Woodward Gardens, 1875, Photo by TE Hecht Courtesy of SF Found.

Shaping San Francisco, a participatory community history project, created an outdoor gallery on Sunday afternoon showcasing 17 historical images from the former Market Street Hub Neighborhood.

A lively spot in the 1940s, it is the current site of San Francisco’s newest public space, McCoppin Hub Plaza, named for Frank McCoppin, the city’s first foreign-born mayor (from 1867 to 1869) and to remember the transit hub that was once there.

Funded by a $23,000 grant from the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, there will be community events featuring live music and dance throughout the summer and fall to activate the once drug-ridden plaza.

The Market Street Hub Neighborhood between Van Ness and Octavia streets was once a key transportation artery for the city. When diesel buses replaced streetcar lines in the 1940s, the retail hub that supported the streetcars declined, said LisaRuth Elliot, co-director of Shaping San Francisco.

Through public programming such as Sunday’s gallery, the multimedia project aims to reclaim and repurpose San Francisco’s lost spaces.

“The main goal today is to create a gallery of this small micro-neighborhood and show how it’s changed and its different manifestations,” Elliot said. “History is a creative act in the present.”

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