When Bay Area artist and local legend David Ireland moved into his residence at 500 Capp street in 1975, he began to transform it into what he referred to as an "environmental sculpture in progress;" a magnum opus in which he lived and worked for 30 years. Since 1999, there's been discussion about how to preserve such a work, but to to an unfortunate combination of expense and plain old rotten luck, things never quite worked out, and now the house is about to go on the market. Sadly, we're talking about the real-estate market and not the art market.
The sculptures, objects, and writings in the house will be archived in various libraries and museums, but the fate of the building itself depends on the buyer. It'd be a shame to lose 500 Capp, because it's not only spatial embodiment of the artists work and history, but also of San Francisco architecture. While Ireland was living in the home, he started stripping away the walls and moldings, revealing the bones and guts of the 1886 Victorian. When opened to the public, the home became both an exhibition of his work and of local architecture and construction techniques.
Gentrification-minded buyers with dollar signs in their eyes need not apply. There's enough of that going on in the Mission right now. We're hoping a kind-hearted patron comes through on this one. For more information on David Ireland and the Capp Street house, please check out this episode of Spark*.
· Little-known S.F. gem may be lost [SF Gate]