Fazekas Revisited: Renovations and Rare Sightings

By Amy O’Hair

Anton Fazekas, sculptor, metal-worker, and San Francisco entrepreneur, created unique lighted house number units that can be found on a great many Bay Area houses.

Read the background on this midcentury sculptor and entrepreneur here. Since the follow-up post, I’ve happened upon these are other examples around San Francisco. If you have an image to share, write me.

A Slimline Fazekas that has been kept in excellent condition. Tocoloma Ave.
A Slimline Fazekas that has been kept in excellent condition. Tocoloma Ave.
A very unusual Fazekas specimen, with Deco-style triangles, an odd star figure at the top, cut-out stencil-style digits, and presumably back-lighting (so no hood). Silliman Street,
A very unusual Fazekas specimen, with Deco-style triangles, an odd star figure at the top, cut-out stencil-style digits, and presumably back-lighting (so no hood). Silliman Street,

This double unit includes the rare word 'TO' with a period to separate it from the twenty-one. Guerrero Street.
This double unit includes the rare word ‘TO’ (and not a more conventional dash) — with a period to separate it from the twenty-one. Guerrero Street.
The light in this nice Slimline unit looks like an original style incandescent, with its warm glow. 14th Avenue.
The light in this nice Slimline unit looks like an original style incandescent, with its warm glow. 14th Avenue.
Keeping the light on. Warmth and tone suggest an incandescent bulb. Molimo Drive.
Keeping the light on. Warmth and tone suggest an incandescent bulb. Molimo Drive.
The hexagonal bosses and hood on this Classic unit on Tingley Street have been accented with contrasting paint.
The hexagonal bosses and hood on this Classic unit on Tingley Street have been effectively accented with contrasting paint.

A careful repainting job on this Slimline unit on Precita Avenue, to match the house trim.
A careful repainting job on this Slimline unit on Precita Avenue, to match the house trim.

Another example of number tiles and spacers that have aged terribly; the black enamel has failed completely, assuming it was black. And perhaps the worker had only half-spacers--note set of three on top. Hood and three bulbs missing. Castro St.
An example of number tiles and spacers that have aged terribly; the black enamel has failed completely, assuming it was black. And perhaps the worker had only half-spacers–note set of three on top. Hood and three bulbs missing. Castro St.
Intentional obscuring? Either that or a serious failure in the quality of these number tiles. 23rd St.

A rogue’s gallery of number tiles that were poorly made and have not aged well.

Triple Deco-style units, doubled up. The spacers have not aged as well as the numbers, another indicator of the uneven quality control. Vicksburg Street.
Bingo! Triple Deco-style units, doubled up. The spacers have not aged as well as the numbers, another indicator of the uneven quality control. Vicksburg Street.
One of the unlighted Deco models that had cut-out style number tiles. The story I'll invent to fit this oddity is that the original six was lost, the remaining original eight made into a spaced, and two hardware-store offerings placed in the gaps. Jersey Street.
One of the unlighted Deco models that had cut-out style number tiles. The story I’ll invent to fit this oddity is that the original six was lost, the remaining original eight made into a spaced, and two hardware-store offerings placed in the gaps. Jersey Street.
The Rising Sun mail slot by Fazekas, with its features picked out in different colors of paint. Connecticut Street.
The Rising Sun mail slot by Fazekas, with its features picked out in different colors of paint. Connecticut Street.

All photos by Amy O’Hair (except where noted).

If you haven’t already, please read the original post about Anton Fazekas and his little invention: The little sculpture affixed to your house: Anton Fazekas and the making of a midcentury San Francisco sensation. The follow-up post Fazekas: Redux offers a wealth of additional photo examples.

.

2 thoughts on “Fazekas Revisited: Renovations and Rare Sightings”

  1. I am so happy to have discovered (finally) the Sunnyside History Project. The article on Anton Fazekas and his ubiquitous house numbers was truly a revelation. Thanks for all you do!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.