With Discolandia going out of business after more than 38 years, many Mission residents are wondering what will become of the music store’s beloved sign.
“I was alarmed when I saw the place up for lease after so many years,” said Linda Lagunas, a Mission resident of 15 years. “A lot of people have a soft spot in their hearts for that sign, myself included.”
Lagunas fears the sign will suffer the same fate as the famed 17 Reasons sign that sat atop Thrift Town on 17th and Mission streets before it was replaced by a billboard.
A post on Mission Mission that sparked a discussion about Discolandia’s closing prompted Lagunas to take action. She’s written to the Historic Preservation Commission expressing her concern and asking what can be done to protect the sign.
But the best way to go about preserving the sign is to contact the Neighborhood Planning teams at the San Francisco Planning Department, according to an employee at Architectural Resources Group, a San Francisco-based private firm that specializes in historic preservation.
“Use words like ‘concerned citizens,’” said the employee, who asked to remain anonymous. “Organize a petition drive.”
“Give an example, like the 17 Reasons sign. Many people in the Planning Department agree it was a mistake to tear it down. Explain that the Discolandia sign is a similar visual landmark.”
If the building that houses Discolandia were itself to become historic, it would be easier to retain the sign, the employee said.
Nonetheless,the sign can still be considered a historic resource, according to the employee, who cited the Doggie Diner heads as an example. If it was, building owners would have to preserve it even if the site use changed completely.
“I’d like for the landlord to know what a huge presence the sign has in the neighborhood, and how much affection people have for it,” said Lagunas. “Hopefully, this will influence him to keep it.”
Lagunas said the sign has significance not just because it has “an amazing font and great design,” but because it represents a Mission that is disappearing — one where people actually bought records from stores like Discolandia, and where 24th Street “was practical for the blue collar community.”
Losing the sign would be a huge blow to the Mission, she said.