3/25/2013 01:00:00 PM

Save the Pied Piper Petition Aims to Reinstate the Palace Hotel's Historic Painting

Maxwell Parish's Pied Piper painting no longer hangs behind the bar
Just as Thomas Keller pointed out last week, San Francisco has a problem holding on to its iconic bars and restaurants. Now it looks like another vestige of the old San Francisco dining scene has disappeared. Owners of the Palace Hotel have removed the historic Maxfield Parrish painting "The Pied Piper" that has been hanging behind its namesake bar since 1909 with the intention of selling it at an forthcoming Christie auction of important American paintings. The 16-foot-long mural was one of only two Maxfield Parrish barroom artworks in the country, and the only one to remain in its original location. Its counterpart, “The Old King Cole,” remains on display at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City.

San Francisco Grubstreet reports that the hotel says, "It is no longer practical for the hotel to display, an original work of this value and cultural significance, in a public area." Balderdash, decry angry citizens and members of the San Francisco Architectural Heritage organization who claim the painting is "an enduring symbol of San Francisco’s identity for over a century" and have started a petition to stop the sale from going through. The whole affair reminds us of the futile attempt to stop the renovation/decimation of the historic Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel. As of this morning, the petition had over 700 out of 1000 signatures needed. Check out the petition here.

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