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The historic Cadillac Hotel was the first non-profit “Single-Residence Occupancy” (SRO) hotel West of the Mississippi.
It provides supportive housing for approximately 160 tenants and is an official San Francisco landmark. Built the year
after the 1906 earthquake, the Cadillac was home to wealthy visitors in the first part of the 20th century. The hotel
even had its own furrier.
It was briefly owned in the 1960s
by GAP founder Don Fisher who removed some of its historic detail. In 1977, the Cadillac was bought by the non-profit
Reality House West, led by Leroy and Kathy Looper. Together, The Loopers remained actively involved in the day-to-day
operations of the hotel until Mr. Looper's death in September, 2011. Kathy Looper remains executive director of the
hotel's Board of Directors and oversees the welfare of the tenants. For over four decades the Cadillac has provided
affordable housing and support services for thousands of low-income single adults who would otherwise have no place to go.
The original Grand Ballroom was
leased for many years by Newman’s Gym, a legendary training facility for boxers. Muhammad Ali, George Foreman,
and Mayor Willie Brown have worked out there. When its owner, Don Stewart passed away in 1995, the Loopers leased the space
to a federal Head Start program (administered by SF State University) which promotes school readiness and provides health
and social services for children up to three years old. This is in keeping with the Looper's efforts over many years,
to maintain the residential character of the Tenderloin. There is not enough space here to describe the Looper’s
life of giving. Leroy Looper, a gentle giant and innovator, was known as “The Father of the Tenderloin."
He and his wife, Kathy, have dedicated their lives to letting people who are down on their luck — know that someone
cares about them. Since 1907, the Cadillac Hotel has been known as "The House of Welcome."
In Loving Memory of
Leroy Looper 1924-2011
below to see
How to Perform Hands-Only CPR.
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Concerts at the Cadillac
Concerts at the Cadillac started up again this past June with the Jeffrey Chin Trio. In July, we had the Renegade
Orchestra; in August, the Dave Casini Latin Jazz Quartet; and December, The Jeffrey Chin Trio. The first three concerts
were sponsored by the Tenderloin Museum
through a grant from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
. We are grateful to both organizations for helping us resume this series of free monthly concerts for residents of
the Tenderloin. We started the concert series in September, 2007, and continued without interruption until March, 2020,
when the pandemic forced us to stop. After two years of inactivity, we have begun again to bring great music to the
historic Cadillac Hotel. Monthly free concerts are booked for the entire year of 2023. CLICK HERE
to see the schedule.
Opened July 16, 2015
CLICK HERE TO PLAY VIDEO.
The Tenderloin Museum opened Thursday, July 16, 2015, in the Cadillac Hotel at the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth Streets
(398 Eddy St). ABC Channel 7 (San Francisco) did a piece on the TL Museum with host, Randy Shaw, on the evening news,
March 20, 2015. Click on the link above to see the video.(Length — 2:48) Click here to visit the Tenderloin Museum website
|CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE VIDEO.
Appreciated at Cadillac
Robert and Richard Mathena were brothers who lived at the Cadillac Hotel beginning in 1966. They were recognized
on Dec. 6, 2013, with certificates of appreciation presented by Kathy Looper, executive director of the hotel. The Mathena
brothers lived at the Cadillac Hotel longer than any tenant in the history of the hotel. They have now passed on, but
will always be remembered fondly. CLICK HERE
, or on the photo above to see a short video clip of the presentation. (2:43) The Cadillac was built in 1907, and is
official Historic San Francisco Landmark No. 176.
Looper Recognized in BVHP
|Kathy Looper, BVHP Community Star
Kathy Looper is not only the Executive Director of Reality House West (owner of the historic Cadillac Hotel), but also
a community star, social entrepeneur and volunteer in her San Francisco neighborhood — Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP).
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE
in the BVHP website, "On Point". [You may also click on the photo of Kathy above.]
Leroy Looper in NEN Hall of Fame
|CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE.
|L/R: Esan Looper, Malik Looper, Kathy Looper at NEN Awards.
On the evening of Wednesday, November 16, 2011, Leroy Looper was inducted into the NEN Hall of Fame
at a special event in the Rotunda of San Francisco's City Hall. The NEN Awards are produced
in partnership by the Neighborhood Empowerment Network
and the Community Challenge Grant Program
. These annual awards are dedicated
to elevating and celebrating the tremendous work that residents and organizations do every day to make San Francisco a great
place to live. Mr. Looper is this year's only inductee into the Hall of Fame. CLICK HERE
to go to the NEN website.
