239 Post (1921-1948)
On 22 October 1921, after twelve years on Grant St, Elder moved his bookstore to 239 Post, across the street from where the 1898 store had been. The new store offered several advantages, including a larger sales areas and a gallery & lecture hall. As an added bonus, Elder was now directly across the street from Gump’s, a family-owned, one-of-a-kind store with an international reputation.
Elder still thought of himself as both a bookseller and an art dealer. The art objects were displayed primarily in the mezzanine and stairwell. And for the first time, cash registers are in plain sight: they had previously been carefully hidden, lest they detract from the carefully planned atmosphere.
As before, many furnishings were brought to the new store to maintain a sense of continuity: chandeliers and bookcases from the 1906 Van Ness store, and the gothic window screens from Maybeck’s 1909 store.
By all accounts, Elder made good use of his new gallery & lecture hall; over one hundred artists held exhibitions at the “Paul Elder Gallery,” and there were frequent readings by featured authors.
Presumably Elder was affected by the Great Depression as much as his customers, but appears to have weathered it well. Although he shut down the Tomoye Press in 1918, he continued to publish the occasional volume into the early 1930s.