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The Battle of Boba, and More, in the Parkside

Jul10th

The strawberry milk bubble tea from STIX in the Parkside, July 2020.

By Kerri Young

With over 51% of people identifying as being of Asian descent in the Parkside District, with Chinese spoken as the predominant language, evidence of Asian culture is reflected everywhere in the businesses along the Taraval Street corridor. These demographics are a big change from the Parkside’s early days, and today, businesses from Great Wall Hardware to Dumpling Specialist are helping to maintain Chinese culture in the district.

“Boba” is the nickname for both bubble tea’s signature tapioca pearls and the drink itself. Image courtesy of Eater.com.

Nowhere is this better reflected than in the presence of several bubble tea shops in the district, serving up drinks with a treasured place in the Chinese and Asian-American culinary landscape. Bubble tea, more popularly known as “boba,” is the fusion of milk tea and chewy, gelatinous tapioca pearls. Milk tea, typically made with powdered creamer introduced in Taiwan by American foreign aid programs during the Cold War, was a favorite local drink prior to the 1980s. And, while easily mistaken to reference the tapioca pearls, the “bubble” in “bubble tea” actually refers to the thick layer of foam that forms on top of the drink after it’s shaken in a cocktail shaker. For a deep dive into the history of boba, I recommend this thoughtful article from Eater that explores boba’s status as “more than just a drink,” and how it grew into a subculture and identity (and the complications around that). Today, I’m here to give an unscientific opinion on what I thought of some of the Parkside’s boba offerings.

A view from the door into FOAM Tea House. As with STIX and Teazo, you can place your order from a table at the door, or call ahead.

What I tried:

Foam Tea House 
1745 Taraval St.

STIX
1353 Taraval St.

Teazo
1050 Taraval St.

Criteria, out of 10:

  1. Taste
  2. Quality of the boba (or other topping) in the drink
  3. Value – the boba drinks I purchased averaged $4.50-$6.75, was it worth it?
  4. Return-ability factor – would I go back?

Spoiler: I found something to like in all of these! But personal taste will determine whether or not you agree with my (hot) takes.

Note: While my approach could have been to try the same thing at each location to compare apples to apples, I instead chose to try a more unique offering at each shop to sample the (often mind-bending) diversity of options available for boba drinks. Again, I don’t pretend that this is scientific in any way! All three shops have social distancing guidelines in place for ordering and pick-up, and encourage phone orders to skip the wait and minimize contact for payment.

FOAM Tea House

My order:
Mango Sago Slush

On a block with cozy neighborhood spots like Eagle Pizzeria, Versus Games, and Kingdom of Dumpling, FOAM Tea House markets itself as “the only place you still can enjoy the traditional hand crafted and shake milk tea in San Francisco.” As mentioned above, the “shake” comes from the fact that Boba drinks are commonly prepared by shaking the ice, milk, tea, and sugar in a cocktail shaker which resulted in a lot of bubbly foam. FOAM’s unique offerings included drinks with sago, which are slightly different from the larger tapioca pearls most are used to seeing in boba drinks but which essentially serve the same purpose. See this helpful graphic below:

Sago versus tapioca, from Spruce Eats. 

With its mix of mango and coconut sago, getting the Mango Sago Slush was a no-brainer and it was delicious. While boba shops traditionally let you adjust the sweetness levels of milk tea drinks, offering increments of 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%, many shops have signature drinks that don’t allow any adjustments. The Mango Sago Slush was one of these drinks, and while I was nervous about it being too sweet, it was the perfect balance of sweet and creamy (hot take: When you have the opportunity to choose your drink’s sweetness level, never choose 100% unless you want to feel like you’re drinking the equivalent of a bag of gummy bears). Slightly reminiscent of the bible-length menu of milk teas at Quickly shops around the city (read), FOAM has a huge menu full of traditional milk teas, a “FOAM series” (?), flavored teas, iced milk, and slushes. While this drink was the priciest of all three I tried ($6.75), the huge size and great flavor of the sago slush definitely will bring me back to try one of FOAM’s many other offerings.

