The Tip Post

Chapter 8: A slyce off ye olde tip

Though he never apparently signed the hotel register, it is well-established (via his wife’s extensive journals) that another exalted guest of the Tip in its heyday was the Union general turned whiskey enthusiast who followed Lincoln into the White House, Ulysses Simpson Grant. A dedicated heterosexual, Grant nonetheless was constantly on the lookout in his wide travels for what his openly bitter wife called a “saucy” atmosphere. And he fell in love with the Tip. Indeed, the very day he departed the White House, President U.S. Grant headed straight for DC’s Union Station and decamped, without further ado (and without bitter wife), for San Francisco, where he purchased a modest Victorian home on California Street from which he could sally forth nightly to the “pickle circus” on the waterfront.

When Grant died — of cirrhosis — his son Adam hosted a three-day wake on the top floor of the Tip. But that was not the end of the tribute.

Where his father had turned into a bankrupt lush, Adam Grant had turned into an audacious young businessman and construction mogul, as skilled at leading men into complicated building projects as his father was leading them into battle. As San Francisco stretched vertically and Adam’s business prospered mightily, the builder made plans to raise a grand edifice to house his own expanding enterprises at 114 San Somme Street, on the corner of Bush. In fact, construction was almost complete when Grant received a tip from a city hall insider that the Tip had been formally (if surreptitiously) slated for destruction, posthaste. Without pause, he assembled his team and developed a brilliantly mad plan, a plan more than worthy of the son of the architect of the victory of Bull Run.

At two in the morning, a crew of 75, with vast mule teams, sleds, wagons, pullies, saws, awls, horse-drawn cranes and torches, made their way east on Bush to the Embarcadero. Within 90 minutes they had erected a complex scaffolding around the building. Within three-and-a-half hours, they had completely sliced the top off the Tip. With great guile and greater courage, they then strained to slide the one-story fragment off the rest of the five-story structure and onto two massive wagons, lashed together with nautical rope and drawn by 40 mules, whereupon, creaking like a massive schooner at sea, they returned with their booty to San Somme by dawn. As the City awakened for a new business day, crowds of men in bowler hats, workmen in canvas pants and ladies in long hoop-skirts carrying parasols gathered in the middle of the street to stare up in awe at what Adam Grant had wrought.

Above the 14th floor of the almost completed U.S. Grant Building was nothing less than the top of the Tip, and 75 burly men bolting it in place.

“This,” Adam announced to the astonished reporters crowding around him 14 stories below,

“is for Dad.”

Previous · Chapter 7
The origynal Original Ray’s

Next · Chapter 9
Hail the great erector

Work + News

This way to health insurance

Today marks the launch of our first campaign for Covered California as part of a five-year, $400-million effort to help all Californians get the health insurance they need.

female presenting person wearing teal shirt and white e.l.f. branded face mask, holding orange pumpkin while sitting inside pop-up vehicle with purple sparkly wall behind her with the words

e.l.f. 2020 Halloween activation

Duncan Channon’s LA team kept the halloween spirit alive by bringing a spooky holiday pop-up straight to beauty influencers’ homes.

Female identified person with short-cropped brown hair, holding a baby to her chest. DC and Covered California Logos overlay the image on left and right, respectively.

Covered CA on Adweek’s cover

DC is thrilled to announce that we were awarded the five-year, $400-million Covered CA account. We are resolute in helping at this crucial time when more Californians need coverage than ever.

“They can’t take your ballot”

At a time of unprecedented voter suppression, the mission of Vote From Home 2020 is more essential than ever. Our new “Suppress This” campaign helps them get ballots into the hands of disenfranchised voters of color. You can help, too.

CBS x Alfred Coffee · Emmy Awards

DCLA partnered CBS Studios with Alfred Coffee to reach Emmy voters and garner support for Star Trek: Picard. The timely work tapped into the diversity and inclusion central to Gene Roddenberry’s original vision.

Beautyscape influencers launch e.l.f. collection

It’s a beautiful day at DCLA with the launch of the e.l.f. Cosmetics Retro Paradise collection — the new collection from e.l.f.’s Beautyscape winners Alissa Holmes, Diana Curmei, Elicia Aragon, Jessa Green and Valeria Loren.

Two female presenting teens are at a table in a school library. One female with dark curly hair is sitting down with her back to the frame. The other is standing over the table with SweeTarts gummies in both hands and smiling.

SweeTARTS' Be Both is back

After the sweet success of last year’s 'Be Both' launch, SweeTARTS is doubling down on the campaign to Gen Z with brand new work in market now — and more to come in 2021.

Nicotine equals brain poison. Two images in a grid. Image to the left is the campaign example featuring two male presenting teens with their heads down smoking a vape pen with a copy overlay that reads Nicotine equals brain poison. The right image is the gold Clio award on a black background.

Nicotine = Brain Poison = Clio

Our work for CTCP has awakened parents to the teen vaping epidemic and won a slew of awards in the process (not nearly as important, but nice). The latest is that most venerable of ad accolades: the Clio.

Female presenting influencer posing for the camera in a sleek white blazer and leather black pants. She is confident and raises her hand to perfect her long brown hair that is styled in a middle part and she's wearing make-up that accentuates her strong features. She's in front of a mirror with a table with SGX NYC products.

SGX NYC · #hairgoals

SGX NYC wanted to increase awareness around winning two Allure Best of Beauty Awards and reinforce the brand’s positioning with cost-conscious consumers looking for premium products. We hit the bullseye with three well-known #hairgoals influencers.

Birds eye view over a male presenting young adult on the fire escape playing a guitar. Next to him is a notepad and pen and lush green plants creep into the frame. He appears relaxed as he plays his guitar.

Citi · Citigrammers

Citi wanted to increase awareness and favorability on social media, particularly within the music and dining categories. We assembled a team of influential visual artists to create the sort of shareable content the brand couldn't.

A grey-blue background with a circle of screenshots of various people speaking in a video conference call. In the center of the screenshot is text in white text letters that reads “Work Together.

Million-dollar talent from Upwork

To support COVID-19 projects, Upwork is donating a million dollars of time from their network of independent professionals. And who better to tell us about it than the pros themselves?

Diverse group of individuals and posing for the camera during the Coachella Music Festival. They are all self expressive through their make-up and fashion choices. Their individuality shines through as they each pose in their own unique way.

e.l.f. Cosmetics · Coachella

e.l.f. wanted to launch Beauty Shield, an all-new skincare line powered with antioxidants and SPF to help protect your skin against environmental aggressors. DCLA provided the perfect testing ground.