People gathering at a bench at the intersection of Stanyan at Haight on May 31, 1909. The womens are wearing long skirts and carrying parasols; the men are wearing hats.

Stanyan at Haight May 31, 1909. OpenSFHistory / wnp27.1189

730 Stanyan is located at the intersection of Haight Street and Stanyan Street in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. In modern memory this area is probably best known as the center of the counterculture movement of the late sixties, and decades after still retains some of that eclectic vibe and optimistic creativity. A brief dive into history also reveals complex layers, as a home to diverse populations, as a cultural center with progressive ideas, and, in the case of the Haight and Stanyan intersection, as literally the center of the action. Scroll down and learn more about the area.

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Lines of tents in a refugee camp in Golden Gate Park, 1906.

golden gate park

The park has been a sanctuary for San Francisco residents, literally and figuratively. It's also the site of the first public playground in the country.

 

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Image: Golden Gate Park, 1906. Earthquake and Fire, Refugee Camp No. 7, in the vicinity of Sharon Meadow. OpenSFHistory / wnp37.01538

Cable cars

Transportation lines then and now delivered park-goers right to its doorstep, and also dropped guests to hotels on nearby corners.

 

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Image: Haight & Stanyan circa 1890. Park Entrance Scene at Haight Terminus. OpenSFHistory / wnp37.03316

Cable car and crowds on Haight Street, circa 1890.
Men and women in a musical group, with bongos and an old-fashioned microphone in the foreground.

Harlem of the west

The bustling Fillmore district, also known as "Harlem of the West," featured numerous successful Black-owned businesses and nightclubs. Later this area was designated for "urban renewal" by the city, and the Haight became a refuge for residents of Western Addition pushed out by redevelopment. 

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Image: Photo by Steven Jackson Jr., kindly donated by Pam Jackson.

summer of love

The summer of 1967, also known as the “Summer of Love” attracted over 100,000 bohemians and flower children from all over the country along with the Berkeley radicals.

 

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Image: Haight near Ashbury circa 1967. OpenSFHistory / wnp27.5955

People walking on the sidewalk and sitting in front of storefronts on Haight St near Ashbury, circa 1967.
Grace Slick, singer of Jefferson Airplane, singing into a microphone.

creative culture

Along with the Grateful Dead, rock and roll turned into acid rock with San Francisco-based bands like Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother and the Holding Company with strong female vocal leads.

 

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Image: Grace Slick, September 28, 1975. Jefferson Starship, Golden Gate Park, Lindley Meadow. Copyright © Greg Gaar, All Rights Reserved. OpenSFHistory - Greg Gaar / wnp73.0922i.jpg

Haight Ashbury free clinic

Dr. David Smith opened the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic on June 7, 1967, which was the first free clinic of its kind in the United States.

 

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Image: Dr. Smith at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic. Courtesy of HealthRIGHT 360. healthRIGHT360.org

Dr David Smith talking with a woman at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic.