When one thinks of the Tenderloin, the notoriously gritty center cut of San Francisco, a number of not-so-pleasant images come to mind.

Maybe it's the rampant homelessness that plagues almost every block. Or individuals smoking crack in broad daylight. Or that drug operation that moonlighted as a corner store. Or the neverending slew of muggings and break-ins and petty crime.

But there's so much more to the neighborhood that borders both downtown San Francisco and City Hall. Hidden in the secret corners of the Tenderloin are an endless array of local gems, from community-painted murals and vibrant performing arts centers to innovative pop-up shops and some of the best food west of the Bay.

And the area boasts a colorful past as well. Rife with speakeasies, theaters, jazz clubs and a seemingly endless influx of immigrants throughout the past century, the Tenderloin embodies some of San Francisco's richest history.

The San Francisco Public Library's History Center provided The Huffington Post with an exclusive glimpse into the 40-block neighborhood with 17 never-before-seen images spanning from 1939 to 1964. There's the Black Hawk, the infamous bar that was raided in 1961 for violating liquor laws. There's the Bank of America circa mid-century, when the behemoth financial institution was just another local bank. There's bars and diners and shops and, of course, a nostalgic dose of automobiles and fashion.

Check out the snapshots below to take a trip through a slice of long-forgotten San Francisco:

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  • Larkin Theatre

    Packard Sedan on Larkin Street in front of Larkin Theatre at 816 Larkin Street. May 4, 1939. Larkin Theatre is now the location of New Century Theater. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Police Department Records, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Ham & Eggs

    Larkin & O'Farrell streets- location of automobile accident with the Packard Sedan. May 4, 1939 <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Police Department Records, San Francisco Public Library</a> </em>

  • Skid Marks on McAllister Street

    McAllister Street, looking east from Hyde Street. June 4, 1939 <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Police Department Records, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Marina Resident Automobile Accident in the Tenderloin

    Automobile accident in front of Hotel Shawmut at 516 O'Farrell Street, near Jones Street. March 19, 1941 <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Police Department Records, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Eddy Street

    109 Eddy Street, near Mason Street. August 26, 1956 <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">Robert Durden Color Slide Collection, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Ellis & Taylor

    Northeast corner of Ellis Street at Taylor Street. March 18, 1958. KNBC building, Clift Hotel and Downtown Center Garage in background. Current location of Hilton - Union Square. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">Robert Durden Color Slide Collection, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • The Black Hawk

    Exterior of The Black Hawk on the corner of Turk and Hyde, the day after the raid for violation of liquor law. Front entrance has sign posted "Young Adults Under 21 Please Use 216 Hyde Entrance," January 27, 1961, 3:00 PM. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos" target="_hplink">San Francisco Police Department Records, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Young Adult Cage

    Interior of The Black Hawk during San Francisco Police Department raid for violation of liquor law. This is the "caged" area for juveniles under the age of 21. January 26, 1961, 9:00-11:30 PM. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Police Department Records, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • The Black Hawk

    Interior of The Black Hawk during San Francisco Police Department during raid for violation of liquor law. January 26, 1961, 9:00-11:30 PM. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Police Department Records, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • 216 Hyde

    Young adult entrance at 216 Hyde for The Black Hawk, the day after the raid for violation of liquor law. January 27, 1961, 3:00 PM. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Police Department Records, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Mid-Century Modern Bank of America

    Bank of America, 101 Hyde Street at Golden Gate. May 23, 1961. Current location of U.S. Post Office. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Assessor's Office Negative Collection, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Social Security

    Social Security building on the southwest corner of Hyde at Golden Gate. June 7, 1962. Current location of UC Hastings College of Law school campus. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Assessor's Office Negative Collection, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • King Louie Bowling Shirts & Manhattan Bowling Balls

    Bowlers Supplies, 645 Larkin Street. October 13, 1961. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Assessor's Office Negative Collection, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Chop Suey & Del Monte Club

    301-307 Eddy Street at Jones Street. May 17, 1962. Current location of the San Francisco Police Department Tenderloin Station. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Assessor's Office Negative Collection, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Manuel's Steak House, Copper Pit Restaurant & 288 Club

    Northeast corner of Turk Street at Leavenworth Street. May 23, 1962. <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Assessor's Office Negative Collection, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Kosher in the Tenderloin

    Lisa's "Kosher Style" Restaurant, 198 Eddy Street at Taylor. January 22, 1963. Building destroyed and current location is a parking lot. <em><a href="www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Assessor's Office Negative Collection, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

  • Oreste's Restaurant

    86 Golden Gate Avenue, on the northeast corner of Golden Gate at Jones. May 1, 1964. Current location of Mona Caron's mural "<a href="http://www.monacaron.com/tenderloin/index.shtml " target="_hplink">Windows Into the Tenderloin</a>." <em><a href="http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos " target="_hplink">San Francisco Assessor's Office Negative Collection, San Francisco Public Library</a></em>

This collection is part of a new HuffPost SF partnership with the San Francisco Public Library's History Center, "Tales From The City," which features various images from throughout the city's past. Visit the San Francisco History Center in person to view original photographic prints and negatives as well as tour other relics from SF's earlier days.