- 1967 -
Preserving the Cannery
on Fisherman's Wharf
 

2010-06-12 13.23.39.jpg     After the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco, California Fruit Canners Association (CFCA, and later Del Monte) purchased land on the corner of Leavenworth and Beach Streets in San Francisco near what is now the tourist attraction district Fisherman’s Wharf.  In 1907, the company built a large cannery on the site.  The location was near the bay to make it less expensive to load the newly canned goods on ships to take all over the world.  Growers from throughout the region shipped fresh fruit and vegetables to the cannery.  For three decades, it was a thriving cannery.  In the late 1930s, Del Monte began using the facility as a warehouse, and by 1960, they were ready to sell it. 

     The site was purchased by Leonard Martin in the 1960s and transformed into a three level shopping area.  It had clothes shops and even quirky attractions, such as penguins.  Interviews with Martin say he felt a connection with the building and wanted to save it.  His approach was novel for the time. Older urban buildings were being destroyed all over country.  Even if they were saved, few were updated and turned into a new space that was a combination of preservation and integration into the current city. 

     Today, when you visit the cannery you can imagine what it might have been like when it was a state of the art cannery with 2,500 employees putting out 200,000 cans of fruits and vegetables a day.  The olive tree in the courtyard dates back to the time of the height of the cannery.

Sources

King, John.  "Leonard Martin -- opened S.F.'s famed Cannery" SFGate, January 29, 2002.