 Folsom Street, 1982

Labyris Auto Repair, "Complete Car Care By Women", 240 6th Street, 1982

Ted Zouzounis and his son, David, at Ted's Market, 1530 Howard Street,1982

Transbay Terminal Newsstand, 1982

(Photo © Janet Delaney)


  1. SF was always a shithole.

  2. Great photos. I was very familiar with the area during the early 1980s. I delivered construction related equipment all over SOMA, went to a trade school on Howard Street, and updated business software for several area businesses. It was a low rent and quirky place with 'leather bars', empty lots, dilapidated buildings, and cheap food. I wouldn't live in SF today, but it was tolerable 40 years ago.




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