Miracle Mile, 1954 Style
Look what Mission dweller @fredsharples discovered under his floorboards! A page from a 1954 San Francisco Chronicle:
And a proper, flat scan:
For those new to Mission history, the Miracle Mile was the second biggest shopping and entertainment district after downtown as we can see via the SFPL:
While the Miracle Mile lives on above That’s It sign, the suburban flight of the 1960s changed the neighborhood dramatically, from Irish/Italian to Mexican/Central American. Drastic changes were planned for the Mission in the 1960s, including Embarcadero-style redevelopment and highway running down Capp St. Thankfully we dodged those bullets.
The ad is complete with a list of stores which were pretty easy to cross reference with the 1954 city directory, which happens to have a list of street addresses in numerical order. In the interest of history, I pulled out the relevant business listings and glommed them together. I also pulled them out as text with links to street view for future searchability. Note that the current store listing is purely Googled, so let me know in the comments if it has changed or if I got it totally wrong.
|16th – 20th St (2200 – 2300 block)|
|Senge’s Clothing||2232 Mission||next door to Mission Chinese, was Big John’s?|
|Waxman Furniture||2243 Mission||New Starlight Furniture|
|Gossard’s Lingerie||2312 Mission||Shama coffee shop / religious book store?|
|Wally’s Appliances||2345 Mission||Farah Smoke Shop|
|Siegel’s Clothing (for Dad and Lad)||2366 Mission||still Siegels!|
|20th – 21st St (2400 block)|
|Globe Shop||2490 Mission||Mission Optometry|
|The Majestic Department Store||2474 Mission||torn down? now Los Portales Medical & Dental Center|
|Juvenile Shope||2484 Mission||Dentist office|
Things get interesting around 21st, so I pulled out a bunch of consecutive entries and underlined the ones in the ad. This is the block with the New Mission and Crown Theaters.
|21st – 22nd St (2500 block)|
|Byron’s Shoes||2526 Mission||Laszlo|
|Sherman Clay & Co music instruments||2539 Mission||Evergreen Market|
|Knit Kraft Sportswear||2544 Mission||boarded up but cool looking buildings between Oasis Vision and New Mission Theater, was “Latin Jewelers”|
|Kay Jewelers||2548 Mission||closed, was Miz Brown’s Feed Bag which shut down in 2004, see Carl Nolte SFGate article|
|Hale’s Mission Store||2558 Mission||Giant Value (which once was Value Giant!) The good Herr Doktor has more.|
|Crown Gift Sho||2591 Mission||Swiss Jewelers|
See also: See’s Candies at 2534 Mission, which is now Foreign Cinema!!
New Mission Market was there:
(Mmmm, I’m hungry for some Supreme Ravioli.)
In fact, you just can see it on the right hand side of this 1957 SFPL photo:
I do love that awesome chicken icon and that font:
More detail and some historical tidbits on the 2500 block in their 2005 Business Improvement Plan.
From 22nd St southward, lots of interesting details, so I broke out the second half of the 2600 block.
|22nd – 23rd (2600 block) and 24th – 25th (2800)|
|A.G. Land “The Economizer”||2601 Mission||US Bank building|
|National Dollar Store ($1 in 1954 is worth $8 today)||2610 Mission||Anna’s Linens|
|Crescent Jewelers||2622 Mission||Banco Agricole|
|Scott’s Liquors||2623 Mission||Ashley’s Collection|
|Grayson’s, Inc.||2630 Mission||split into Big House and New Mission City|
|Gensler-Lee Jewelery||2644 Mission||Foxy Lady Boutique|
|Kay’s Ladies Wear||2656 Mission||Payless Shoes|
|Steinberg Shoes||2650 Mission||Arik’s|
|Willoh’s Dept Store||2801 Mission||McDonald’s, though you can see the old building in this shot and in Sanborn. Was there until at least 1971.|
Hey, the Lucky Pork Store was indeed there since 1949!
Um, OK, I guess they liked pork stores back in the day:
And the Mission Masonic Temple is still there, jammed up next door to the Walgreens.
I’m kind of surprised by how many telephone exchange names there were, much more than just MI-Mission (64x-) and VA-Valencia (82x-). I also see UN-Underhill (86x-), HE-Hemlock (43x-) and AT-Atwater (28x-).
A few more interesting addresses I came across in the 1954 directory:
Bruno’s and Big Beef must have been mortal enemies:
Hey, look, some bars! (Wonder if Anchor had anything to do with Anchor Brewing?) Anyway, neither are bars now.
Hey look, a surf bar! I wonder what that could be today? And 2779 Mission sounds really familiar, and is making me hungry for some mysterious reason. What could it be? It’s almost as if it will change to another bar in the 60s, and then start serving burritos a few decades later.
I’ve seen a few Ken’s Flowers signs still around. And this is one of the few Mexican restaurants I saw:
By 1954, the railway through the Mission had been shut down for over a decade, and the property largely sold off. With Railroad Grocery and Fruit, we see some historical naming for a property next to the old Southern Pacific line:
Hmm, I wonder what the 2832 Mission, “under construction,” will become? Ah, it looks to be the current site of today’s Rosamunde! Sausage on the tracks!
OK, definitely hungry now. Comment away!