Welcome to Curbed's ongoing series titled Hidden History, where Curbed highlights a Bay Area location with a secret past. Maybe it's no longer there, maybe it's been converted into something else, but each spot holds a place in Bay Area history - even if not many people know it. Have a suggestion or know a place with a secret history? The tipline's always open or you can leave a comment after the jump.
New parklet on Townsend between 3rd & 4th Streets [Photo: Swinerton Builders]This year's Park(ing) Day proved parklets are here to stay, and a new one has opened up in front of D'Urso Delicatessen on Townsend. The new 3-parking-space parklet does more than offer additional seating - it pulls its history (literally) from the surrounding buildings.
The parklet originated as a community project, with a bunch of local businesses looking to create a public space for the neighborhood. The project that emerged, designed by WRT and constructed by Swinerton Builders, made use of salvaged and donated materials that called on the maritime and rail industries that used to make up SOMA (think salvaged floor planks and timbers, steel tie rods and brackets), when the water's edge came up this very corner. The team struck gold when ArcWood and Timber donated 14ft long Douglas Fir timbers they had salvaged from the old Ogden Meatpacking building, located directly behind the site.
Ogden Meatpacking building at 25 Lusk Steet [Photo: SF Planning]
Ogden Packing & Provision Company traces its roots back to Utah in 1906, then the largest meat packing plant west of the Missouri River. Their meats were shipped throughout the west and across the United States, eventually calling for the need for new packing centers in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Townsend Street facility was built in 1917 as a cold storage warehouse. The building remained in the meat industry until 1938, sat vacant for 14 years, and was then have lives as a tire shop, vocational school, and film distribution. Now home to Twenty Five Lusk, the big ole timbers were salvaged when the building was renovated for the restaurant.
New parklet on Townsend between 3rd & 4th Streets [Photo: WRT]
The parklet opened to the public September 28, and features seating, a bar, and an area for bike parking.
Thanks to Julie Donofrio at WRT for the background and photos!
· Swinerton Builders and WRT Unite Community Through New Townsend Street Parklet [Marketwire]
· South End Hist Dist Addition D Form [SF Planning]
· The Rise and Fall of Ogden's Packing Industry [Utah.gov]