1836 Pine Street has hit the market, and brings along a mighty impressive music history. Built for composer Frederick Zech back in 1865, the house was often used for small concerts. The tradition raged on when light show artist Bill Ham managed the building as apartments in the 1960s. Known as the "Pine Street Commune," artists and musicians rented out every room, including members of The Charlatans and Janis Joplin when she returned to town to join Big Brother. Ham practiced his now-famous light show in the basement, where Bay Area bands would hold impromptu shows before playing venues like the Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore West. In 1967, it was home to the amazingly-named Mystic Research Foundation/Northern California Psychedelic Cattleman's Association, who had early ties with concert-promotion company the Family Dog. Cut forward 50+ years, and the building's undergone a down-to-the-studs renovation. While some of the finishes are a little generic (the most boring bathrooms ever?), overall the house still keeps some of its original charm. The 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath house sold in June 2011 for $1,500,000, and after its slick reno is back on the market for $3,349,000. Sadly, psychedelic basement light shows are not included.
· 1836 Pine Street [Pac Union]
· San Francisco: The Musical History Tour by Joel Selvin [Google Books]
· Hippies: A Guide to an American Subculture by Micah Issitt [Google Books]
· Chet Helms, R.I.P. [Berlin Bites]