Farewell Favorites: Crystal Palace Market
San Francisco is often said to be the most European of American cities. Those who agree and those who remember the Crystal Palace Market will have no trouble imaging an enormous European-style marche located at 8th and Market, in the heart of the City. According to Daniel Joseph Boorstin's "The Americans: The Democratic Experience," the Crystal Palace Market opened in 1923 at 1175 Market Street on the site of a former baseball diamond and circus grounds with 68,000 square feet of selling area and parking for 4,350 cars. One hour parking was free. Each of the many stands, stalls, and concessions was independently owned and operated. The Crystal Palace offered food, drugs, tobacco, jewelry, barber and beauty services, and much more including an on site stall serving San Francisco's famous Anchor Steam beer. By 1937 the market had set sales records of 51,000 pounds of sugar in one hour and five carloads of eggs in a month. In a single year it sold 200 tons of lemons, 250 tons of oranges, and 300 tons of apples. On August 3, 1959, the Crystal Palace Market closed and was torn down for construction of the Del Webb Townhouse complex, which opened in 1961. Today, the former Crystal Palace location is the headquarters of Trinity Properties, one of San Francisco's biggest retail landlords. The Del Webb Townhouse is an apartment building, The Trinity Apartments.

Copyright 2001 Hank Donat
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