“He drove it relentlessly,” says Jim Chappell, of SPUR.
Within six months, SPUR produced a plan for the area, working with a committee of 40. “The idea of rezoning the Central Waterfront originated with Jim San Jule, who supplied the big idea, seismic maps, ownership lists, large-scale photographs, etc.,” SPUR acknowledged in its report.
Chappell remembers San Jule “passionate, pounding the table, hollering. ‘I don’t have that much time,’ he would say. ‘I’m getting older. We’ve got to get this done.’”
The city later adopted what Chappell says is a less ambitious vision of SPUR’s plan for the neighborhood.
San Jule remained active till the end. He died of pneumonia in 2003, just shy of 90.
Photos: Ernie Braun, Stephanie Raffel; and courtesy San Francisco History Center (S.F. Public Library), National Archives, San Jule family