  1. Taste – 10
  2. Quality of the boba (or other topping) in the drink – 10
  3. Value – 10
  4. Return-ability factor – 10

STIX

My order: Strawberry milk tea with boba, 25% sweetness

STIX is a place that I think you could only find in a neighborhood like the Parkside. Featuring a fusion of American and Asian food cultures, STIX features corn dogs and boba! This combination of gut-busting goodness undoubtedly thrives in an area with a high population of families, as well as its proximity to students at Lincoln High School (just in the time I was waiting for my drink, a group of teenagers plus a mom and her child stopped by for orders). It reminded me of the once-popular mall staple Hot Dog on Stick (alas, San Francisco’s one location inside Stonestown Galleria closed a while ago), except for corn dogs, fries, and lemonade you can buy corn dogs covered in fries and boba. I guess this is the natural evolution of things, and why not?

The boba at STIX is actually not the main attraction, it’s corn dogs. With everything from ramen-covered corn dogs to potato-covered corn dogs, STIX feels like a new twist on the Hot Dog on Stick model.

STIX offers different flavors of milk teas, and, like Foam Tea House, offers toppings beyond boba like lychee jelly and mango jelly. While house milk tea (black or jasmine tea with milk) and coffee milk teas are standard drink flavors at boba shops, I hadn’t seen strawberry milk tea before so I decided to order that. It wasn’t really my cup of tea, and reminded me a of strawberry Nesquick, but I could see how someone with different taste buds would love it. And because I didn’t try the traditional boba topping at Foam, I decided to try it at STIX. And it was good! The boba was soft but with a slight bite to it.

  1. Taste – 5
  2. Quality of the boba (or other topping) in the drink – 10
  3. Value – 10
  4. Return-ability factor – 7 (to try the waffle fries and the house special guava cooler)

Teazo

My order: Very Berry Cheezo

Does the combination of tea and cheese sound unappetizing to you? If it does, “cheese tea” aficionados will tell you that it tastes better than it sounds. These cheese-topped boba drinks originated in the night market stands of Taiwan around 2010, and you can now find them slowly making their way to many specialty boba stores stateside. The cheese topping is a mixture of whipped cream cheese, whipping cream and sea salt, and, at TEAZO, it is paired with cold fruit teas.

A pre-stirred Very Berry Cheezo. It is infinitely improved by mixing all the ingredients together.

TEAZO’s version of cheese tea is called “cheezo,” a name I fully support. And if we’re talking unique offerings, then getting a cheezo drink was definitely the way to go. I got the Very Berry Cheezo, a frozen strawberry slush topped with cheese foam. The resulting combination of creamy, slightly sweet and salty cream cheese foam, topped over a cold berry slush is something to marvel at. I even added tapioca pearls to make it more like a standard boba drink, and it ended up being more of an afterthought because this cheese drink can stand on its own. The drink was so delicious that I am thankful that cheese tea has made it stateside, and has found a home in the Parkside.

If you’d like to go with something more standard, TEAZO has traditional milk teas, fruit teas, and caffeinated dessert drinks like oreo smoothies and watermelon slushes.

  1. Taste – 10
  2. Quality of the boba (or other topping) in the drink – 6
  3. Value – 10
  4. Return-ability factor – 9 (it was too good that I dinged off a superficial point in order to say that this drink should be treated as some type of reward rather than a regular thing).

I would have liked to try Super Cue Cafe, but they are temporarily closed. Overall, the Parkside has strong boba offerings, and I encourage you to come out to the district and support these family-owned shops while sampling some of the most popular examples ( and delicious) from Chinese and Asian-American food culture.

The Parkside Village: 1907–1960s

Jul9th

Parkside District Improvement Club “Night in Hawaii” Dinner Dance, October 6, 1962. (PDIC Scrapbooks, San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.)

by Woody LaBounty

Volunteer community groups were significant drivers of San Francisco neighborhood development and vitality in the early twentieth century, especially in the city’s outlying areas. Groups such as the Mission Promotion Association, the Hayes Valley Improvement Club, and the Bay View Boosters had to lobby hard for essential services from sewage lines to street lights to schools. The importance and relevance of “improvement” clubs in the 1910s was such that once a week the San Francisco Call dedicated a whole section to the challenges, efforts, and victories of dozens of organizations across the city.

When the first Parkside District homes were built in sand dunes in 1907, remote from any settled neighborhood, the residents moved in bereft of many basic city services. On March 25, 1911, the Call described just some of the challenges:

“[R]esidents of Parkside were compelled to walk in utter darkness at night from the [street]cars to their homes, because there were no street lights. If their houses were to take fire they would have to look on hopelessly while the building burned down, for there was no fire protection in the district. If the residents had children the parents would have to anxiously ship their children aboard a streetcar hoping that they would find their way downtown to school and would return safely in the evening for there was no school in the district.”1

First Parkside School on Taraval Street near 31st Avenue, 1917. (Williams Family Collection.)

