September 2004
 
 

Earthquake Shacks Prepared for Move to Treasure Island


photo: Francis da Silva

The original earthquake shacks on Kirkham Street
were readied for a move to Treasure Island.

By Woody LaBounty

On Aug. 10, volunteers from local companies prepared to move four 1906 earthquake refugee shacks at 4329 Kirkham St., in the Sunset District, to Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.

Beginning at 10:30 a.m., Bluewater Services, Inc. abated the shacks of lead and asbestos and union carpenters from Mayta & Jensen began deconstruction of small, non-historic additions.

The four shacks are among only 21 certified surviving structures from the 5,610 camp cottages built to house 16,000 San Franciscans in the months after the 1906 earthquake and fire.

In 2002, when the current owners applied for a permit to demolish the historic structures, the Western Neighborhoods Project, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the history of the western side of San Francisco, began efforts to save the shacks.

Working with the owners, District 4 Supervisor Fiona Ma and representatives from the Treasure Island Authority, the Western Neighborhoods Project arranged for space on Treasure Island to be a temporary site for the cottages while a permanent home is sought. Sheedy Crane and Sunset Scavenger also volunteered to help with the effort and the shacks' current owners are donating their demolition budget to the rehabilitation efforts.

"For the first time in 98 years, the public will see those park-bench-green redwood walls," said David Gallagher, a member of the Western Neighborhoods Project. "It's like opening a Christmas present."

The Western Neighborhoods Project plans to restore and relocate the earthquake shacks to a permanent location by April 2006, the centennial of San Francisco's great earthquake and fire.

For more information, call (415) 759-6429 or go to the Western Neigborhoods Project's website at www.outsidelands.org.

 

 
 
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