1043 Howard Street
It is hard to believe that in a world of corporate mergers and gentrification of neighborhoods, that the original company that built this wonderful deco building still occupies it.
In 1900 W.A. England and H.D. Skellinger founded the Eng-Skell Company. The company made flavoring extracts for the bakery and bottling trades and specialties such as orange bitters for the bar trade.
In 1930 the company built this three-story Art Deco building in SOMA. The building was designed by architect A.C. Griewank. It is 100,000 square feet and originally housed a laboratory, manufacturing plant, warehouse and office space. There was a Research Department with a staff of trained chemists. Somewhere along the line they became ESCO but their website still proudly displays this Howard Street Building.
224 Townsend Street (1935) was also designed by A.C. Griewank. Both buildings feature fluted pilasters that divide the bays and a three-dimensional, stepped triangular parapet over the primary entrance. Although we know he was an engineer/architect there is no information about A.C. Griewank to be found at the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Public Library, or San Francisco Heritage.
We do know he was a writer for the Architect and Engineer. In November of 1917 they published an article titled “California Cotton Mills’ New Building,” by Mr. A.C. Griewank, the architect of the California Cotton Mills Factory in Oakland, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
(update) The San Francisco Public Library has informed me that Mr. Arthur Carl Griewank was born on the 6th of September 1886 in Laporte, Indiana and died in San Francisco on October 9, 1942,
I found an A.C. Griewank listed in the 1911 alumni record of the University of Illinois stating Mr. A.C. Griewank was a 1910 graduate of the University and was then working with the Sacramento Valley Irrigation Company.
He was also listed as a San Francisco Port Engineer in 1930.
From the November 1930 American Chemical Society Publication:
The Eng-Skell Co. , 208 Mission St., San Francisco, Calif., manufacturer of flavoring extracts, chemical specialties, etc., has approved plans for a new three-story plant at Russ and Howard Sts., and will proceed with work on the superstructure at once. It is reported that it will cost over $54,000 including equipment. A. C. Griewank, address noted, is company engineer.
Despite not knowing much about Mr. Griewank personally, I am sure he would be please to know that some of his structures he designed still stand today. They include: (in San Francisco) 1130 Howard, 1035 Howard, 1126 Howard, 224 Townsend and Piers 1-35 where he acted as engineer on the substrates and transit sheds, as well as, the California Cotton Mills Building in Oakland