Singing has helped fundraiser Jerry Mapp battle Parkinson’s disease.
LOCALS | THOMAS REYNOLDS
For 25 years, Jerry Mapp raised money and cultivated donors to help build California Pacific Medical Center into the respected hospital it has become, with a state-of-the-art new home rising at Van Ness and Geary.
As president and chief executive of the CPMC Foundation, Mapp led a team that raised more than $300 million and helped build a portfolio of assets and endowments.
A rendering of ADCO’s proposed tower at 1481 Post Street.
By FRAN MORELAND JOHNS
It may be a sleek luxury high-rise condominium bringing new life to Cathedral Hill. Or it may be a code-violating, too-tall tower adding traffic, wind, noise, parking and shadow nightmares — and opening the door for more spot zoning across the city.
New York developer ADCO Group’s plan to build a 36-story residential tower at 1481 Post Street is drawing mounting concern and opposition from nearby residents. The project is expected to come before the Planning Commission in late September.
The building would replace an above-ground parking structure, fitness center and tennis courts that adjoin Cathedral Hill Plaza apartments at Post and Gough, which ADCO also owns and plans to remodel. The new tower would rise to 416 feet, requiring an exception to the 240-foot height limit the city planning code sets for the site.
In this view from Vallejo and Scott Streets, circa 1893, Frank Pixley’s estate occupied the entire forested block bounded by Green, Steiner, Union and Fillmore Streets.
LOCAL HISTORY | SANDY STADTFELD
More than 120 years after Frank Pixley — California pioneer, businessman, former state Attorney General and longtime editor and publisher of The Argonaut — enabled the construction of a church on his family’s property at Union and Steiner Streets, it remains the vibrant home of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
Yet Pixley was an unlikely benefactor. Openly hostile toward churches and churchmen of any denomination,he described himself as “an agnostic with a touch of atheism.”
After studying law in his home state of New York and practicing briefly in Michigan, Pixley came to California in 1849 in pursuit of gold. Learning quickly there were easier and more prestigious occupations than placer mining, Pixley entered legal practice and civic life in San Francisco. In 1853, he married Amelia van Reynegom, daughter of a merchant sea captain with extensive property in Marin County in what would become Corte Madera. Gaining stature as an attorney and politician, Pixley was elected California’s Attorney General in 1861 and later served as a regent of the University of California.
Pixley inherited land just east of San Francisco’s Presidio and was among the earliest gentrifiers of Cow Hollow, until then a bucolic enclave of laundries, vegetable gardens, breweries, tanneries and dairy farms. The Pixleys built their estate on the block bounded by Union, Steiner, Green and Fillmore Streets. The entire block was a forested compound, the gracious Pixley mansion screened from the outside world in a central grove.
Mural at St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church at 1286 Fillmore Street
BOOKS | FLORIANA PETERSEN
For the last few years, Miles, my beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback, and I would walk through the neighborhood every morning. Down to Fillmore, up to Broadway, over to Lyon, back to Sacramento. I would point things out to him. I am a designer, by trade and by nature, and I am finely tuned to detail: the font in a logo, the frame on a window, the way a painting is lighted, the clasp on a woman’s handbag.
I would remark at the details as we walked along. Sometimes Miles would look disdainful, as though to say, “Why are you so fascinated by that?” And so we would go on. He held to his mysteries; I held to mine. Then one day he died. He was 14.
It was Miles who first got me thinking about the nature of interesting places in the city. Our journeys led me to start a blog about art, architecture and unusual places in the Bay Area, which led to my new book, 111 Places in San Francisco You Must Not Miss, one of a series of 111 Places books published by the German publisher Emons Verlag.
THE DOCENT PROGRAM at St. Dominic’s Church at Steiner and Bush is sponsoring “The Grand Tour: An Overview of Church Art & Architecture” on Saturday, August 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Docents will lead visitors on a tour of treasures in wood, stone and stained glass inside and outside the church. The event — a “drop in and stay for as little or as much as you like” tour — is free and open to the public. For more information, call 415-517-5572, or email email@example.com.
Mime Troupe Meadow in the renovated Lafayette Park honors the historic occasion.
By GARY KAMIYA
San Francisco Chronicle
Fifty years ago this weekend, police prevented the San Francisco Mime Troupe from performing a play in Lafayette Park, arresting the company’s founder as 1,000 people jeered. The dramatic encounter expanded the frontiers of artistic freedom in San Francisco and indirectly launched the career of legendary rock promoter Bill Graham.