Hotel Celebrates 100 Years
|Kathy and Leroy Looper at The Cadillac's Centennial Celebration, 2007
On September 19, 2007, the Cadillac Hotel celebrated its 100th
birthday. Among those on-hand to help commemorate the Centennial Celebration were dignitaries Mayor Gavin Newsom, Supervisors
Aaron Peskin and Tom Ammiano, and Dan Bernal representing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Leroy and Kathy Looper
who bought the Cadillac in 1977 through their non-profit "Reality House West", reflected on the changes to the Cadillac
and the Tenderloin during the last 30 years.
Kathy and Leroy's sons Malik, Esan and Camlo
also took part in the Centennial program. Brad Paul, long-time affordable housing advocate and former Cadillac tenant,
presented a slide show on the history of the Cadillac. Many of the current tenants of the Cadillac attended alongside
the dignitaries and other friends of the Cadillac.
The Patricia Walkup Memorial Piano was formally
dedicated as well as a new glass sculpture by Mary Lynn Devereux-Bowman which is on permanent display in the lobby.
|Mural of The Loopers that once hung outside the Page Hotel at 161 Leavenworth.
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Bob Roden Quintet
Mark Rossi, piano
Jamie Dowd, bass
Ron Jackson, alto & tenor sax
Friday, Mar. 8, 2024
pm — FREE
(Masks Recommended )
about Leroy Looper
|CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE VIDEO.
Esan Looper, son of Leroy Looper, spoke about his father on Octoberr 17, 2022, at La Cocina Municipal Marketplace on
Hyde Street, San Francisco. The theme was "Black in the Tenderloin" — and was sponsored by Del Seymour
and Code Tenderloin. Esan explained why Leroy Looper is remembered as "Father of the Tenderloin".
PLAYS AT CADILLAC HOTEL
|CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE CONCERT VIDEO.
The SFJAZZ Monday Night Band
played a Concert
at the Cadillac
on Saturday, April 18, 2015. The 24-piece jazz band, complete with harp and vibraphone, played
a varied program of swing, funk, jazz standards, pop and alternative pieces. SFJAZZ, founded by Randall Kline in 1983
under the name Jazz in the City
, has become the world’s leading cultural institution
devoted to jazz and related forms of music. The band is directed by acclaimed Bay Area musician, composer and bandleader Adam
Theis. We were thrilled to have them perform at the historic Cadillac Hotel. If you have not yet visited the new
36,000 square foot SFJAZZ Center at Franklin and Fell streets, plan on going soon. Visit SFJAZZ on the web: www.sfjazz.org
|Leroy Looper, Father of the Tenderloin
|CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE VIDEO.
Bay Area News
Story on Cadillac
Joe Rosato, Jr. of NBC Bay Area News produced a story on the Cadillac Hotel on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. The story
aired on that evening's broadcast. It had been two years since Leroy Looper, Father of the Tenderloin, passed away (9/11/11).
The story paid tribute to Mr. Looper and his bringing the Concerts at the Cadillac to the lobby of the hotel. The free
monthly concert series started six years ago when a restored 1884 Steinway concert grand piano was donated to the Cadillac
Hotel. The high-quality concerts are dedicated to the power of music to uplift and inspire. CLICK HERE
, or on the photo of Mr. Looper above to see the NBC Video. (2:04)
|Susaye Greene, the last Supreme. Click on photo to see video.
The Last Supreme
Susaye Greene, former member of The Supremes, performed at the historic Cadillac
Hotel on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, with The Jeffrey Chin Trio (Jeffrey Chin, piano / Ron
Belcher, bass / Marc Lee, drums). Ms. Greene, earlier in her career, performed with Ray Charles as a "Raylette"
and with Stevie Wonder.
Patricia Walkup Memorial Piano
The Patricia Walkup Memorial Piano is at home in the lobby
of the Cadillac Hotel — and is one of the great pianos in the City. A fully-restored 1884 Steinway Model D Concert
Grand Piano, it was donated to the hotel in memory of Patricia Walkup, a San Francisco activist and former volunteer at the
Cadillac. The lustre of the Indian Rosewood case is a work of art. The old-growth spruce soundboard is the piano's
original. The instrument is meticulously maintained on a regular basis.
The Cadillac Hotel
is an unlikely place for this magificent instrument. But then that is the whole idea. Music has the power to transform
and uplift people — no matter what their station in life.
You may download a brochure (4-page
pdf, 264 KB) about the piano by clicking on the blue text below.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PIANO BROCHURE.
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