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Open Shutter to the Past: San Francisco in Pictures – West Portal Tunnel (1920)

Welcome back to Photo Friday – my little way of taking a break from San Francisco Real Estate and instead blogging about our great City’s past instead. All photos are published with permission from the San Francisco History Center and San Francisco Public Library.

I swear – it seems that more and more often, idiots people are driving their cars right into the MUNI tunnel at West Portal Station.  In fact, there was ald 87 year old woman who did it yesterday, there was a drunk guy that did it a few months ago. 

The tunnel was built in 1918, and contrary to what it seems is becoming popular belief, it was always meant for streetcars. 

Over the years, the West Portal area, like most of San Francisco, has gone through a major transformation.  When this photo was taken, the area was just starting to be developed by local self-made developer Fernando Nelson.  By the 1930’s, West Portal Avenue had come to look similar to the way it looks today, with little shops that line the avenue.  By the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was determined that San Francisco needed to improve its public transportation (as if that still isn’t the case today) and so the old West Portal tunnel was demolished and in 1976, a new one was built in its place, along with the surrounding metro station. 

And it’s been there ever since.  The tunnel, people, is just for streetcars.  Please, please, please stop trying to drive through it! 

Have a good weekend, and if you’re driving, please, try to remember to stay on the road and out of MUNI tunnels.