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Chapter Six— Building a Civilization without Homes

1. Calhoun, A Social History of the Family , 3:75. [BACK]

2. "English Photographs by an American," Harper's New Monthly Magazine 37 (July 1868): 253-257, quotation on 256. [BACK]

3. The comments on San Francisco hotel ownership draw from a sample of 40 properties taken at random from the much larger samples of the 1910 and 1930 city directories. Jim Buckley traced the ownership from the present back to 1896 and where possible, correlated all owners with listings in the city directories. [BACK]

4. "Landlord of Skid Row: Cheap Beds Net $2,000,000 Estate," San Francisco Chronicle , February 27, 1941, and city directories. From 1889 to 1904, Rolkin lived and managed the prefire Reno House at 631 Sacramento; by the end of his life, Rolkin was partial or full owner of several apartment buildings, a steam laundry, the Winchester, Irwin, Argonaut, Seneca, Denver, and Colton hotels, together with the new Reno Hotel (375 rooms) and the Central Hotel (440 rooms). Not all of Rolkin's holdings were of the lodging house sort; for instance, the Argonaut, of 250 rooms, was a midpriced hotel that advertised continue

for travelers and families. The eventual nonhotel home for the Rolkins was at 1275 Stanyon, southeast of Golden Gate Park. After Rolkin's death, his wife, still the holder of an immense amount of real estate, lived in the South Peninsula suburb of Milbrae until her death in 1953. [BACK]

5. In the 1917 city directory, the Marty brothers advertised a list of their holdings; in 1920, they also bought 662 Clay (128 rooms) and held it in the family until 1953; it is likely that they owned additional properties. In 1917, Jules and Louis Marty lived a few blocks from each other near the intersection of Army and Mission streets. [BACK]

6. The Portland was at 611 Howard Street, between Second and Third, under the site of the present-day Moscone Convention Center. The Delta, at 41 Sixth Street near Market Street, is shown in chap. 4. The Sierra House, 558 Broadway, is shown in chap. 1. [BACK]

7. See also Hoch and Slayton, New Homeless and Old , 17-18. [BACK]

8. From real estate prices advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle (April 2, 1923); the rooming house was near the Civic Center, the Edwardian flats near Dolores and Army streets in the Noe Valley district. [BACK]

9. The Victoria, 598 Bush at Stockton, more recently named the Hotel Juliana, has 142 rooms. Pettigrew and Callahan also shared a house in Pacific Heights. [BACK]

10. The Beck family held the Colonial Hotel until 1958. The Hotel York was at 1499 California at Larkin. On Brandenstein, see Ruth Bransten [Brandenstein] McDougall, Under Mannie's Hat (San Francisco: Hesperian Press, 1964): 13-25. Among Brandenstein's earlier holdings had been Sarah Pettigrew's portion of the lot for the Hotel Victoria. [BACK]

11. In 1909, the second owner, a Mrs. Morris, also managed the Somerton Hotel at 440 Geary. [BACK]

12. C. H. and Made D. Barber owned and managed the Hotel Bellevue, Taylor at Geary, from 1923 until 1946. [BACK]

13. Siefkin, The City at the End of the Rainbow , 44-45. [BACK]

14. Smith's sister, Mrs. C. C. Rawak, talked Smith into beginning his remarkable hotel career. He first leased the Biltmore and Cornell hotels and opened the Mark Hopkins on December 4, 1926. "He Built the Mark: San Francisco Hotelman George Smith Dies," San Francisco Chronicle (September 25, 1965). In addition to print sources on Smith, I am indebted to an interview with Mr. Smith's son, Hart Smith, in San Francisco on January 27, 1988. [BACK]

15. Smith (1889-1965), California Historical Society, biography collection; see also Basil Woon, San Francisco and the Golden Empire (New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1935): 88. [BACK]

16. On recruiting good managers, see Williamson, The American Hotel , 50, 94-95, 245. The San Francisco case is Herbert's Bachelor Hotel and German Grill, at 151-161 Powell Street, near O'Farrell; the 108 rooms had 66 private bathrooms and 11 shared toilet rooms; for the prices quoted, see the San Fran - soft

cisco Examiner (January 10, 1909) and the San Francisco Chronicle (January 9, 1909). [BACK]

17. "Our Family Hotels," 12. [BACK]

18. A popular reference they might have consulted is Richard M. Hurd, The Principles of City Land Values , 3d ed. (New York: The Record and Guide, 1924; first published in 1903). Popular period hotel management guides included Boomer, Hotel Management , and Hamilton, Promoting New Hotels . Investment and management magazines ranged from national journals such as Hotel Management and Hotel Review to The Pacific Coast Hotel Weekly and Western Hotel Reporter . [BACK]

19. On bar receipts, see Williamson, The American Hotel , 143; on store rentals, see Hamilton, Promoting New Hotels , 147. [BACK]

20. Hamilton, Promoting New Hotels , 2 (see also 32, 38). See also Hayner, Hotel Life , 62-63; and Monroe Adams, "The SRO Elderly from the Perspective of a Hotel Owner," in SL, The Invisible Elderly , 15. [BACK]