In 1908, property owners met in a building on the corner of 26th Avenue and Taraval Street to form the Parkside District Improvement Club (PDIC). Over a series of meetings they created committees to attack the most pressing needs of the neighborhood. One lobbied for and secured telephone service for the district, while another pressured for mail delivery, as the postal service hadn’t gotten around to assigning anyone to the Parkside. A new 25-man volunteer fire department composed of residents borrowed equipment from the city’s Fire Commission, and stored it in a building donated by the Parkside Realty. And when the Board of Education dithered on finding a site for a local elementary school, the group secured a donated lot on Taraval Street near 31st Avenue.

San Francisco Call, March 25, 1911, featuring the officers of the Parkside District Improvement Club.

By 1911, the Parkside District Improvement Club (PDIC) numbered 75 men (out of about 100 households in the district) and a women’s auxiliary. Both met in Williams Hall, an upstairs space above the Parkside’s only market at 32nd Avenue and Taraval (today Gene’s Liquors). The women’s auxiliary was just as active as the men’s club, although it tended to focus only on local issues, such as getting a fence constructed around the school to keep out dogs.2 According to stories passed down, the women also played a lot less poker at their meetings than the men. The two sides came together with a social committee that organized dances and music concerts at Williams Hall to “encourage social relations” among neighbors.3

Parkside volunteer fire department engine parked on 32nd Avenue in front of Eugene Williams’ grocery (with social hall above) at Taraval Street, 1910s. (Williams Family Collection.)

Even after essential services were secured, the Parkside club served as a binding force in the district for decades. It was also a prominent collaborator with other neighborhood groups in shaping city policies and practices. The PDIC weighed in on the proposed location of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition (the club wanted it at Lake Merced), on the issuance of bonds to create the first public transportation line (the club was against), and on the establishment of a municipal water department (very much for).

By the 1930s, under the leadership of Ray Schiller, the Parkside District Improvement Club became an even more dynamic force in the neighborhood and an influence on politics citywide. District celebrations in McCoppin and Parkside Squares and parades on Taraval Street drew hundreds. The club successfully lobbied for the extension of the L-Taraval streetcar line to the beach (at the time mostly through a sandy desert). PDIC marshaled hundreds of locals to attend numerous meetings at the Board of Education and City Hall to get Lincoln High School constructed. In the 1940s and 1950s, neighborhood businesswoman Evelyn La Place rose to be PDIC president and one of the city’s most active female voices in civic affairs, serving on the Library Commission and as president of the Central Council of Civic Clubs.

Parkside District Improvement Club’s power originated in the district’s isolation and the residents’ mutual needs, but it also drew from the village atmosphere present in most city neighborhoods before World War II.

Ray Schiller lived and worked on 28th Avenue. Evelyn LaPlace lived on 32nd Avenue, and ran her gift store and library at 941 Taraval and her dress shop at 1109 Taraval Street. PDIC board member Russell Powell published the Pacific News, the neighborhood’s own newspaper, at 1722 Taraval Street. Parksiders bought their aspirin at Parkside Pharmacy (28th Avenue and Taraval), their paints at Parkside Hardware (1038 Taraval), and had their breakfast at Parkside Coffee Shop (949 Taraval). Groceries, cakes, clothing, doctors, dentists—all on Taraval. They went to services at Parkside Gospel Hall or St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church. Children either attended Parkside School or St. Cecilia’s parochial school. Men generally had full-time jobs and women generally stayed home, and they all knew their neighbors well.

Parkside Square dedication ceremonies, April 24, 1938. (PDIC Scrapbooks, San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Library.)

Village life sounds pleasant, even idyllic—wouldn’t it be nice to be so neighborly? But its reality was riddled with limitations and exclusions. Beyond marriage and motherhood, opportunities for women were extremely restricted: teacher, secretary, clerk at a store, operator at the telephone company. Single businesswoman Evelyn LaPlace was a notable outlier, called a “Career Girl” in one newspaper headline when she was appointed the city library commission at 42 years old.4

And while racist deed covenants weren’t in place across the neighborhood like they were in tonier developments such as St. Francis Wood and Balboa Terrace, nonwhite residents and buyers were excluded from the Parkside by acknowledged “understandings” between real estate agents and residents. Occasionally, the arrangement had to be made plainer. In 1943, the PDIC wrote the Real Estate Association of San Francisco:

“We have received rumors that colored people and Filipinos were attempting to purchase property, namely new homes being erected, in the Parkside and Sunset district. We would appreciate any information you would be able to give us and what we might do to prevent this situation from developing.”5

PDIC mock installation of officers at American Legion Hall at 38th Avenue and Taraval Street, 1940s. (PDIC Scrapbooks, San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Library.)

