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Miraloma Park Improvement Club Records
SFH 478  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Related Material
  • Separated Material
  • Processing Information
  • Conservation Note
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Miraloma Park Improvement Club Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1926-2020,
    Identifier/Call Number: SFH 478
    Creator: Miraloma Park Improvement Club. (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Physical Description: 7 boxes (7 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    Abstract: Contains the organization's articles of incorporation and by-laws, minutes, correspondence, subject files and newsletters.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored on site.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.


    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items. Photographs can be photographed but cannot be photocopied.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Miraloma Park Improvement Club Records (SFH 478), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.


    Donated to the San Francisco City Archives from the Miraloma Park Improvement Club on Nov. 3, 2017. Newsletters continue to be added to the collection.

    Related Material

    See also the typescript, "Miraloma Park, a Suburb Within a City," Rosalie Kuwatch, 1984; and the untitled typescript by Jean Kortum, 1992. Both are found in the San Francisco Ephemera Collection, in the Districts--Miraloma Park folder. See also "The Changing Face of Mt. Davidson," Mary Duenwald and Greg Gaar, Pacific, April 1980.

    Separated Material

    Photographs have been transferred to the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection. Photos can be photographed but cannot be photocopied.
    The most recent (last two years) of Miraloma Life are in the San Francisco History Center's Periodicals collection.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Tami J. Suzuki.

    Conservation Note

    During processing, the collection was re-housed in acid-free boxes and folders.

    Organizational History

    Miraloma Park Improvement Club had its first meeting of residents on Aug. 22, 1930. MPIC's purpose is "to promote the individual and collective interests [of all Miraloma Park residents]." The Garden Club* was started at the same time. By July 1946, the combined clubs had a membership of 1000. Club president, C.A. Fountain, wrote in 1944: "Miraloma Park believes wholeheartedly in the master plan and that San Francisco will be an outstanding, energetic city worthy of its illustrious children." Since its inception, the organization has vigorously pursued benefits and the retention of neighborhood character. *The Garden Club was dissolved in May of 1992.
    An early project was getting public transportation service. Then-Mayor Angelo Rossi piloted the first city bus on July 23, 1939, from Forest Hill Station to Evelyn Way and Portola Drive. The club successfully petitioned for a school; temporary wooden structures opened in 1940. In 1952, a new elementary school opened, with 400 students. Residents contributed by building playground equipment.
    The association has continuously published the monthly Miraloma Life newsletter since 1951. In 1980, MPIC prevented a proposed 7-11 store from being built. Significantly, the group wrote the neighborhood's Residential Design Guidelines which were adopted by the City in 1999.
    The land was originally part of Jose de Jesus Noe's 4443-acre land grant, Rancho San Miguel. The rancho was bought by Pioche, Bayerque & Co. and Levi Parsons. Some of the land was sold to the French Benevolent Society in 1876, and Adolph Sutro purchased 1365 acres in 1880. This included Blue Mountain, which Sutro renamed Mt. Davidson in honor of the hill's surveyor, George Davidson. Sutro immediately planted Eucalyptus trees. In 1911 realtors Baldwin & Howell's newly organized Residential Development Corp bought 724 acres of San Miguel. Meyer Brothers bought the east slope of Mt. Davidson in 1925, when San Francisco's new zone plan and developer-designed racial restrictions were in force. These restrictions, which excluded non-Whites from ownership, were declared unenforceable under the Civil Rights Act of April 1968, but remained in the county records. In 1970 the U.S. Attorney General declared recording of these restrictions illegal.
    The quiet neighborhood was built southwest of Twin Peaks, after the opening of the Twin Peaks Tunnel in 1917. Built on the north, east and south slopes of Mt. Davidson, Miraloma Park has a southeastern view. The first section was built near Portola Drive beginning in the 1930s, following logging of Sutro's forests and subsequent development of other areas of the Sutro estate includinsg Westwood Park, Westwood Highlands and St. Francis Wood. Miraloma Park construction progressed downhill through the 1950s. The developer, Meyer Brothers, referred to it as a "controlled-development subdivision." Early homes were Mediterranean style with Spanish tile roofs. Later homes had straight lines with shingle roofs. A total of 2400 single-family homes, most with deep backyards, were completed. Curving streets followed the hill's contour in the style of the City Beautiful movement. A 38-acre public park crests Mt. Davidson, the highest point in San Francisco. A 103-foot-high cross, stop the hill, is visible from most of San Francisco.
    The clubhouse on Del Vale Avenue was donated by the developer and dedicated Nov. 10, 1940, upon the development's halfway mark. Since 1979, the clubhouse has been rented to Miraloma Park residents as well as non-profit organizations. The neighborhood has maintained high owner-occupied housing and low crime.

    Scope and Contents

    Contains the club's incorporation papers and by-laws, meeting minutes, and committee and subject files, newsletters and a few photographs. Early items dealt with a temporary school and later permanent structure, clubhouse, neighborhood census, police service, bus service, and the city-wide tree planting campaign (in 1939.) Later topics include beautification of the clubhouse landscaping, graffiti, and the garden tour. More recent subjects include clubhouse repairs, the proposed CVS store design, and the "D" grade received by Miraloma Park by the SF Park Alliance Playground (in 2012). Subjects also include Sunnyside Playground development, the Garden Club, Beautification Committee, Streets and Transportation Committee, speeding on Teresita Boulevard, traffic signals, residential zoning, residential design, open space, and airplane noise, multiple dwelling units and apartment houses. Drafts of the Residential Design Guidelines for Miraloma Park, written by the club and approved by the City in 1999, are in the collection.


    Organized into three series: 1. Legal Files; 2. Board and Membership Files; and 3. Miraloma Life Newsletter. Board and Membership Files series is organized into four subseries: Subseries 2A: Minutes; Subseries 2B: Membership Files; Subseries 2C: Correspondence; and Subseries 2D: Committee and Subject Files. Within series and subseries, arranged chronologically.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Miraloma Park (San Francisco, Calif.) -- History.
    Neighborhoods-California-San Francisco.
    Miraloma Park Improvement Club. (San Francisco, Calif.) -- Archives.