Do any of Elder’s bookstores still exist?

by david on 29 January 2010

No. However, at least two, and probably four buildings that once housed Elder’s stores still exist. Here are the details:

  • Mills Building, northeast corner of Bush & Montgomery, San Francisco. Elder’s shop was a room on the mezzanine. The building was burned out in the 1906 earthquake and fire, but the shell was saved and the interior rebuilt. The Mills Building still stands today.
  • 238 Post, San Francisco. Destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire. The old Gump’s store now occupies this location.
  • 22 Chapala, Santa Barbara. Demolished.
  • 1203 State at Anapamu, Santa Barbara. Uncertain, but probably not any of the existing buildings at this location.
  • Bush & Van Ness, San Francisco. Demolished. Now the site of a five-story hotel called the Sonoma Inn.
  • 43-45 East 19th St, 4th floor, New York City. The building at this location looks old and is still numbered 43-45, so it is probably the building where Elder had his shop.
  • 239 Grant, San Francisco. Built in 1909 as the “Paul Elder Building”, it still stands at the corner of Grant and Campton Place, now numbered 233 Grant.
  • Booth at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Taken down at the end of the fair in November 1915.
  • 239 Post, San Francisco. This is probably the building now numbered 251 Post.
  • Sutter & Stockon, San Francisco. Demolished. Now the site of the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
  • Mills Building. Paul Jr opened a small satellite shop, somewhere along the Montgomery Street sidewalk, in order to serve the downtown business community. This space would still exist today, though much remodeled.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kat Dodd June 25, 2010 at 16:31

I just purchased Look Homeward, Angel (1926-Hardcover) by Thomas Wolfe and noticed the “Paul Elder & Co., San Francisco” stamp on the back page. Thru researching the company, I found your site. Very interesting and extremely good history on the origins of my new book. Thanks for the info.

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