By the early 1950s, the Parkside was no longer an isolated island on the dunes, but enmeshed in a residential landscape that stretched in all directions. The neighborhood’s insularity fractured in the 1960s and 1970s as early residents passed away and their children were attracted to new developments in the suburbs. The PDIC held May Day celebrations into the 1970s, installation dinners for its officers continued to the end of the century, but the club’s power and influence dwindled with its membership. A handful of residents kept it alive into the 2000s, content to hold monthly meetings of no more than a dozen people.

But the club was fortunate to have dedicated archivists and chroniclers of its history, particularly Opal Piercy, who made scrapbooks of club photos, ephemera, meeting minutes, and newspaper clippings related to the neighborhood and the PDIC. Those scrapbooks are now safe in the San Francisco History Center of the San Francisco Public Library, and copies are kept at the Parkside Branch Library.


Notes:

1. C. F. Adams, “Parkside Club Has Done Wonders in Two Years,” San Francisco Call, March 25, 1911, pg. 21.

2. San Francisco Call, February 27, 1913, pg. 18.

3. “West End Clubs Form Federation,” San Francisco Chronicle, July 3, 1909, pg. 12.

4. “Career Girl Wins Appointment,” San Francisco Progress, November 18-19, 1948.

5. Copy of letter dated May 17, 1943. PDIC papers, Western Neighborhoods Project Collection.

Legacy Business Spotlight: Albert Chow and Great Wall Hardware

Jul8th

Exterior of Great Wall Hardware at 1821 Taraval Street. Great Wall’s Chinese language sign reflects the large Chinese-speaking population in the Parkside, and the business’s commitment to maintaining Chinese culture in the district.

By Kerri Young

Great Wall Hardware is a San Francisco legacy business located at 1821 Taraval Street in the Parkside District. Established in 1983 by Robert and Mariana Chow, the family-owned store features over 20,000 items for sale, including electrical, garden, painting, plumbing, cleaning, hardware, tools, and lumber. The Chow family first established their business in order to help their friends and neighbors with construction projects, and they have grown into a store that not only offers supplies but also general contracting services.

The business joined the Legacy Business Registry on September 24, 2018, nominated by then-District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang. While several businesses in the district qualify for legacy status, Great Wall Hardware is the only Parkside business on the registry to date. It is among other neighborhood hardware stores on the registry, including Cole Hardware (Cole Valley), Papenhausen Hardware (West Portal), Cliff’s Variety (Castro), and Brownie’s Hardware (Polk).

Albert Chow in front of his business, Great Wall Hardware. Photo courtesy of POPS.

We recently chatted with Albert Chow, Great Wall’s owner, and son of original owners Robert and Mariana Chow. Born and raised in San Francisco, Albert moved with his family from Chinatown out to the Sunset once they had enough money to start the hardware store. Today, he is deeply involved in the Parkside community, and is the President of the People of Parkside Sunset (POPS), a neighborhood group that helps promote businesses and quality of life. Through his involvement with the organization, he has helped to run annual (pre-pandemic) movie night events that bring many families together each October, promoted the wellbeing of small businesses in the corridor, and assisted other neighborhood organizations with their events and community activities.

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

For those not familiar with Great Wall Hardware, where is it and what would you like people to know about the business?

“We are a Taraval Street home center, a family-run business. I’m second generation…and we pride ourselves in having about 22,000-23,000 products in the store. One of the things that sets us apart is that, you come in, and let us know about any issue in any house in the Sunset, and we can help you out.”

What was your reaction to becoming a legacy business, one of the few in the Parkside?

I do want to promote the Parkside, so I thought, what better than to sign up for myself [for the Legacy Business Registry]? Agencies come to POPS, putting together events for small merchants, and I’ll always be the first one to raise my hand, so I can tell people about my experiences. I have to say that you had to write a lot of commentary on your own business [for the application], they really wanted you to bust out all the history and changes over time. I had to look at old details and old photos to keep track of it in my head, but together with my sister and my mother we were able to piece together the business history…it really helped me to think through the changes we’ve gone through.”

