Saturday, July 29, 2006
A lunch-time park sits on Market Street, right where Ecker Place began at the turn of (the previous) century. One Ecker is now a block in, at Stevenson. Ecker now--as then--continues past Jessie and Elim to Mission Street where it stops without ceremony.
The immediate-post-fire building at One Ecker is your classic unreinforced masonry building (or UMB, as they say in the trade)--rows of pretty red brick lined up side-by-side, with every 5th or 6th row being end-to-end. Its deep-set windows give another clue that it's UMB. Of course now you can see the external steel bolting that attaches floors to walls, and the internal cross-bracing -- evidence of more recent (probably post-Loma Prieta) earthquake retrofitting. As charming as it is, don't be fooled by the retrofit: in a really good jolt, the building won't collapse catostrophically, but it is likely to throw its brick facade off into the middle of Ecker and Jessie and Stevenson. (In a really good jolt, if you're inside, stay inside; if you're on the street, cozy up next to a building so that the bricks fall past you.)
Across from One Ecker is a skyrise--sit inside or out here, and emjoy Yank Sing's sweet and savory dim sum offerings. Or, walk a few steps south to the building that once housed Swallow. I haven't tracked the story of Swallow Printing, but this plaque hints at bits of nostalgia from the building that now. Just a bit further along Ecker is a lovely park (the fountain burbles weekdays, is quiet on weekends), and then you pass the eminently forgettable (if I didn't keep reminding you) Elim Street, then a cyclone-fenced empty lot.