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.
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.”
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.