Signs on Great Wall Hardware’s door reminding customers to social distance.

How have you navigated the Covid-19 crisis as a small business owner? 

I have to say that I have a little survivor’s guilt. We were named an essential business because when this all started, Mayor Breed named us one, so since the beginning we’ve been open. Our businesses changed right away. We went from being a hardware store to an emergency store, and we couldn’t keep things in stock…demand for certain things went from zero to 100, just like that. It was also a different business environment because the rules changed everyday..because we need to wash our hands all the time, all of a sudden we were selling soap! Customers would come through the store asking for things we didn’t carry; that was the beginning for us when Covid hit.

“And then we went back to being a hardware store because everyone was at home wanting to do home projects, like we ran out of soil. People wanted to start planting gardens, fix up their homes…and parents are at home trying to teaching their kids something!”

About supporting other businesses in the Parkside during the Covid crisis:

“I’m going to offer some true knowledge about the situation. Again I have survivor’s guilt, there were a lot of other merchants that had to close, who were finding ways to keep their employees on the payroll, and make rent. Those people are the real heroes here.

“So what I did was forward PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] (and other loan) information to any Parkside merchants who were on our [POPS] list. Unfortunately that was all I could do; we were not doing events and we all had to self-isolate. The people with businesses forced to close, they were the ones with their minds going 100 mph. A big thing was that a lot of businesses could not claim this as a natural disaster; the pandemic was not listed as a natural disaster on their insurance policies, so many businesses advocated at City Hall to get the pandemic reclassified in order to pay their employees and pay their rent. That was a big one.”

On POPS involvement in organizing the Sunset Farmer’s Market & Mercantile, which had its first day on Sunday, July 5th:

“It was great to see people out for the first time in a while. It’s the first one ever for the Sunset! It was subsidized by the city; and because it was subsidized, we were able to sell vendor slots very inexpensively.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Thank you to everyone who made today’s launch of the Outer Sunset Farmers Market & Mercantile such a success! This new open-air market was over a year in the making, wholly independent, and built from scratch by and for the Sunset. We’re so grateful to Angie Petitt-Taylor, @sunsetmercantile, @pops_sf, and @sfoewd for the leadership and partnership that made this possible. This market started as an idea we talked about with neighborhood leaders all the way back in 2018, and it’s been an incredible journey to see it come to life today. If you missed it, don’t worry — it’s not going anywhere. The Outer Sunset Farmers Market & Mercantile will be here every Sunday from 9am to 3pm going forward, on 37th Avenue between Ortega and Pacheco. Masks, hand washing/sanitizing, and social distancing all required. #SunsetStrong

A post shared by Gordon Mar (@d4gordonmar) on

Customers can shop online at Great Wall’s website, greatwallhardware.com, and pick up in store.

What is one thing you’d like people to know about the Parkside? 

“The Parkside is the perfect place if you want to hang out like a local. It’s not crowded and we have a great beach scene; it’s more mellow here because the population density is lower. We have great restaurants and shops out this way, so if you want to hang out like a local and experience what true San Franciscans experience, this is a great place to start.

“I know we don’t have [iconic] landmarks here, and we’ve always gotten the least amount of attention. It’s always been considered a bedroom community, which is good and bad right? Coming here, my mission has been to promote the businesses here, promote its uniqueness, and promote good wholesome fun.”


Great Wall Hardware is open (with social distancing protocols in place), Mon-Fri: 8:00am-6:00pm, Sat: 10:00am-6:00pm, and Sun: 10:00am-3:00pm. You can reach the store at 415-566-1511.

Parkside Branch Library: A Modernist Jewel

Jul7th

Parkside Branch of the San Francisco Public Library in 2007, before renovation.

by Woody LaBounty

The Parkside District has no designated city landmarks, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t buildings that qualify for such recognition and protection.

The Parkside Branch library building at 1200 Taraval Street was the first of eight Modern-style city branches constructed by the architectural firm of Appleton & Wolfard between 1951 and 1966. Parkside’s design, admired for its “smart and functional cheerfulness,” broke the mold of previous branch libraries and created a popular new model for the San Francisco Public Library system.1

Set in the city park of McCoppin Square, Parkside’s design was markedly different from the imposing classical grandeur of the Mission, Richmond, Sunset, and Park branches. Instead of formal staircases, lofty ceilings, and fluted columns, the Parkside branch was more like a cozy suburban house with comfortable seating, natural light from angled windows, exposed toned clay brick walls, and even a fireplace. Like a midcentury ranch home, it had a patio (perhaps not as comfortable as hoped for in the foggy climate) and was surrounded by planters and landscaping (designed by master architect Lawrence Halprin) that wouldn’t have been out of place for a commuter’s domicile down the peninsula.

