Culture

1970s San Francisco by Janet Delaney

1970s San Francisco by Janet Delaney: A tall, old building surrounded by car parks and roads.

Think of San Francisco and you think of the centre of the technological boom. Just north of Silicon Valley (home to Google and Apple), San Francisco is now playing host to the likes of Twitter, Pinterest and Uber, with tech start-ups choosing this as the place to settle. With that comes a lot of money and a lot of gentrification – something that is very different to the San Francisco of four decades ago.

In 1978, student Janet Delaney found herself in San Fran’s South of Market (or SoMa) in the midst of ‘urban renewal’. Having resisted gentrification for so long, the area – which Delaney describes as “a place for immigrants to live while they got organised and moved to better neighbourhoods” – became a hotbed of reconstruction and upheaval – the city wanting to rid it of its ‘sketchy reputation’.

The photographs capture an area of the city on the cusp of cultural and technological transformation, with neighbourhoods destroyed, jobs lost, and locals moved out.

Visit Janet Delaney’s website to see more of her work.

1970s San Francisco by Janet Delaney: Three men on a street against a concrete and wire mesh fence.

1970s San Francisco by Janet Delaney: A man on a motorbike wearing an open leather vest and leather cap.

1970s San Francisco by Janet Delaney: An classic, blue car parked against a concrete wall which has graffiti reading "Tim O'Shea: How many people are you evicting this month? How many next month?"

1970s San Francisco by Janet Delaney: A woman entering a restaurant named Hamburger Mary's, with a sign saying "enter at own risk".

1970s San Francisco by Janet Delaney: An alleyway with "garage" signs, as well as a "flag makers" sign.

1970s San Francisco by Janet Delaney: A boy watching as a man paints a scene of a street on the wall on a sidewalk.

Words by Angharad Jones. Images property of Janet Delaney



Angharad Jones

Angharad Jones

Writer and expert