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[LARGE ARCHIVE OF ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS SHOWING THE BUILDING OF TWENTY-NINE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, INCLUDING THE MARK HOPKINS HOTEL, TEMPLE EMANU-EL IN SAN FRANCISCO, I. MAGNIN DEPARTMENT STORE, FOX AND LOEWS THEATERS, THE E.F. HUTTON BUILDING, AND OAKLAND SHIPYARDS; ALL OF THE PROJECTS BUILT BY THE CONTRACTING FIRM OF MacDONALD & KAHN]
[Several places in Northern California, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Emeryville, Fresno, Sacramento, and Stockton. [Several places in Northern California, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Emeryville, Fresno, Sacramento, and Stockton. 1918-1930].. 406 original photographic prints, 7 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches on average. Most prints mounted on linen, many with the ink stamp of the photographic firm on the verso. Plus an additional group of eighty-seven original photographic prints, 7 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches or smaller, showing miscellaneous projects and buildings. Some prints with some light wear or creasing, a few with edge wear and fraying of the linen mounts. A small number are stained in the image. On the whole, in very good condition. A remarkable collection of original photographic prints showing the progress of construction of more than two dozen projects in the greater San Francisco Bay Area in the 1920s. Among the notable buildings whose construction is documented herein are the famed Mark Hopkins Hotel on San Francisco's Nob Hill, the Temple Emanu-el (one of the two oldest Jewish congregations in San Francisco), various shipyard projects in the Port of Oakland, an I. Magnin Department Store, a notable Art Deco movie palace, factories, the E. F. Hutton headquarters, small Woolworth stores, Masonic and Scottish Rite temples, and much more. The collection gives a vast amount of visual information on construction in the Bay Area in the 1920s. The photographs also showcase the designs of a number of notable California architects. The photographs show the construction of the buildings over time through a series of images, usually spaced between a week or two weeks apart. As such, they are reminiscent of Eadweard Muybridge's series of pictures of the United States Mint in San Francisco under construction in the early 1870s, which were among the first to utilize photography to document a construction project. A few of the projects are represented by only a handful of images, but on average the span of time covers several months and shows the project from start to finish. The series on Congregation Emanu-el, for example, consists of twenty photographs showing the building of the Temple over eighteen months. Oakland's Fox Theater, which took a year to build, is shown in sixty photographs, many of them detailing the plaster work done on the Art Deco interior. The shipyard construction photographs are also quite detailed, giving a vivid understanding of the complex infrastructure required by the projects. Interestingly, no projects are noted as having been begun after the fall of 1929, likely a reflection of the effect of the great stock market crash of October 1929. These photographs were commissioned by the California contracting firm of MacDonald & Kahn, who are listed as the builders on each project. MacDonald & Kahn was a very active construction firm in California and the West in the early 20th century, building projects in northern and southern California, and participating in the construction consortium that built the Hoover Dam. They were prolific not only in commercial construction but also in public works. Along with the Hoover Dam, they worked on the Oakland Shipyards (included in this archive) and on the Fourth Street Viaduct project in Los Angeles. The images were taken by a variety of photographers in the Bay Area and Central Valley, and would have been used by the contractors to document the progress of each project over time. Most of the prints are backed by linen, many with the name of the photographic firm that took the images stamped on the verso. Most of the linen backings also contain a stub at the left edge or top of the print (depending on its orientation, landscape or portrait style), indicating that these prints were originally meant to be housed in binders of some sort. Information on the name of the project, the architect and builders, and the date of the photograph have been noted in a corner of the print itself. The photographs are often dated at one or two week intervals, showing the ebb and flow of construction over time. The earliest MacDonald & Kahn project represented here is the California Associated Raisin Company in Fresno, built in 1918. The latest are rather modest buildings done in the winter of 1929-30. The twenty-eight separate projects are as follow: 1) ATHENS ATHLETIC CLUB. Seventeen photographic prints. William Knowles was the architect on this project, built by MacDonald & Kahn. The location of the building was 12th and Clay Streets in Oakland. The photographer was Ford E. Samuel of Oakland, and the prints are dated from July 15, 1924 to June 15, 1925. The latest pictures show the building still under construction, with scaffolding on one side of the exterior, the first floor unfinished, and the building site surrounded by construction materials. 