The Parkside branch library opened in 1951 with open space for reading with comfortable contemporary furniture and a fireplace. (Phillip Fein photograph, San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library, AAD-8582.)

The Architect and Engineer magazine described its appearance as “a good deal like a refined night club with its gay turquoise, yellow, and natural brick color scheme.” That was all right with City Librarian Laurence J. Clark: “Smart entrepreneurs make their cocktail lounges so attractive that you can’t help but stay on for another drink. Why not libraries?”2

As the San Francisco’s historic context statement on Modern architecture notes, the Parkside branch “embodied the then current library theory that called for attractive, inviting and casual library buildings that were in harmony with their surroundings.”3

Opening in June 1951, the Parkside branch was an immediate hit with patrons. In its first year, book circulation grew 250 percent over the previous branch, which had been housed in a Taraval Street storefront. By 1954, Parkside owned the largest circulation of the then 21 city branches. The city’s Planning Department quickly pointed to the Parkside Branch as the “pilot project and proving ground for the entire program of public library building and expansion in San Francisco.”4

Parkside library’s large windows brought in light and views of the landscaping of McCoppin Square. (Morley Baer photograph, Sound Business Magazine; San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library, AAD-8587.)

Harold Wolfard is credited with bringing a Modernist aesthetic to the firm he led with Abraham Appleton, and later Appleton’s son Robert. The San Francisco library branches commissioned to Appleton & Wolfard over the next fifteen years shared an influence from informal Scandinavian design. The Marina (1953), Ortega (1955, demolished 2009), Merced (1957), North Beach (1958, demolished 2013), Eureka Valley (1960), Western Addition (1965) and Excelsior (1966) branches all shared similarities in scale, spacing, and craftsmanship as one-story, open-floor-plan buildings set in landscaped lots or parks with trellises, patios, fireplaces, and exposed masonry.

Despite being hailed soon after opening as “the finest branch library in the country,” the Parkside branch library is not recognized with any official historical designation or protection.5

San Francisco’s Appleton & Wolfard-designed libraries were nominated together as city landmarks in 2009. The Planning Department determined that the Parkside branch met the requirements for individual National Register eligibility under Criteria A (events), as conveying the broad trends in post World War II American library programming and design, and Criteria C (architecture), for displaying the character-defining features of Appleton & Wolfard’s civic architecture work in the city. With the Marina, Merced, North Beach, and Eureka Valley branches, the Parkside branch was also found to be part of a thematically related Multiple Property Listing.

Parkside Branch Library at 1200 Taraval Street, February 2020.

But large bond-funded branch renovation projects were under way, including at Parkside, so a request was made by the Library Commission to remove Parkside from landmark consideration until after renovation, so as not to delay completion. On September 16, 2009, the Historic Preservation Commission agreed that Parkside met the eligibility for listing on both the National Register and California Register of Historical Places, and warranted city landmark designation. The commission directed the Planning Department to calendar initiation of landmark designation for review after the completion of renovations. The Appleton & Wolfard Marina branch library made it through to become City Landmark #262.

The Parkside branch reopened in November 2010. The renovation was sympathetic and careful to respect Appleton & Wolfard’s influential design and vision. The building still appears to carry its significant characteristics and feeling. Now may be the time, more than a decade after it was “calendared” for city landmark consideration, to give the Parkside branch library its due.


Notes:

1. Bob Strebeigh, “Our Neglected Libraries: Branches New and Old,” San Francisco Chronicle, August 18, 1952, pg. 17.

2. The Architect and Engineer, March 1952, p. 34; “At Last, A Library With a Clubhouse Look,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 28, 1951, p. 9L.

3. Mary Brown, “San Francisco Modern Architecture and Landscape Design 1935–1970,” San Francisco City and County Planning Department, p. 63.

4. Tim Adams, “Dedication Tomorrow for New Marina Library,” San Francisco Chronicle, August 9, 1954; “Report on a Plan for the Location of Public Libraries in San Francisco.” San Francisco Planning Department. April 1953, page 34.

5. The Architect and Engineer, March 1952, p. 35.