Meanwhile, Next door at 728

At the same time, 1964 – 1965 there was another studio in the other of the two Belli Build­ings that was pouring out a lot of creativity.

The second floor, front, of 728 Mont­gomery Street was the work­space for Charles Felix, Dan Romano, Roy Gover and Sven Lindman.

Charles Felix
I knew that Charles was from the UK, but I have read, more recently, that Charles Felix was from Bath, in Somerset, South West England. In the early 1960s he was in public rela­tions and on his was to Hong Kong. He stopped here to explore the San Fran­cisco Bay Area and this became his home.

In 1964 he was in the Belli Building and word was that he was pursuing the rights to build an English pub on the pris­tine and protected site of Muir Beach, Marin County. The author­i­ties of the area were afraid that he was to create an “eyesore”. Charles had to battle long and hard to get approval and create the authentic 7‑room road­house that stands there today. His creative talent was his vision and ability to find a very old pub in the UK that was to be demol­ished. Charles had it totally disas­sem­bled, put in containers and shipped to San Fran­cisco. He also found a 70-year-old San Rafael hotel that was to be razed and he salvaged all of the antique beams and much of other wood. The Pelican Inn opened in 1978.

Dan Romano
Dan Romano painted the sign for the Pelican Inn.
I saw the orig­inal painting in the dining room of the Romano house on Christmas night in 2012.
Dan Romano’s art was seldom in color. He was a master of pen and ink line work. If color was needed, he would convert his black line art to a film posi­tive and then paint color on the illus­tra­tion board attached behind the film-pos. Dan’s style was in great demand in publi­ca­tions before the halftone process was perfected for news­paper ads and edito­rial art. In those days, Norm Nicholson was teaching at San Francisco’s Academy of Art. Norm said that he showed Dan Romano’s fine lines and cross­hatch style to his students so that they could aspire to such clean and very precise work. Norm: “Dan was a beau­tiful designer in all his work. He certainly inspired me! What talent came out of S.F. in those days. Espe­cially the black and white art.”

A lot of the SF artists social­ized in the city, but Dan worked steadily at his drawing board through the day and then was home with his wife, Riva. They had had their home in Marin County designed and built by Joseph Esherick. The Romanos enjoyed a long-time friend­ship with Stan and Frances Galli who also lived in the same area.
Here, first, is line art for a winery (the names of client, agency, art director are unavail­able). Scanned directly from Dan’s art, I could find no correc­tions on the 12” x 6” illustration.

Another orig­inal is this line and full color illus­tra­tion of a truck. The exam­ples that follow have been found at small size in ADASF 19636465 Annuals where the halftone has blurred the clarity of the “Romano” line.

Roy Gover
Roy Gover came to San Fran­cisco from London by way of Toronto. He had worked in London and he had a strong commer­cial art back­ground before arriving in the SF Bay Area.

Bob Bausch wrote recently, “Roy Gover and Sven Lindman were both good friends of mine, who I met when we all worked at “Patterson and Hall” (an art studio estab­lished in 1921 that promoted many artists new to San Francisco).

Roy had the valu­able drawing talent to provide layouts (comps or compre­hen­sives) for San Fran­cisco adver­tising agen­cies such as Bonfield Asso­ciates. Because the agen­cies held his work, I never saw that side of his talent — but in 728 Mont­gomery St., between assign­ments, he was always painting. I have one of his paint­ings from that time. Later, he had shows at the SFMOMA and many fine galleries. Roy was “theatrical” and his creative talents were also presented in his record­ings and humorous illustrations.

Sven Lindman
Sven Lindman was born in Hults­fred, Sweden and went to design school in Stock­holm. He and his class­mate, Lars Melander, were chosen by visiting “scouts” from Hall­mark Cards to come to the states and share their talents with designers at Hall­mark in Kansas City.

He stayed at Hall­mark for a few years and then moved on to San Fran­cisco where he worked at Patterson and Hall and did some free­lancing at 728 Mont­gomery Street.

After five years there, he moved to New York City where he again free-lanced and later joined Sudler & Hennessey, Div. of Y&R as an art director. In 1985, he went on to Klemtner Adver­tising where he became Creative Director until his retire­ment in 2001.

Sven and his wife, Jean Davidson spent some time in Hawaii and then settled perma­nently in Menlo Park, CA.

Although the collec­tion of his art is much larger, I am showing his work from the publi­ca­tions of the 1965 and 1966 ADASF Annual Exhi­bi­tions of Adver­tising and Edito­rial Arts and also the Sven’s promo folder when he was at the Patterson and Hall.