GPA Holiday Party, Pritikin-Style

GPA president Michael Rice addresses the crowd. Photo by Ashley Hathaway

by Ashley Hathaway

On Sunday December 11th the Glen Park Association held its first-ever holiday event at the Pritikin Museum, the home of Mr. Bob Pritikin. The mansion is also known as “Chenery House.”

After several weeks of planning and coordination, the party-of-all-neighborhood-parties was a huge success.  An invitation was sent to all current Glen Park Association members and their families, and also  posted on the GPA blog.  The response was overwhelming.

Pritikin built his Glen Park mansion as his residence  in 1981. It is the largest estate in the city of San Francisco and was used for a period as a rental event center.  Pritikin was notorious for throwing eccentric parties at the house, including political fundraisers, an annual Labor Day party for 850 people and a yearly Passover Seder.

Sup. Scott Wiener at the GPA holiday party. Photo by Ashley Hathaway

Raised in Chicago Illinois, Pritikin attended college at UCLA and soon after graduating became a high-ranking executive at Young & Rubicam.  He later formed an ad agency called Pritikin & Gibbons. He also  taught classes at San Francisco State University.

The mansion/museum is filled with an eclectic collection of San Francisco cultural artifacts, including fine art, contemporary art, various memorabilia (including one of Herb Caen’s typewriters) and many items of U.S. and world history.

The house boasts a second-story indoor swimming pool and features several floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows which once graced a Geary Street church.  Tables filled with finger-food were just inches from the pool’s edge. It  was only by luck  that not a single guest slipped into the chilly chlorinated water!

Party guests enjoyed discovering the many treasures throughout the house, and took good advantage of the open bar hosted by Pritikin.

Pritikin spoke about his house and collection, and his support for the neighborhood, then introduced GPA President Michael Rice.

The band, Cradle Duende. Photo by Michael Rice

Rice welcomed the guests and Pritikin was thanked with a round of applause before being presented with a honorary GPA membership certificate and GPA coffee mug.

One of the more noteworthy party guests was Supervisor Scott Wiener, who followed Michael with gracious comments about the effectiveness of the Glen Park Association and future improvements slated for many areas of the neighborhood.

A festive party with generous refreshments and good neighborly conversation would not be complete without music.  Live music was provided by “Cradle Duende,” a local Glen Park band that regularly presents ”A Call to Localize” performances at the Glen Park Station.  Guests raved about their unique and beautiful sound. The band was recently featured in the Glen Park News.

Bob and Barry Krasner of Arlington St. Photo by Michael Rice

There was a good discussion about the work the GPA does for our neighborhood at the event and new members thronged the sign-up table. Donations were also collected for the San Francisco Food Bank and Glen Park’s three local public elementary schools: Sunnyside, Glen Park and Fairmont.

Bartender and "Bob" the Mannequin.. Photo by Michael Rice

The next Glen Park Associatin neighborhood meeting is scheduled for 7pm on Thursday January 19, 2012 at St. John School on Chenery Street.  GPA membership is $10 per year and sign up will be available at the January meeting.

1 Comment

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One response to “GPA Holiday Party, Pritikin-Style

  1. Mic Ames

    On behalf of everyone who attended Sunday’s holiday party, I’d like to thank the event coordinators and volunteers who contributed behind the scenes: Ashley Hathaway, Nicolas Dewar, Michael Rice, Sally Ross, Tanya Treis, Dan Lanir, John Walmsley and of course our generous host, Robert Pritikin.

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