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49/55 S. First St. - The Phelan Building.
Photograph taken from First St. with beginning of El Dorado St. to the right.
James D. Phelan was once Mayor of San Francisco, and later a United States Senator. In addition to The Phelan Building, he built The Victory Theater and the Sainte Claire Club. He was a literary man who put his money where his mouth was, establishing the James D. Phelan Award in 1935 for budding scriveners.
James was born in 1861. His father had made a fortune in banking and real estate during the gold rush frenzy; James would be able to pursue the life of a gentleman philanthropist. By all accounts he was an admirable man.
He shrewdly never married.
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