21. On sociability of managers, see Williamson, The American Hotel , 50, 94-95, 245; and Sala, America Revisited , 142, 405. On managers and strikes, see Tygiel, "Workingmen in San Francisco," 324. On the continuing importance of post-World War II managers for low-income residents, see CSS, "Life in One Room"; Shapiro, "Reciprocal Dependence"; and Adams, "The SRO Elderly from the Perspective of a Hotel Owner," 15. [BACK]

22. Hayner, Hotel Life , 32, 35, 38, 62-63; Williamson, The American Hotel , 115. [BACK]

23. Charles Hoch, planner, interview in Chicago, May 28, 1987. [BACK]

24. "Our Family Hotels," 12. [BACK]

25. Wolfe, Lodging House Problem , 52-80; Hayner, Hotel Life , 36. [BACK]

26. Wolfe, Lodging House Problem , 20-21, 58-66. The "honest" broker's quotation is from the 1915 directory listing for the Irwin Keeler Hotel Brokerage Company in San Francisco. Keeler was the city's primary hotel broker and also the publisher of the Pacific Coast Hotel Weekly ; before the 1915 exposition, four other hotel brokers briefly opened offices. For glimpses of middle-income women running boardinghouses, see "The Experiences of a Boarding House Keeper," and Krag, "How I Made a Boarding House Successful." On the similar ownership and leasing of rooming houses and light housekeeping rooms in San Francisco's Western Addition during the 1940s, see SFHACC, Third Report (1941): 12. [BACK]

27. I borrow language and approach here from Sherry H. Olson, "Baltimore Imitates the Spider," Annals of the Association of American Geographers 69 (1979): 557-574. On the graph of San Francisco hotel listings, hotels from two city neighborhoods are partly missing. Comparing the 1910 and 1930 directory listings with recent inventories of Chinatown hotel addresses reveals that only one in seven Chinatown hotels were listed in 1910; by 1930, only half of the hotels in Chinatown were listed in the directory. Seamen's hotels on the continue

waterfront also seem underrepresented in the directory before 1910. Judging from Sanborn Map records, the building booms in these districts did coincide strongly with the general city economy. [BACK]

28. William Issel and Robert W. Cherny, San Francisco 1865-1932: Politics, Power, and Urban Development (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1986); Tygiel, "Workingmen in San Francisco," 297. On the 1870s migration to San Francisco and the proportion of manufacturing employees, see Shumsky, "Tar Flat and Nob Hill," 53. [BACK]

29. Groth, "Forbidden Housing," 236-327; Olmstead and Olmstead et al., The Yerba Buena Center . Nancy Stoltz, "Disaster and Displacement: The Effects of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire on the Land Use Patterns in San Francisco's South of Market" (Master's thesis, UC Berkeley, 1983). On general political and physical processes of rebuilding after great fires, see Christine Meisner Rosen, The Limits to Power: Great Fires and the Process of City Growth in America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986). [BACK]

30. Groth, "Forbidden Housing," 244-283. [BACK]

31. Statler is quoted in Boomer, Hotel Management , 49. War surges are also discussed in Hamilton, Promoting New Hotels , 32, 133-136; and Anderson, The Hobo , 260-261. [BACK]

32. The last major construction of commercial rooming houses and cheap lodging houses seems to have occurred in 1915, based on Groth, "Forbidden Housing," 331-a to 331-x. [BACK]

33. For 1919, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the U.S ., vol. 9 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1923): 132-137; for 1921, California Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nineteenth Biennial Report, 1919-1920 , 231; for 1925, the U.S. Census of California Manufactures , quoted in California Bureau of Labor Statistics, Twenty-Third Biennial Report, 1927-1928 . On the relocation of jobs, see David Nelson, Managers and Workers: Origins of the New Factory System in the United States, 1880-1920 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1975). [BACK]

34. Stylistic innovation and engineering marvels dominate the design literature about hotels; see Condit, "Hotels and Apartments." On the long American tradition of emphasizing size of hotels above all else, see Trollope, North America , 485; and Lewis, Work of Art , 148. [BACK]

35. San Francisco's Baldwin Hotel (completed in 1877, burned in 1898) had two electric passenger elevators and another one for calling cards. The George A. Fuller Company in Chicago and F. W. Nicolls were prominent hotel design firms cognizant of the latest technology. See Condit, "Hotels and Apartments," 101, 150-151, 159; and Hamilton, Promoting New Hotels , 13. [BACK]

36. In the 1920s, one of Baltimore's first new prestige skyscrapers was the 14-story Southern Hotel; Sherry Olson, Baltimore: The Building of an American City (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1980): 173, 244, 314. On civic pride and hotel skyscraper competition, Boorstin, "Palaces of the Public," 134-147. [BACK]