2) BOULEVARD THEATRE. Three photographic prints. This building, at San Bruno and Burrows in San Francisco, was designed by Reid Brothers. R.J. Waters and Co. of San Francisco took the photographs, which show the theatre in the early stages of construction, dated January 30 to February 13, 1927. The first photograph shows the lot as it was dug out, and the final two photographs show the steel structure of the building, the steel provided by Schrader Iron Works of San Francisco. The small MacDonald & Kahn site headquarters is shown in two of the prints. 3) BUTLER BROTHERS BUILDING. Thirteen photographic prints. Located in San Francisco, the Butler Brothers building was designed by Bliss & Fairweather. The images are dated from November 16, 1927 to May 18, 1928. The final two photographs show the six- story building from two different angles. 4) CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATED RAISIN COMPANY. Forty photographic prints. The prints are dated between March 15 and October 25, 1918 and were taken by the Laval photographic firm (later called Laval and Ninnis) of Fresno. One of the prints is by Gabriel Moulin of San Francisco, and shows the architect's rendering of the proposed plant, which was built in Fresno. The plan shows an ambitious multi-building complex, only one building of which was built. No architect is stated. 5) CALIFORNIA PACKING CORPORATION. Eleven photographic prints, measuring 7 x 17 inches on average. The prints are dated from October 11, 1924 to March 9, 1925. These large-scale, almost panoramic photographs show the construction of the California Packing Corporation's Plant Number 11 in Sacramento. No architect is stated, but the Chief Engineer was Philip Bush. The photographs were taken by the Hodson photographic firm. 6) CAPITAL THEATRE. Thirty-five photographic prints. The prints date from December 29, 1927 to January 28, 1929 and document in detail the construction of this large theater. The building was designed by Thomas W. Lamb and built by MacDonald & Kahn. The Waters Company of San Francisco documented the construction in a series of at least thirty-eight photographs, of which thirty-five are present here. 7) CONCRETE SHIPYARD, OAKLAND. Twenty-five photographic prints. Dated from June 27 to November 26, 1918, the photographs were taken by Mollers of Oakland. No architect or engineer is identified. Many of the photographs contain brief descriptive information in the print. The earliest photographs show the grading of the construction site and views of the shoreline. This was a massive construction project, and the photographs contain several interior views showing the huge shell of the building as well as the cafeteria, latrines, etc. 8) CONGREGATION EMANU-EL TEMPLE. Twenty photographic prints. Dated from August 19, 1924 to February 23, 1926, all but one of the photographs were taken by the Schoenfeld Studio of San Francisco. The temple was designed by architect Sylvian Schnaittacher, who was instrumental in designing many prominent buildings that went up in the years following the 1906 earthquake and fires. The temple is still in use in Presidio Heights, housing one of the two oldest Jewish congregations in California. 9) CONTINENTAL BAKING COMPANY. Nine photographic prints. The prints are dated from July 29, 1929 (showing much of the structure of the building already up) to an image of the completed building, dated October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday, the date of the Wall Street crash). Bliss and Fairweather were the architects, and Waters Company took the photographs. 10) FINANCIAL CENTER BUILDING. Two photographic prints. The two prints are dated April 28, 1926 (showing the beginning of construction) and September 30, 1926 (the nearly completed building). The building, more than ten stories high, was advertised as being ready for occupancy on February 1, 1927. Fred Myers was the architect, and the photographs are by R.J. Waters & Co. 11) FOX THEATER. Sixty-four photographic prints. The photographs are dated from April 26, 1922 to April 12, 1923, and were taken by the Western Photo Company of Oakland. They show, in intricate detail, the year-long construction of this classic Art Deco theater in Oakland. The photographs show the interior and exterior work, including several images of the plaster being applied to the interior. This was the original Fox Theater in Oakland, located on Broadway and with more than 2500 seats. It was demolished in the 1960s. The architect is not identified. 12) ADDITION TO HALE BROTHERS. Ten photographic prints. The images are dated April 16, 1923 to October 7, 1926, and were taken by R.J. Waters & Co. George Taylor de Colmesnil was the architect. The final image is undated and shows the main building of this popular San Francisco department store. 13) MANN APARTMENTS. Eight photographic prints. Dated August 19 to December 23, 1922, the photographs are by R.J. Waters & Co. The architect is not identified. 14) HUTTON BUILDING. Nine photographic prints. These prints, taken by R.J. Waters & Co., show the construction of the San Francisco office of E.F. Hutton & Company, and are dated November 12, 1921 to April 1, 1922. Founded in San Francisco in 1904, E.F. Hutton was an important stock brokerage firm. Its original building was destroyed in 1906; this building is a stately, three- story Neoclassical structure. 15) I. MAGNIN & Co. BUILDING. Eleven photographic prints. The prints were taken by Waters Company, and show the construction of the I. Magnin store beside the Union Trust Company building at the foot of Grant Avenue, near Market and O'Farrell. The images are dated April 17 to July 5, 1929. Bliss and Fairweather were the architects. 