Photograph of Corinne Nagata, owner of Nagata Dance in Japantown, by Erik Anderson
By JULIA IRWIN
“I taught my very first dance class half a block away, at the Japanese Community Center, when I was still in college,” says Corinne Nagata, owner of Nagata Dance, a second-floor studio in Japantown with a bird’s eye view of the Peace Plaza pagoda. “And my grandfather had a frame shop about five blocks away on Fillmore Street. He’s 103 now — incredibly witty and somebody who’s influenced me a lot. He was actually my landlord’s Boy Scout leader.”
Nagata, a San Francisco native, says she “went away to New York and did all the dance stuff there,” including stints at Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theatre, the National Dance Institute and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
“But I came back here because it’s my hometown and my family is here. It’s nice to be back in this neighborhood again,” she says. “I also came back to make my home a better place and I think the way I can do that is by teaching dance — and not just teaching it, but sharing it with more people.”
The showplace club and restaurant that once housed Yoshi’s now sits empty.
IT HAS NOW cost more than $18 million in city funds to build the Fillmore Heritage Center and keep it afloat.
There is no new tenant in sight for the huge empty spaces formerly occupied by Yoshi’s jazz club and restaurant. The garage is losing $10,000 a month now that the building has few visitors. The Lush Life gallery also sits empty and has no potential new tenants. The restaurant 1300 on Fillmore continues to operate, but its future is in doubt.
These are some of the details that have finally begun to emerge about exactly what is happening with the project opened in 2007 to revitalize the stretch of Fillmore Street south of Geary once known as the Harlem of the West. Public hearings on July 13 and July 27 brought out scores of restive neighbors, and a thick “informational memorandum” laid out the sad financial facts, complete with spreadsheets, term sheets, notices of default and lease terminations attached.
Margie Conard (left) and Dana Tommasino are opening Gardenias at 1963 Sutter Street.
FIRST PERSON | DANA TOMMASINO
A new restaurant. In San Francisco. Which should give fat pause.
The first day we’re officially in the place, I’m out on the street assessing our storefront. A smiling kid I don’t know, maybe 15, from Winfred’s, the longstanding hair salon next door, walks up quickly and asks: “You the new owners?” and, without losing stride, wide-arm hugs me congratulations.
* * *
My girlfriend Margie Conard and I had been looking for a space for years, then finally lost the lease to our restaurant, Woodward’s Garden, which was a funky diner under a freeway in the Mission when we bought it. There was no changing it for kids like us, just starting out and planning at the time to conjure a French-inspired dinner bistro. We rolled paint on and made do for 22 years.
The new space is by far the best thing we’ve ever come across. We name it Gardenias, swooping a little bit of our past Garden into our future.
Inevitably, every friend who first walks into the new space begins to beam and says hushed, reverently, how perfect it all seems: location, size, back patio, kitchen, feel. I glow with it all, too; know what they mean. Know in my bones this is right. And part of me hopes to hell it’s all true.
Construction began on the space that was to house Brenda’s Original Po’ Boys, then stalled.
AFTER THREE YEARS of waiting, Cajun food restaurateur Brenda Buenviaje has lost her appetite to open a Southern style Original Po’ Boys sandwich shop on lower Fillmore.
The chef-owner of the widely praised Brenda’s French Soul Food on Polk Street — and the newer Brenda’s Meat & Three on Divisidero — says she has tossed in the towel on a Fillmore outpost after delays dragged on and on. She declined to discuss the specifics of the deal, but acknowledged it was dead.
She was negotiating to combine the two storefronts at 1406 and 1408 Fillmore two blocks south of Geary that were previously occupied by Domino’s Pizza and the Espress Yourself coffee shop.
New Orleans-born Buenviaje envisioned a counter-service shop with a menu offering 20 different versions of her own po’ boy recipes. The menu she was planning included traditional fried catfish, oyster, shrimp and calamari po’ boys.
Last fall, when she opened Brenda’s Meat & Three at 919 Divisadero, she said the Fillmore project was still on, but described it as moving at a “snail’s pace.” Some of her po’ boys are now on the menu of her Divisidero Street restaurant.
1300 on Fillmore restaurant on October 25 celebrated its eighth anniversary in its heritage lounge, surrounded by historic photos from the glory days when the neighborhood was known as the Harlem of the West and jazz was jumping on the street.
But the main question on many minds was when owners Monetta White and David Lawrence will open their long-promised Black Bark BBQ joint across the street at 1325 Fillmore. The answer: this month, before Thanksgiving.