37. Pfleuger was the 1930s society architect in San Francisco. He designed several landmark structures and often used the famous New York delineator Hugh Ferris to advertise his buildings as thoroughly stylish. Daniel Gregory, "Why Don't You Make It Undulate? The Story of Designing the City Club—An Interview with Michael Goodman," oral history interview for the San Francisco Museum of Folk and Craft, San Francisco, June 6, 1988; also, an interview with Daniel Gregory in San Francisco, September 20, 1988. [BACK]

38. Hamilton, Promoting New Hotels , 1-3, 41, 112, 131-136; E. M. Statler, "The Race for the Guest," Nation's Business (June 1928). [BACK]

39. On the filtering of grand New York City hotels, see Sala, "American Hotels and American Food," 345-356; Williamson, The American Hotel , 36-37. For more detailed examples in Chicago, see Zorbaugh, Gold Coast and Slum , 26-27, 35-37; Hayner, "The Hotel," 44-45, 87. [BACK]

40. The block was bounded by Folsom, Harrison, Third, and Fourth streets; the three hotels giving up hotel services were the Clay, the Southern, and the Delmar. Olmstead and Olmstead et al., The Yerba Buena Center , 251. [BACK]

41. For a description of the process as seen by building owners, see Wolfe, Lodging House Problem , 72-80. [BACK]

42. In 1870, one floor of San Francisco's elite Lick House was temporarily converted to offices. Judging from tax records, San Francisco's Grand Central opened as a hotel, served as offices in World War I, and then after the war became a hotel again. Two other notable New York hotels closed due to Prohibition at about the same time as the Manhattan: the Knickerbocker (built in 1906), and the Holland House (built in 1892); farther south along Broadway, below Times Square, several hotels were converted to needle trades in the 1890s. In Louisville, owners converted the rebuilt Galt House (built in 1868) to a warehouse in 1919; Toledo's large Oliver Hotel (built in 1859) met the same fate. See Williamson, The American Hotel , 94, 260-262, 270-271, 286-287; Hurd, Principles of City Land Values , 107; and Groth, "Forbidden Housing," 116-117, 461-462. [BACK]

43. For succinct summaries of this process, see Michael P. Conzen, "The Morphology of Nineteenth-Century Cities in the United States," in Woodrow Borah, J. Hardoy, and G. Stelter, Urbanization in the Americas: The Background in Comparative Perspective (Ottawa: National Museum of Man, 1980): 119-141; James E. Vance, Jr., "Land Assignment in the Precapitalist, Capitalist, and Postcapitalist City," Economic Geography 47 (1971): 101-120; and Weiss, The Rise of the Community Builders . On individuals and collective results, see also Borchert, Alley Life in Washington , 23, and Sam Bass Warner, Jr., The Private City (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968): 4. [BACK]

44. For cheaper hotels, the proportion in former houses appears to be lower because informal boarding and lodging arrangements were not listed in the street directory. For excruciating detail on these rates of specialization and the continue

various building types they represent, see Groth, "Forbidden Housing," 236-287, 331ff-331hh. [BACK]

45. This figure includes both complete rooms and cubicles; the capacity of wards or flophouses cannot be computed from San Francisco records; Groth, "Forbidden Housing," 331-332. [BACK]

46. The details of San Francisco's building codes are outlined in chap. 8, below. Without the coercion of city officials, palace and midpriced hotels usually offered above-code building standards. [BACK]

47. Compare the Lexington or New Michigan Hotel, 1892, and the Plaza Hotel, 1892, in Condit, "Hotels and Apartments," 153. [BACK]

48. The physical development of the Alamo Square area of the Western Addition is exquisitely described in Moudon, Built for Change , 127, 135-138, 169-170. On land values, see SFHACC, Third Report (1941): 12; San Francisco Planning Commission, "Redevelopment of Blighted Areas," 28. Racial changes from U.S. decennial census, 1940 and 1950. [BACK]

49. Tygiel, "Workingmen in San Francisco," 249, 254-255, 398. On the late 1920s, see Margaret Goddard King, "The Growth of San Francisco, Illustrated by Shifts in the Density of Population" (M.A. thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 1928): 49. [BACK]

50. Lewis, Babbitt , 89. [BACK]

51. "S.F. Hotelman George Smith Dies: He Built the Mark," San Francisco Chronicle (September 25, 1965): 10; Woon, San Francisco and the Golden Empire , 87-88; and city directory listings. Smith had sold his interest in the Fairmont in 1941. [BACK]

52. "Landlord of Skid Row," and city directory listings. Rolkin gave the candy money in trust to the city health department and also left money to Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic orphanages. He and his wife did not have any children. [BACK]

53. On the contrast of suburb and downtown, salient titles are David Ward, Cities and Immigrants: A Geography of Change in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971): 127; and Tygiel, "Workingmen in San Francisco," 265-269, 397-398. [BACK]

54. Zorbaugh, Gold Coast and Slum , 46-68. [BACK]

55. Lester Burnett, in commentary printed with the State Tenement House Act and State Hotel and Lodging House Act of California (Sacramento: State Printing Office, 1917). Emphasis added. [BACK]

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