1958: Hunters Point makes its film debut
The Hunters Point Shipyard makes a cameo appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. When Scottie Fergusson goes to visit Gavin Elster in the offices of Elster’s shipping company, the shipyard’s cranes are hard at work in the background. Hitchcock directs the shoot at Paramount Studios, and the shipyard scene is projected onto the background to create a virtual location.
1959: Pre-mayoral candidate Sam Jordan opens bar
In 1959, African American Navy veteran and former boxer Sam Jordan opens his eponymous bar, which matures into a Bayview-Hunters Point institution. The iconic establishment does much more than serve drinks. It becomes known for hosting scholarship drives, business luncheons, and significant political gatherings. The bar goes on to receive landmark status in 2013, making it the third African American institution in San Francisco to be awarded the distinction.
1959: Operation Skycatch
Lockheed’s Missiles and Space Division uses the crane for “Operation Skycatch,” a launch study for the Polaris missile project.
The test goes something like this. A powerful rocket blast sends the missile into the air. At the top of its trajectory, a cable assembly rigged up to the crane snags the multi-ton missile out of the sky. The crane then lowers the missile for examination and preparation for the next round of tests.
This proves to be a much simpler and more affordable method than the one Lockheed had employed before, which involved shooting the missile into San Francisco Bay and dredging it up by ship.