Western Neighborhoods Project is dedicated to the history of San Francisco's Richmond, Sunset, OMI and West of Twin Peaks districts.   read more ...
1906 earthquake cottages

Kirkham Shacks Heroes

Heroes List, Page One

Union Carpenters have honored the legacy of the cottages' original builders. After working hard all week, they come out on their days off to bring their skill and professionalism. Thanks to all of you: Bruce Sealand, Tom Gibbons, Ruben Mungia, Dan Erhard, Danny Burke, Jimmy Hayes, and Peyton Kayser.

Union Carpenters

Fiona Ma, City Supervisor for District 4 (which includes the Sunset), first visited the Kirham shacks in 2003 and was a steadfast supporter from then on. She wrote letters, made calls, and eventually found the four cottages a temporary home at the San Francisco Zoo. While many elected officials give lip service to saving San Francisco history, Supervisor Ma acted. Thank you! Supervisor Ma's official Web site.

Fiona Ma

San Francisco Zoo came through when we needed them most, providing space in their back lot to relocate the cottages. Where other agencies saw only problems, the Zoo and its director Manuel Mollinedo, saw a way to help out and have been absolutely terrific. San Francisco Zoo's Web site: http://www.sfzoo.org/

ZOo icon

The Victorian Alliance of San Francisco doesn't just save the "gingerbread" homes! This fine organization awarded us a grant to replicate original "six-light" windows for the restored cottages. Sadly, the Kirkham cottages had lost all their original windows over the years in favor of double-hung and aluminum panes. The Victorian Alliance has come to the rescure to gives the "Kirkies" the look they had back in 1906. The Victorian Alliance Web site: http://www.victorianalliance.org/.

Victorian Alliance logo

Chris VerPlanck, an architectural historian for Page & Turnbull, has done a detailed needs assessment, arranged for restoration blueprints, taken photos and swung a mean crowbar for us! WNP board member Richard Brandi has filled the role of photographer, publicist, and barbeque chef for the Kirkham Shacks effort. Thanks guys!

Chris VerPlanck and Richard Brandi

Ocean Sash and Door gave us something like a 70% discount in making replica six-lighter windows and sashes for the cottages. They even tossed in a prehung five-panelled door because history is important to a company that started in 1880! Big thanks to owner Michael York for being a real shack hero. Check them out at http://www.oceansashanddoor.com/

Ocean Sash and Door

June 11, 2005 Work Party
Dan Langlands hooked us up with power so a whole crew could tackle "Shack One": Richard Brandi set up a whole kitchen and provided lunch. John Freeman used a 120-year-old plane while putting in new walls. Reed Walker and Danny Burke employed their excellent carpentry expertise and guided some of us newbies. David Gallagher, Eric Schniewind, and Chris VerPlanck made "Shack Two" look less like a storage unit and more like a treasure. Kaleene Kenning and Kyle Pollock found an ancient sewing needle while cleaning out "Shack Three". Jane Cryan returned to offer inspiration and dedication to the cause. Arnold Woods got dirty priming the new window sashes, and Ridge Greene got us a good deal on lumber he personally delivered. Thanks to everyone! See photos of the work day...

Kaleene and Kyle

John Freeman
Handyman and expert historian on the Richmond district, Portola festival and much more, John has been the perfect volunteer. We couldn't have gotten much done without his carpentry experience, donated tools and hard work. Shack One just might get finished in 2005 because of John's help!

John Freeman

More heroes to come! Heroes List, Page One

Contribute your own stories about western neighborhoods places!

Page launched 23 May 2005; updated 23 September 2005.

  • Kirkham Shacks Heroes

    Some of the people and organizations who helped save the Kirkham Refugee Shacks ( Jan 1, 2005)

Save SF History