Time Portal

Time-Portal-

“Time Portal” (2003)

(319/8) 620-626 O’Farrell Street; Annandale House. Store and rooming house with fourteen rooms and four baths. 3B stories; brick structure; galvanized iron cornice; two-part commercial composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; vestibule: terrazzo steps, tile floor. Alterations: storefront, security gate. Original owners: George S. Hill and Wilcox. Architect: George A. Dodge. 1908.

Near the only twenty-four-hour store in the Tenderloin was a little laundromat with the unlikely name of Snow Bell. The Snow Bell Laundromat for many years occupied the ground floor of a tiny old rooming house that I have always found intriguing, not because it is decrepit, but because it is so modestly genteel in its decrepitude. It is a very old building. Alongside the rooming house is Harlem Alley, a narrow cul-de-sac that adjoins a miniscule parking lot behind the Admiral Hotel next door. From sidewalk to parking lot is a span of six feet at most, but that six feet of wall speaks volumes.

Summer-Day---Farrell-Street

“Summer Day – O’Farrell Street” (2007 Survey)

(319/8) 620-626 O’Farrell Street; Annandale House.

(319/9) 628-630 O’Farrell Street; apartment building with eight two- and three-room units. 4B stories; reinforced concrete structure; stucco facade, three-story bay windows; two-part vertical composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; vestibule: octagonal columns, cornice molding. Alterations: security gate, storefront. Original owner: E.V. Lacey. Contractor: Monson Brothers. 1921.

(319/10) 640-642 O’Farrell Street; Allen Garage. 2B stories; reinforced concrete structure; stucco facade, hood moldings over windows and doors, cornice, stepped parapet; two-part commercial composition; Gothic ornamentation; alterations: steel roll-up doors, aluminum doors. Original owner: L.W. Allen. Architects: O’Brien Brothers. 1924.

(319/12) 646 O’Farrell Street; Madrone Apartments, Farlow Apartments. Apartment building with eleven two-room units. 3B stories; brick structure; Flemish bond brick and galvanized iron bay windows; two-part vertical composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; vestibule: marble steps and walls, cornice molding. Alterations: security gate, aluminum windows, addition in vestibule. Original owner: Hugh K. McKevitt, attorney. Architect: C.O. Clausen. 1915.

(319/13) 656-658 O’Farrell Street; Hermione Apartments, Ada Court Apartments. Apartment building with seventeen two- and three-room units. 5B stories; brick structure; bay windows and cornice, two-tone brick with marble inlay; three-part vertical composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; vestibule: marble steps, tile floor, cornice molding; lobby: marble steps, pilaster order, cornice molding. Alterations: security gate. Original owner: Herman Hogrefe. Architect: Edward E. Young. 1916.

(319/16) 666 O’Farrell Street; Sovereign Apartments. Apartment building with thirty-three two- and three-room units. 5B stories; reinforced concrete structure; stucco facade, three-story bay windows, rusticated base, cornice, panels with urns; two-part vertical composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; vestibule: arched entry with cartouche, marble floor and wainscoting, coffered vault, decorative iron in doorway; lobby: marble steps, cornice molding, metal and glass hanging lamp; alterations: security gate, aluminum windows above first floor. Original owner: Mrs. Mary K. Ladd. Architects: Baumann and Jose. 1924.

(322/6A) 400-410 Hyde Street; Ben Hur Apartments. Apartment building with sixty-nine two-room units. 7B stories; steel frame and reinforced concrete structure; stucco facade, chariots on spandrel panels, five- and six-story bay windows, cornice; two-part vertical composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; vestibule: arched entry surround with decorative panels, marble floor, decorative side and ceiling moldings; lobby: decorative column order with beamed ceiling. Alterations: none. Original owner and builder: Louis Johnson. 1926.

The Snow Bell Laundromat has been replaced by the Dim Sum Bar, a major improvement, although Harlem Alley is now gated, making that wonderful side wall inaccessible. The Annandale was occupied by a private hospital in 1929 and the ground floor was a Safeway store in 1937.

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