2020 National Planning Conference

Tenderloin Neon: A to Z

Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 12:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. PDT

CM | 2.50

Cost: $

Activity Type: Offsite Tours and Programming

Activity ID: NPC190045

Location: Depart from Moscone West - Mobile Workshop Departure Area

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  • Hear about the features of historic neon signs and their importance in distinct urban narratives.
  • Discover the Tenderloin's unique contributions to the history of San Francisco, the LGBTQ rights movement, and affordable housing while learning to identify specific neon signs that represent these contributions.
  • Learn about efforts by individuals, organizations, property owners, city agencies, and other stakeholders in the preservation and restoration of significant historic neon signs.


In this walking tour, learn about the unique character of the Tenderloin community and why it has been called the most misunderstood neighborhood in the city. The workshop explains the contributions of neon signs to the Tenderloin's history, introduces concepts of neon design and fabrication, and showcases efforts by business owners, historians, neon enthusiasts, and city agencies to ensure these works of art are not lost. Get a chance to appreciate the signs and experience the culture of the Tenderloin firsthand.

Session Speakers

Al Barna
San Francisco Neon/Historic Network
San Fransico

Jim Rizzo
Neon Works

Shelley Gruendler
Type Camp
San Francisco

Katie Conry
Tenderloin Museum
San Francisco

Randall Ann Homan
San Francisco Neon
San Francisco, CA

Darcy B. Bender
City and County of San Francisco, Office of Economic and Workforce Development
San Francisco, CA