Period Piece

Period Piece: A Carnegie library reopens in the Marina

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Period Piece is Lucy Schiller's recurring feature on the hidden histories of San Francisco. Give her a shout at culture@sfbg.com if you know of some hot dirt on olden times in the city

About a hundred years ago, Andrew Carnegie was giving away most of the money he had amassed from a gargantuan steel empire. Eight libraries in San Francisco directly resulted from Carnegie’s efforts, including the Marina's Golden Gate Valley branch – the recipient of a much needed facelift that concluded last week. Read more »

Period Piece: Life and death at the Columbarium

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“This place scared the crap out of me,” says Emmitt Watson, caretaker, historian, and tour guide at the San Francisco Columbarium, the only nondenominational spot in San Francisco to be laid to rest. “When I opened the doors, the first thing I saw were two raccoons.”

The Columbarium is a remnant of an earlier era in San Francisco, an era when everything west of Laurel Heights was pretty much a huge graveyard. Built in 1898, the building with a stone rotunda was a landmark in a sea of headstones. Read more »

Period Piece: Mission Creek houseboat community rocks with the tides

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Period Piece is Lucy Schiller's recurring feature on the hidden histories of San Francisco. Give her a shout at culture@sfbg.com if you know of some hot dirt on olden times in the city

Few wander into Mission Creek’s small houseboat community. It’s hard to find, unless you live in the luxury condos across the channel or are tailgating in a nearby parking lot for a Giants game. But tucked under the I-280 ramp floats a tiny neighborhood, an undiscovered fixture of San Francisco. Read more »