E. Carlson, 1999

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Sullivanesque Commercial, pre-1860

291 & 27 El Dorado St. (1898)
Frank Schilling & Son, Guns and Sporting Goods
27 Post St. (2000)
Acapulco Jewelers

An effete Willow-Glenish pastel color scheme besmirches 27 El Dorado St.
The building has also been sadly stripped of some of its architectural elements. When it comes to buildings, always defer to the past. Don't even think about it - restore it - don't tear it down. Sensibilities and style have degenerated with each passing year. There is no modern style - money has dictated boxes and bullshit. Alas, we are a society rooted in Mammon. We should at least hang on to the old buildings.

In 1884, San Jose changed the street-number scheme on El Dorado - this building started out 291 . . . and became 27. It survived the 1906 earthquake with only cracked windows.

Ellen Garboske, in her superb tome of San Jose history supporting San Jose History Walks, describes how Frank Schilling (18 years old), an immigrant from Germany, walked across America to San Francisco - and arrived barefoot and broke. He did not remain a leisured-indigent for long. In 1862, 10 years after landing, Frank opened his own gun shop on El Dorado Street.

Frank provided guns of his own manufacture, gun powder, shot, gold dust, money belts, miners tents, cutlery, bear traps, fishing tackle, and wagon covers. And, last but not least, he made surgical instruments to order. I'm not quite sure what's going on with that.

Ellen unearthed the peculiar tidbit that Schillings had its own forge, and a grindstone powered by a fox-terrier on a treadmill. This is just the kind of historical morsel that will not be, and should not be, forgot.

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