A GREEN LIGHT
FOR BLUE BOTTLE
The city Planning Commission on October 15 gave its approval to ambitious plans by Blue Bottle Coffee to combine the two spaces at Fillmore & Jackson — formerly occupied by Tully’s Coffee and Juicy News — into a single space serving Blue Bottle and pastries from Tartine Bakery, which Blue Bottle now owns. Work is underway.
THE LATEST FASHIONS
COMING TO FILLMORE
Now that the modernists at Zinc Details have completed the consolidation of their furniture emporium in the expansive space at 1633 Fillmore, expect more fashion in their first home at 1905 Fillmore.
Amour Vert will pop up again in the space temporarily — the brand’s third time popping up on Fillmore — while a new Japanese fashion line gets its permits in order.
At 2047 Fillmore, the longtime
home of Vitamin Express, look for Frye Boots to open a new shop offering both its signature footwear and a line of clothing for men and women.
GAP'S NEW LINE
Among the other fashion stores with eyes on Fillmore is Intermix, a group of 42 boutiques acquired by Gap Inc. in 2012.
Intermix describes itself as “a multi-brand women’s fashion retailer” that favors locations on neighborhood streets — such as 2223 Fillmore, now the home of Brooks Brothers’ Black Fleece, which Intermix hopes to replace next year.
A few doors north at 2237 Fillmore, the women’s boutique Limu has closed and will be succeeded by Paige Denim.
Paige is a high-flying brand already available in stores across the country now beginning to open its own shops. Fillmore will be the seventh.
COMING OUR WAY
If it’s not fashion, it’s cosmetics. A new company, Space NK, plans to bring its curated selection of beauty and wellness products from around the world to 2000 Fillmore, currently home of Paolo Shoes.
PAINT 'N' SIP
The Planning Commission has given the go-ahead to Pinot’s Palette, which bills itself as “America’s fastest-growing franchise,” at 1981 Sutter, formerly a deli and grocery.
At its 130 existing or planned locations around the country, customers come together for an evening to create a painting while they drink wine.
WISE SONS BAGELS
Construction is nearly complete on the new Wise Sons Bagel bakery and cafe at 1520 Fillmore, and some baking has already begun. Don’t expect bagels and cafe service until after Thanksgiving.
The bakery that will produce up to 5,000 bagels daily, plus other Jewish delicacies. There will also be a 12-seat retail shop.
The offerings inside the shop on the corner of Fillmore and Sacramento have been suddenly downsized and upscaled, the Marc by Marc Jacobs nameplate outside quietly replaced by lettering that says only Marc Jacobs.
The higher-end Marc Jacobs boutique on Maiden Lane, near Union Square, has been closed and incorporated into the Fillmore shop.
SIGNS 10-YEAR LEASE
The father-daughter team who own Fillmore Bakeshop at Fillmore & Bush have signed a new 10-year lease.
Elena and Doug Basegio have developed a loyal local following in the five years since they took over Patisserie Delanghe. At first it looked like a 90 percent rent hike might force them out. They’re still facing a big increase, but hoping to make it work. Those fruit pies are safe.
AT THE AMELIA
In the same block of setback storefronts underneath the Amelia condos, there are now two vacancies. First Barry for Pets closed after 40 years on Fillmore at the end of April. Now the fashion shop A City Obsession has called it quits barely a year after arriving.
NOW IT’S THE
What has most recently been the Hotel Tomo at 1800 Sutter in Japantown — sold last year to Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants — has been remodeled and rechristened the Kimpton Buchanan.
A NEW INCARNATION
AT OCTAVIA & BUSH
An elegant new dining option has arrived in the neighborhood, with Octavia opening at the corner of Octavia and Bush, previously home of Baker & Banker, Quince, Meetinghouse and others.
Under chef-owner Melissa Perello — much lauded for her cooking at Frances in the Castro — the dining room is lighter and more minimal and the menu simplified and seasonal. Octavia is open for dinner, except on Monday, and a private dining room is coming in the former downstairs bakery.
Juicy News, the newstand at 2453 Fillmore for the past 23 years, is settling into its new home down the hill at 2181 Union Street, just a few doors east of Fillmore.
"It's an eight minute walk and five blocks away from our old location," says owner Mo Salimi.
Its new digs were once the home of the legendary Minerva's Owl bookstore. "This shop had massive history," says Salimi. "So good vibes and heritage all around."
PAINT STORE MOVES
TO THE FILLMORE
Lower Fillmore has a useful new business: a paint store. G&R Paint Co. — the highly regarded purveyor of Benjamin Moore and other paint at 1238 Sutter — has moved to 1491 Webster, in the Safeway parking lot.
The store is part of the locally owned Creative Paint company, which has four paint stores and two hardware stores, including Brownie’s on Polk Street.