History 1, NIMBY 0
A grand debate is brewing over at Bernalwood over a classic Coca-Cola mural and NIMBYs who shall remain nameless. The NIMBY has complained to the city that the (to me) obviously classic mural is an “unauthorized billboard”.
think the whole thing is ridiculous won’t pass judgement, we will present historical documentary evidence on the possible provenance of the mural at 601 Tompkins.
Per Bernalwood, “If some evidence can be produced that the sign was in place prior to 1965 (when the City’s operative sign ordinances went into effect), the matter may be resolved pleasantly.”
First, Sanborn Maps. The 1950 Sanborn map series clearly shows 601 Tompkins marked with an S for “store”, not a D (dwelling) or F (flat/apartment).
Next, SF City directories. The 1963 Polk Directory for San Francisco shows a Tipton’s Grocey at 601 Thomkins (owned by a Inez Tipton).
EB seems to be listed as both Emim and Edward. If so, he was listed as a caterer in the 1943 directory at 828 Church St @ 20th (pre-Inez). The first reference I can find of E.B. is the 1934 directory where he’s listed as painter at 1121 Guerrero @23rd. In 1936 he was at 975 Capp @25th. (The Mission is strong in these two.)
The Tiptons lived next to their shop at 617 Tompkins and then moved to 629 at the corner of Prentice in the mid 1950s. Inez is shown with the store and Emin is listed as a contractor.
The last reference to Emin is 1959 — Inez is listed as a widow in the 1961 directory.
Tipton’s Grocery is last listed as a distinct address in the 1967 directory. While it’s still included with Inez’s personal listing for a few more years, I think that’s more a database update than anything — in 1972 she’s listed as retired. (She was still in the 1982 directory, the last I have access to.)
(My, late 1960s, what horrible fonts you have.)
As for the date of the mural — I kind of doubt Inez laid out cash for a new mural two years before she retired. The style certainly seems 1950s to me, which is supported by their ownership of the store.
Also, since Emin was a painter / contractor, he very well could have painted the sign himself, but that would have been before 1960.
Feel free to comment.