Monday, December 21, 2009
G B Jackson & Son
A couple weeks ago the sun was hitting this building at 1309-1317 20th Avenue just right and I could make out the old name. My friend had blogged about searching out the past life of another building so I decided to see what I could find.
The first challenge was getting back there at the right time on a sunny day in December to capture the letters. It says G B Jackson & Son. I looked in old San Francisco City Directories on-line to see what kind of business it was. The latest free one is from 1938, and it wasn't listed.
The parcel map is confusing, too. That address doesn't exist. This building seems to be considered part of the taller building on the corner.
(click on this for a big version where you can read the name)
Then I asked the trustee readers at the Western Neighborhoods Project message boards, and a fellow Norwegian clued me in. It was a hardware, furniture and appliance store in the 1940's. I'm still a little unclear about the building, there were different entrances, and this one was used later, when the business was just a hardware store. I have yet to find an old photo of it.
The well-loved Bowcock's market was next door on Irving Street. There are great photos of the grand opening at the San Francisco Public Library's Picture This collection. You can read about Robert Bowcock, who helped run the family business for many years and wrote a book about Butchertown, in this San Francisco Beacon article.