You can now find an online index of San Francisco’s historical street names. The index contains a list of street names that have been altered over the years, as well as street names that have simply been lost due to changes in the city’s built environment. The reference tool is available to anyone online (scholars, amateur historians, etc.) and includes street names from modern San Francisco’s earliest days in the 1840s.
I’ve been keeping track of this data on my own for a while now and recently I decided to compile it together into a user-friendly, online research tool. The street name data is compiled mostly from the San Francisco Municipal Reports (1880/1881; 1894/1895) and Louis K. Loewenstein’s Streets of San Francisco: The Origins of Street and Place Names (San Francisco: Lexikos, 1984). Old street names from historical newspapers, like the Daily Alta California, are also included, though their historical provenance is often difficult to trace. I would like this to be a collaborative tool, so if anyone out there wants to contribute their knowledge and expertise regarding this topic, please feel free to do so. All I ask is that you provide references for your contributions.
The index is sortable (thanks Google Tables!) by current street name, old street name, date of change, or neighborhood. Eventually I’ll incorporate a mapping component that will provide a visual index to the compiled historical data. Embedded below is an example of the table. It’s sorted by “Current Street Name” by default, but you can click on the header in each field to sort by another element. Below the embedded table is a link to the full Old San Francisco Street Names index.
[Embedded table superseded and removed 4/23/2017]. See the updated full index here: https://goo.gl/HRHNzx.
“Official Map of Chinatown of San Francisco.” San Francisco Board of Supervisors. San Francisco Municipal Reports. San Francisco: Board of Supervisors, 1884-1885. Accessed online from the David Rumsey Map Collection, http://goo.gl/Yxdzy3.
4/23/17: Old index removed; new index added.
2/14/15: New article image added.
3/19/14: The title of the online index has been changed to San Francisco’s Historical Street Names.