16) KAHN'S DEPARTMENT STORE. Five photographic prints. Dated April 2 to June 23, 1923, the photographs show the beginning stages of the projected six-story addition to Oakland's largest department store. MacDonald & Kahn were the builders, and the photographs were taken by Western Photo and by C.L. Huntington. 17) KROEHLER MANUFACTURING COMPANY. Eleven photographic prints. The prints are dated September 3, 1926 to February 11, 1927. The building for the furniture manufacturer, designed by L.H. Nishkian, was located in the outskirts of San Francisco. R.J. Waters & Company took the photographs. 18) LOEW STATE THEATER. Seven photographic prints plus two related images. The images are dated September 27, 1920 to August 19, 1921. This theater is the only building in this grouping built in Los Angeles. A comment on the final image notes that the building was completed in nine months and seven days at a cost of $2.5 million. Reid Brothers were the architects. An additional image shows the Loew's Warfield Theater under construction, and another shows an architect's rendering of the Loew Union Square. 19) FINANCIAL CENTER BUILDING. Five photographic prints. The images are dated May 1, 1929 to June 6, 1930, and the photographer is unidentified. A comparatively small, single-story project, built by MacDonald & Kahn and identified only as the "Financial Center Building" in San Francisco. 20) MARK HOPKINS HOTEL. Eleven photographic prints. This series of photographs shows the construction of one of the most iconic buildings in San Francisco, the opulent Mark Hopkins Hotel on the top of Nob Hill. The building was designed by Charles Peter Weeks and William Peyton Day. The Schoenfeld Studio took the photographs, which are dated from March 16, 1926 (showing the steel beams of the structure already up) to an image of the completed building dated November 8, 1926. Signs placed around the construction site note that it was financed by Straus Bonds. 21) MASONIC TEMPLE. Twenty-one photographic prints. The photographs show the construction of this Masonic Temple in Stockton, California, and are dated from August 22, 1921 to May 1, 1922. Several of the images, taken by V. Covert Martin of Stockton, show the interior of the building, including meeting rooms and the auditorium. The architect was Carl Werner. 22) PACIFIC STATION. Thirty-two photographic prints. The photographs were taken by R.J. Waters & Co., and show construction on the building from October 14, 1924 to March 10, 1925, by which time it had been completed. Bliss & Faville were the architects. 23) PORT OF OAKLAND. Four photographic prints (one of them double-sheet). The photographs, taken by the Waters Company, show work done at the Port of Oakland by MacDonald & Kahn in the Spring of 1929. The double-sheet print shows a large two-story building in an advanced state of construction. 24) THOMAS DYEING & CLEANING. Five photographic prints. The photographs, by the Waters Company, show work done by MacDonald & Kahn on this four-story San Francisco building from January 30 to March 31, 1930. The architect was F.W. Dakin. 25) SCOTTISH RITE TEMPLE. Five photographic prints. The photographs date from October 17, 1926 to August 17, 1927, with a final photograph showing the completed building, dated on the verso January 9, 1928. R.J. Waters & Co. took the construction photographs, and Carl Werner was the architect. 26) WESTERN ELECTRIC. Thirteen photographic prints. The photographs show the construction of the Western Electric Company building in Emeryville, from March 26 to August 31, 1929. The architect is not identified. The photographs were taken by Waters Company. The final photograph shows a construction site very much in work. 27) WOOLWORTH COMPANY. Five photographic prints. The five pictures show the construction of a modest Woolworth's 5, 10, and 15 cent store in San Jose. The pictures, by George Jacob Kinze, date from August 12 to October 9, 1826. The final picture shows what appears to be a MacDonald & Kahn company truck being loaded with debris from the construction site. 28) WOOLWORTH COMPANY. Two photographic prints. These two pictures, dated April 18 and April 29, 1925, show the early stages of construction of a Woolworth's store in Stockton. The Logan Studio of Stockton took the photographs. 29) LESTER BUILDING. Three photographic prints. These pictures show three stages in the early construction of a building identified only as "Lester." A.J. Maclure was the architect, and construction began around April 1926. The final picture is dated May 12 and was taken by R.J. Waters & Company. PORTFOLIO OF ADDITIONAL ARCHITECTURAL AND CONSTRUCTION PHOTOGRAPHS. An additional group of some eighty-five original photographs, 7 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches or smaller. A number of the photographs show completed structures built by MacDonald & Kahn, while others were likely part of a photographic reference file used by the firm in its work. An outstanding collection of original photographic prints, showing the course of construction of more than two dozen projects and buildings in Northern California in the 1920s, including the Mark Hopkins Hotel, the Oakland Shipyards, Art Deco movie houses, financial institutions, and much more.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2014-02-25           Check availability:      Biblio    

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