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Making the MissionPlanning and Ethnicity in San Francisco$
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Ocean Howell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226141398

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226290287.001.0001

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The Mission and the Spatial Imagination

The Mission and the Spatial Imagination

Discourse, Ethnicity, and Architecture

(p.83) Four The Mission and the Spatial Imagination
Making the Mission

Ocean Howell

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the cultural dimensions of how Mission groups attained neighborhood-based power during the long Progressive Era. The chapter analyzes the discursive strategy in which neighborhood leaders pitted the Mission against “downtown,” a loose collection of business groups including the Chamber of Commerce. It also analyzes the architectural strategies that were employed by the Mission Promotion Association (MPA) and the Mission Merchants, as well as those employed by the local unions, and demonstrates how a politics of ethnicity inflected all of this cultural work. The unions opted for neoclassical architecture in order to communicate Anglo respectability. Mobilizing a heritage politics, the MPA and the merchants opted for a romantic Mission style architecture in order to signal its status as the city's oldest neighborhood, one that deserved special consideration in planning debates.

Keywords:   ethnicity, labor unions, Asiatic Exclusion movement, Chinese laundries, neoclassical architecture, mission style architecture, Mission Dolores, downtown San Francisco, Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco armory

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