At Heritage’s 2018 Semi-Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 31, John Rothmann, a radio talk show host on KGO 810 AM and grandson of Florine Haas Bransten, will recount family anecdotes found in the memoir, The Haas Sisters of Franklin Street: A San Francisco Memoir of Family and Love (1979, 2017), written by his mother, Frances Bransten Rothmann (1914-1984).
Co-published by Heyday and Heritage in October 2017, The Haas Sisters brings to life a San Francisco of the past and tells the story of a family united by love. The book has been entirely redesigned and expanded, including over 100 historic photos from the family’s personal collections.
Outfitted with a new foreword by Kevin Starr (1940-2017), this account of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century San Francisco vividly evokes the luxurious lifestyle and close bond shared by sisters Alice Haas Lilienthal and Florine Haas Bransten, the daughters of William and Bertha Haas. Florine and Alice lived either together or just blocks apart on Franklin Street for their entire lives. In 1903 Florine married Edward Brandenstein (later shortened to Bransten) and moved into 1735 Franklin Street, while Alice and Samuel Lilienthal stayed to raise their family at 2007 Franklin Street.
While author Frances Bransten Rothmann recreates her mother and aunt’s world of leisure with lively descriptions of high tea at the Palace Hotel, excursions across oceans, and extravagant holiday celebrations that overfilled ballrooms with celebrants, her narrative is much more than a chronicle of leisure and opulence. Rothmann makes clear that the true treasure of those Franklin Street houses was Florine and Alice’s devotion to each other, their families, and their community. In inhabiting the sisters’ daily lives of telephone calls, errands, inside jokes, and myriad philanthropic projects, we can delight in the profound sense of wellbeing — of home — that emanates from the pages. And by witnessing two lifetimes full of kindnesses that extended from family to perfect strangers, The Haas Sisters enables the reader to see the best in others and in the marvelous City by the Bay.
In addition, President and CEO Mike Buhler will provide an update on Heritage’s latest activities, including public-policy and advocacy priorities in 2018.
On Wednesday, January 31, please gather at the Haas-Lilienthal House, 2007 Franklin Street, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., for the meeting and lecture. The Semi-Annual Meeting is free for members (TO ACCESS FREE MEMBER TICKET, PLEASE USE ACCESS CODE) and $10 for non-members. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and RSVP HERE.