Back in the mid-1990’s I wrote this on the old Pandemonia site about the original old Emeryville Warehouse Co. building as shown above in a photo I took sometime 1990 or the early 1990’s:
One of the original artist’s warehouses in E’ville. Once full of musicians, sculptors, potters, artists, and sundry others who rented space here for studios, rehearsal space, etc., the Warehouse is in danger of being renovated and turned into low-cost housing (it could have been worse, it could have been turned into some god-awful yupperie with boutique coffee and bagels, etc….). It’s a better location for workspace — right next to the railway and Sherwin Williams’ 24 hour truck depot — but that never stopped E’ville…. I once drove past here about 6am one Sunday to take photos and there was already a lone drummer thrashing away with the windows open. It was the sort of place you could see dueling robots in the parking lot or buy custom pottery upstairs.
I got it wrong, more or less — it was turned into a place (“yupperie” sounds so eighties or nineties) with boutique coffee and bagels, etc. — but the word on the street back then (and I knew several people who lived or worked in this building in those days) was that it was destined to be renovated for low-cost housing.
In any case, it was renovated, and went through an intermediate period where things looked like this (sometime 2002, just before it reopened):
It stayed like that for a few years — basically high-end lifestyle lofts and expensive apartments, as far as I know. And then, a few years later, they built on top of the parking lot on the foreground, and there’s really no longer any way to see the original or 2002-era view, although of course you can see the renovated building lurking in the background (photo from 2014):
And here’s another view (from 2008) of the old, now hidden facade, looking from the side on Sherwin Avenue:
Like the area around it, the site’s gone from being a busy but old and somewhat run-down location for industry and art to being the shiny, redeveloped sort of place where you’re much more likely to see hipsters (aging and otherwise) out walking lifestyle dogs than you are to see artists or musicians. Or warehouse workers, for that matter.
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Postscript: for the architect’s view of the site, check out the David Barker Architects 1500 Park Avenue Lofts site. And there’s even an entertaining Survivors of the Emeryville warehouse Co.1975-97 Facebook page.