Timewarp back to 1955 (in Doc’s DeLorean?) and land at the El Cortez Hotel and this is the view you’ll see down Ash Street.

That’s San Diego Bay and Point Loma in the distance. It is a very serious hill and was one of the streets in my “Bullitt in the Hills” column back in 2008.

The real subject of the postcard is the KFMB-TV-AM-FM studios, front and center, at Fifth Avenue and Ash Street. The station moved away in the 80s and the building was demolished. Still there today today: the brick building at left with parking on the roof; the gray-stone building the next block. Oh, and Ash Street is now one-way west. Thanks to Google Maps, here’s what it looks like today.

Love the cars… I always try to date these undated postcards by the cars. My guess is 1955, as I don’t see any cars more recent. The best clue? A 1955 Chevrolet is parked on top of the brick building on the left side of the card. I think there’s also a ’55 Studebaker right in the middle of the card.

In case you’ve never been here, there are some pretty steep hill-roads in San Diego, with Ash Street near the top of the list. If you look carefully, you can’t actually see the east side of the intersection with Fifth (the camera is at Sixth). It’s a fun ride that’s scared hundreds of drivers over the years and probably smashed a good number of front suspensions.


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