Author: BayMozaic

George Kelham’s Castles

Contribution by Peter Garland. When one day I realized that many of my favorite buildings in the Bay Area were designed by the same architect, George W. Kelham (1871-1936), I sought his story and found no one had ever written it.  Nor had he left any papers or memoirs from which to put such a story together.  However, with the help of the staff of the San Francisco History Room at our Main Library (Kelham designed the old Main), who guided me to the San Francisco Chronicle’s on-line historical files (1865-1922) as well as further guidance from the staff of the Environmental Library of U.C. Berkeley, I was able to piece the jigsaw puzzle together. I found an astonishing story of an American Renaissance prince and his princess-like wife who lived a life of such incredible success and polish that they seem the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of the architectural world. On May 15, 1871, George W. Kelham was born in Manchester, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of furniture merchants. He graduated from Harvard and …

Don’t Doubt Yourself – Says The M Machine

Contribution by Lilit Barseghyan, Sophomore at Lowell High School. As a high school student interested in music production, there aren’t many resources available to help expand upon this interest. I spend a good amount of time trying to find classes or teachers around San Francisco to help me learn the programs and skills I need. While searching for classes, I stumbled upon a music production school, Pyramind, and spotted an announcement about a special event they were going to host at their campus. The M Machine, Ben Swardlick and Eric Luttrell, former graduates, were returning to Pyramind to host a small group session where students and others could come join and listen to how they started their career and ask questions. Seeing as how this could be a useful experience for me, I signed up and went to the event. Once I approached the building and stood in line, the first thing that struck me was how much older everyone was, either college aged students or older. As I walked into the main room where …

On the left, Haig Patigian with the bust of Helen Wills and on the right, Helen Wills. 

Greatest Bohemian

Contribution by Peter Garland. Peter Garland, a native of Dublin, Ireland, became interested in San Francisco history through the statues of Haig Patigian while living in North Beach. He researched the sculptor’s life and career and for many years lead two walking tours of Patigian’s works around San Francisco (Patigian created more of San Francisco’s statues than any other artist). When Haig Patigian was six years old, he told his twenty-three-year-old mother, Marine Hovsepian Patigian, “I want to be a sculptor.” He was particularly interested in human figure. His wish would be granted, often against a background of bloody persecution and death, both for his own family and for the Armenian people. His father, Avedis Patigian, was interested in visual art, too. He was the first person in Van to take up the fascinating new pursuit of photography. When the Turkish authorities spotted him walking about photographing  the picturesque city, surrounded with tall rocks that make it look like a castle, they accused him of selling photos of the towns fortifications to the Russians. Avedis Patigian, in 1888, …