Local History

One vacant block in SF’s Mission reaches back into another era

Two grey buildings on 23rd Street loom like tombstones across the bright green lawn of Parque Ninos Unidos. The two buildings, which share three addresses between them—3067, 3069 and 3071—are noticeable for their state of disrepair. The rooms are empty, the upstairs windows shattered and exteriors are a motley pastiche of white and grey. Hastily applied patches of paint cover...

Tonight: Launch party for book celebrating stories and murals of the Mission

In a burst of color and poetry, a new book of photography and writing called The Mission will enter the literary scene at the Grand Theater tonight. The Mission‘s focus is on the community murals the neighborhood is known for, photographed by Richard Evans, but also delves deeper than their artistic surfaces. With poetry and musings from important artistic and literary figures in...

Starting Friday, peep into the Mission’s past

Our friends at the Mission Media Arts Archive collective will be featuring This Was Then, a compilation of three short films featuring the Mission in the 1970s and 1980s at the Peephole Cinema in Orange Alley near 26th Street.  The shorts will show 24-hours a day from Friday through May 18. The films include a youth council strike, a day in Dolores Park...

Elixir Bar: A Deep Fount of Mission History

When you grab a drink at Elixir on 16th and Guerrero streets, you might not know you’re inside the city’s second-oldest saloon, running since 1858. On Saturday, boozehound historians of the E Clampus Vitus association will reveal a historic plaque at Elixir denoting its venerated status. Mission Local talked with owner H. Joseph Ehrmann, the 11th (or perhaps 12th, given...

HISTORY: 17 Reasons Remembered

“When I came to San Francisco, I saw that fantastic sign…with no explanation but it was enough for me,” wrote Glen Mehn in a 2002 letter to the city protesting the removal of the icon. “I knew where I wanted to live…in the Mission, close to that sign.” Read the Full Story HERE.

The Sound of the Mission’s History Returns Remixed

Think you know the Mission and its history? You might discover something new at the Brava Center for Theater and the Arts when El Son de la Misión re-opens for a two-night on Friday, Nov. 11. The show is a musical and theatrical exploration and expression of the history of the Mission, with a particular focus on activism through the...

Busting the Myths of California’s Missions

The historical “myths” of the Spanish missions in California were heavily critiqued at a presentation on Thursday evening, as the organizer Lisa Ruth Elliot from Shaping SF framed the evening as a way to “open the conversations that are not happening” around the histories of Native Americans in California. A crowd of about 50 people at the Eric Quezada Center...

At 45, Women’s Building Shows No Signs of Slowing

With 45 years of advancing feminism under its belt, the Women’s Building has more work ahead, but owning its own building has given it a stability that will allow it to continue. “It‘s an anchor of our community, it’s a village tree,” said Erin Sink, a member of the board of directors, who emphasized the organization’s support for nonprofits in...

The Great Earthquake’s Marks on the Mission Are Still There – If You Know Where to Look

Picture this: It’s 5 a.m., 110 years ago. San Francisco wakes up to 45 seconds of shifting earth: (Sound by the Mission Bicycle Earthquake Tour) The 1906 earthquake left its mark, and though the Mission did not fare as badly as many other parts of town, signs of the quake still dot the neighborhood. I recently rode along on a tour...

SF’s Randall Museum Mourns Death of Two Ravens

The largest birdcage at the Randall museum held just two birds as of last week: a yellow-billed magpie with a broken wing, and another bird, a smallish crow, that hopped nervously from the dried eucalyptus branch at the top of the cage to the floor and back again. Both birds seemed bereft, and the cage felt empty of avian life. Usually...

Marian’s Clothing: A History

You have seen the signs outside Marian’s for months. “Store closing!” they blare to passerby on Mission Street, now through the bars of a sliding gate. Once a vibrant clothing store, Marian’s has closed – but not without leaving behind a rich history. Andrew Thompson, nursed the store along on its deathbed after 63 years in business. He and his...

One SF Mission Block: What Was, What Is

When I step foot onto the block of Mission between 21st and 22nd streets, I feel a sense of home, because I see many of the places I would frequent during the first 15 years of my life – from 1980 to 1995. Back then, my grandmother Graciela Gonzalez, managed Panamericana Travel Systems, a business owned by a family friend....

Housing + Artists: SF Resident Talks Mission History

Looking back on decades-long struggles for housing, long-time Mission resident Tony Levine has been through the neighborhood’s earlier existential crises. We’re walking and talking on a Tuesday morning because Levine is interested in a wedge of a block Mission Local chronicled for Good Morning Mission, an inexplicably residential block of 11 homes at the end of 22nd Street and surrounded by the...

Long Term SF Resident Talks About Gentrification

In my search for long-time Mission residents, I didn’t have to go far. John Nuno, who was born in North Beach in 1943 and moved to the Mission in 1955, has lived behind my house on York Street my entire life. (I’m 25.) He lived temporarily on 18th Street, between Mission & Valencia, but by the age of 25 he...

The Changing Mission Has Been Changing for Decades

John, a who has been reading our coverage about the changes in the Mission wrote in and offered some perspective.   He also sent a photo of his two aunts in front of the American Can Company and when I asked for others he might have, he sent them on.  I’m a lifelong resident of the City, into my eighth decade...