48 Gold Street

Built around 1900 to serve as a smokehouse for Achille Paladini, the “Fish King” of San Francisco, the two-story brick building at 48 Gold Street has since been converted into offices.  And if approved, a 3,900-square-foot penthouse residence will be added atop the Jackson Square building, set back between 11 and 14 feet from the façade (which will be restored) to keep the addition mostly hidden from view.

Designed by Suarez-Kuehne Architecture, the exterior of the two-story addition will be clad in slate gray coated metal panels as proposed, with charcoal framed doors and windows providing access to balconies on the third floor and roof.

48 Gold Street Plan

Guardrails for the addition “will be built-up out of steel plates and taught [sic] steel cables so as not to confuse or detract from the original historic structure.”

48 Gold Street Facade

And being on the northerly side of the street, between Bix and the Black Board building, natural light to the street would not be affected by the addition (“which is not expected to be visible from any other streets or public spaces”).

While the client for the penthouse project is officially 48 Gold Street, LLC, the founder of the financial firm below appears to be leading the charge.  And as for Mr. Paladini, whose family owned the building up until the 1960’s, he was an entrepreneur and innovator who would have excelled in the city today.

Born in 1843, Achille Paladini arrived in San Francisco from Italy around 1870 and began his career as a vendor on Fisherman’s Wharf, expanding to become one of the largest handlers of fresh fish on the west coast.

Credited with being the first person on the west coast to can tuna, to smoke fish and to maintain a cold storage plant for harvesting his catch, Paladini was worth “more than $1,000,000” by 1910.

Of course, Mr. Paladini was also convicted of buying salmon out of season and reselling it as catfish.  And as a founder of the “fish trust,” Paladini was charged with conspiring to “limit production, fix a standard price and prevent competition in the fish business.”  Ahead of his time, indeed.

11 thoughts on “Designs For A Hidden Jackson Square Penthouse”
  1. Right next door to BIX Restaurant, one of my favorites! Being that there is no easy street parking to be found in that neighborhood. it does not look like this penthouse will come with any parking? I guess in the evening you could valet your car next door at Bix, and head straight to the popular bar before heading next door to your home?

  2. As long as they leave the brick and overall building intact, should be fine. Good thing they didn’t allow them to knock down the whole thing and build some cookie-cutter dreck that will be dated in <5 years.

  3. Wolf whistle. Though I would note that the city family’s made members over at Plan-Inc might prefer it to be 3000 micro apartments with 40 bike parking spaces…

  4. Really poor design and too big – in what way does the addition enhance this 100+-year old building. I hope it does not get approved.

    1. Too big? Do you see the masses of the buildings around it? Do you realize this is currently a 2-story building in one of the densest areas in the United States?

      Poor design? It’s set back so as to not even been seen from the street, and clad in matte dark finishes, so as to further not call attention to itself.

      If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. But unless you’re currently living in a tent pitched on the roof of the building, it’s hard to fathom how this could impact you in the slightest.

      1. I think Socket Site should just offer a “Standard NIMBY Reply” option to save the precious dears the need to type their nonsense. Just click a box.

        “Ugly architecture…Why don;t we have world class weird swoopy buildings like Barcelona?”
        “But this project doesn’t solve all the problems with MUNI”
        “Not enough parking spaces, you bike Nazis”
        “Save the McDonalds*”

        * not serious. LOL

    1. Now wait a minute! I was dining there about 2 weeks ago and the average age of the crowd was about between 30 to 40 years old.
      Is that considered “old” now?

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