Over the weekend, NY Times covered a Dashiell Hammett tour of San Francisco. Great article overall, but one particular paragraph drops the ball:
I met Don Herron, one of Hammett’s pre-eminent appreciators, in front of the Flood Building in Union Square. The structure used to house the San Francisco offices of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, where Hammett was an operative during the early 1920s, and is one of the few landmarks to have survived the great earthquake of 1906. It has, however, undergone a transformation: It now is home to well-trafficked outlets of the Gap and Anthropologie.
The idea that the James Flood Building has undergone a “transformation” since Hammett’s days is not entirely true. Sure, the exterior-facing retail has changed, but the inside where Hammett worked? Not so much.
But like LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s some photos I took while I was inside the Flood building recently. Even today, it’s not so hard to imagine a private detective agency behind those marble walls and frosted glass windows.