what Herb Caen really thought of Mid Market

Easy enough for Randy Shaw to find benign writings of Herb Caen, but this was actually saved in a folder at the San Francisco History Center, Main Library,, 6th floor

Ironically, it was in a folder next to a series of proposals from the 1970′s called “What to do about Market Street”, which is referenced by Caen himself in Shaw’s article. The History Center has 7 folders filled with articles and proposals dating back to 1962 about what to do about Mid Market. Stay tuned for periodic tidbits from that

Even better, while there were proposals for redevelopment back to the 60′s, it wasn’t until the 80′s that all of the local newspapers really started going ballistic about the situation in Mid market, about the same time Randy Shaw came on the scene. In fact, there are quite a few photos from the 60′s and 70′s that show plain as day that it wasn’t as bad as it is today, and that it didn’t get that bad until the late 70′s and early 80′s. I passed through the Greyhound station at 7th and Mission in 1979 myself and it was getting pretty bad at that point. It’s now the new federal building. But even in 1979 I remember that Mid Market still had quite a few businesses, much more than today

San Francisco Chronicle, July 11, 1985

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