Archival work

While construction work is ongoing, a small group has been working to archive materials that were pulled out of the building, literally from the walls, during deconstruction. Before we had begun deconstruction, Tom asked Joe Gallagher if he could open up sample portions of the walls just to check for complications. Joe, who is managing the construction, also happens to have a degree in archaeology. So when he opened up some walls and found paperwork stuffed inside (presumably for insulation), he didn’t throw it away, but recognized it for its historical value and kept it.

This paperwork sat unattended for a few months before we were able to get to it. In the last couple of  months, however, we have been cleaning it up, placing it in acid-free boxes, and storing it for display in the building. We also thought it was a good idea to scan the material we have, and Martha has just finished the first batch of material. It dates back to the 1920’s, ’30s and ’40s.


Here are a couple of samples. This first piece is undated, but it points to the fact that our building was once called Mid-West Garages, and it appears to have been a service shop.

Mid west garages

This next piece is a letter dating back to 1942. It is from S. H. Frank and Co., a tanning company in San Francisco. By ‘tanning’, I mean they made leather goods. It is addressed to Wendt and Kanners on Eliot Street, which is the location Sam Kanners had his business before moving to 4444 Second. The letter has some references to WWII.

Wendt kanners letter

They don’t make letterheads like that any more! This is just a small sample of the material that was part of the history of our building. If you’d like to see more, head over to our Flickr page: Green Garage Archives.

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