23 April 2014

Lost City: San Francisco Edition: A Good Sign: Marquard's Little Cigar Store

"A Good Sign" hardly seems to do justice to the former Marquard's on O'Farrell and Powell Streets in downtown San Francisco. How about "A Really Good Sign," or "A Great Freaking Sign!"?

Marquard's Little Cigar Store certainly didn't have a little sign. The sprawling signage—more of a marquee/awning/canopy than a sign, really—embraces the entire corner. Sadly, the sign is all that remains of Marquard's; there a rinky-dink hat shop in that corner space now. The building was erected in 1907. The cigar shop and newsstand (note the neon New York Times sign) went out of business in 2005, but the City happily declared the sign a landmark worth preserving.

1 comment:

didobyrnes said...

SF has so many "good signs." I'm a native NYer but spent 14 years out there and was constantly amazed and delighted by beautiful signage from the past. I spent most of my time in the Mission district so I distinctly remember the signs there but really there were/are great signs all over the city.
Some of the ones I remember from the Mission: St Francis Soda Fountain, the Bubble Club (neon bubbles undulating, gone), the Latin American Club( with it's horse shoe), 17 Reason's Why (great thrift store) and Doc's Clock.
I am a big fan of film noir so I would feel like I had stepped back in time when I saw those signs or visited the then virtually untouched bars and other establishments they promoted.
I wish NYC could have saved more of its great signs/establishments from the 40's/50's as well, for it, too, was once another great film noir city.