826 Valencia – Tenderloin Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
May 19th, 2016 marked the opening of the new 826 Valencia Tenderloin Center. This is the second location for the nonprofit, whose original location is at 826 Valencia in the Mission Neighborhood. The organization will bring tutoring, writing, and publishing programs to thousands of children in the Tenderloin neighborhood. The design and construction of the space features design and construction contributions from INTERSTICE, MKThink, Gensler, Jonas Kellner, Valerie Veronin, BCCI Construction Company, BBDO San Francisco, and Office.
IA was there to partake in the celebrations along with the other firms and representatives from the Mayor Ed Lee’s office, Supervisor Jane Kim, 826 Valencia Co-founders Dave Eggers and Ninive Caligari, 826 Executive Director Bita Nazarian, and hosts of other friends, supporters, and family of this incredible organization.
The 826 Valencia Tenderloin Center is located at 180 Golden Gate Avenue, formerly the home of Big Boy Market, at an intersection known for drug trafficking. “We’re excited to be joining a neighborhood with a strong network of community partners and a great need for free services, and to help the students of the Tenderloin amplify their voices through writing in a beautiful space that fosters creativity,” says 826 Valencia’s Executive Director, Bita Nazarian.
The center is fronted by King Carl’s Emporium, a nod to the beloved Pirate Supply Store at the Valencia St. location. At the Emporium, the pirate store’s original puffer fish, Carl, sells supplies for explorers as well as the wares he gathered on worldly travels. The store also sells student-written publications and serves as a gateway for the community to learn about 826 Valencia’s work. All proceeds benefit the free programs within. The Writing Lab behind the store is full of wondrous details dreamed up by the students and community members, like an indoor tree house and a magical wall of doors, that activate the imagination.
You can visit our project page to learn more about INTERSTICE’s involvement in the project, and see the SF Chronicle’s write up, “Kids and Writing and a Royal Puffer Fish in the Tenderloin“.
A crowd begins to gather for the opening of the new 826 Valencia Tenderloin Center
Awesome Octopus Mural by the wonderful team at Office
IA Principal Andrew Dunbar waiting with crowd for the ribbon cutting ceremony to begin
IA designer John Tuthill in a crown, awaiting the grand opening
King Carl’s Emporium
The Fog Bank, where you can deposit and withdraw fog instead of money.
INTERSTICE gets its own lock box in the fog bank!
826 Executive Director Bita Nazarian, presenting INTERSTICE Principals Andrew and Zoee with a thank you gift during the program
IA designers John and Steven having too much fun on the bearcycle