Auction at the Presidio this Friday Friday Friday! Clawfoot Bathtubs, Anyone?

You gotta get over to the Presidio to check out all the stuff that’s getting auctioned off this Friday, August 28th, 2009, at 9:00 AM. But before you do that, make sure to drop by Tuesday and Wednesday to get in a nice long sneak peek.

(Just make sure to leave your commercial mapping vehicle at home (looking at you, Google) and you’ll be treated like royalty.)

Look at this! You’ll be just like Morrissey in his tub, clacking away at the typewriter.


Or, kick it new school in a huge hydrotherapy tub:


Looks like IKEA, but it’s built to last, baby:


Show your subs that you care with this stainless steel table, am I right?


And, straight out of Elkhart, Indiana, an official United States Park Service amplifier and pre-amplifier from Crown International, a $400 value (a third of a century ago, anyway). 


See you there!

Auction at the Presidio

Preview August 25 and 26. Live Auction August 28.

View the Gallery of Auction Items

For the first time, the Presidio Trust, in association with the General Services Administration (GSA), will present a live auction of itemssalvaged from Presidio buildings since the U.S. Army’s 1994 departure. As a first step in preparing park buildings for new uses, the Presidio Trust Salvage Department has combed through hundreds of sites, including the former Letterman Hospital, collecting items with remaining value and useful life.

Ranging from the conventional to the eclectic, items for sale include claw-foot bathtubs, tools, antique display cases, stainless steel cabinetry, laboratory casework, machinery, furniture, vintage fixtures, household and industrial lighting, and some extraordinary pieces of custom cabinetry… even a grand piano and a Hammond organ.

Items will be sold both individually and in small lots. Here’s how to participate:

Attend a Preview

A preview of sale items will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, August 25 and 26, from 9 to 1 pm, or by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call (415) 561-4260. The Preview will be held at the Salvage Warehouse, 1243 Appleton Street, in the Presidio. View map.

Join Us at the Live Action

The live auction will be held on Friday, August 28, starting at 9 am at the Herbst International Exhibition Hall at the Presidio, 385 Moraga Avenue. Doors will open, and registration will begin at 8 am. Please bring photo identification and a Tax ID number or Social Security number. View map.

View the Gallery of Auction Items

View a Map of Preview and Auction Locations

Questions? Please call the Presidio Trust at (415) 561-4260.

All the deets, after the jump



Presidio of San Francisco (August 20, 2009) — The last U.S. Army soldiers marched out of the Presidio in 1994, many leaving behind remnants of their daily life. Enter Dave Seabury. In the 15 years since the Army’s departure, Seabury and his team at the Presidio Trust’s Salvage Department have combed through hundreds of park buildings collecting, cataloging, and storing thousands of discarded and cast-off items.

Now the Trust, in association with the General Services Administration, is holding its first ever live auction of items collected by the Salvage Department. The auction will be held Friday, August 28 at Herbst International Exhibition Hall, 385 Moraga Ave., with previews at the Salvage Department’s warehouse, 1243 Appleton St., on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 25 and 26.

“We’re hoping the live auction will reach a broader segment of the population than the online auctions we’ve done in the past,” says Seabury. “People who live in the surrounding neighborhoods will have the opportunity to buy interesting items from the Presidio.”

Ranging from the eclectic to the conventional, the lots include claw-foot bathtubs and other vintage fixtures; antique furniture; extraordinary pieces of stainless steel and custom cabinetry; even a grand piano and a Hammond organ. Many of the items were recovered from the former Letterman Hospital, the Public Health Services Hospital, and other redevelopment sites. Items will be sold both individually and in small lots.

“Our goal,” says Seabury, “both with this auction and the salvage program in general, is to find new uses for the items, keeping as much as possible out of landfills.”

One of the Presidio’s best kept secrets, the salvage department’s home in a non-descript warehouse at Fort Scott is a refuge for a vast collection of both the odd and the useful, rescued from park buildings before the structures themselves were repurposed as schools, offices and homes. The program has helped furnish the offices of park management agencies and park partners, but it’s most visible success may be behind the bar at the Presidio Social Club, where stainless steel shelving pulled from the Letterman Hospital maternity ward now houses the bar’s liquors.

Seabury, whose official title is “Waste Reduction Coordinator,” has spent a half-century in the salvage industry. He began at the age of five, hauling stuff that could be reused from what was then a very rundown Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, to his family’s home a few blocks away. His scavenging instincts ultimately led to positions with Berkeley’s Urban Ore and Ohmega Salvage, where he first discovered he could marry his salvage skills with historic building preservation. He calls his 10 years at the Presidio the most rewarding of his career. 

“It’s still kind of astounding to me that I’ve managed to parlay dumpster diving into a position with the federal government,” Seabury says with a wry smile. “But my greatest satisfaction is the unique waste diversion program we’ve been able to build at the Presidio-one that incorporates recycling and waste management with salvage, disposal and the preservation of historic buildings.”

The Presidio Trust’s Salvage Auction will be held Friday, August 28 at Herbst International Exhibition Hall, 385 Moraga Ave on the Main Post. Doors open, and registration begins at 8am, the auction begins at 9:00. Previews will be held at the Salvage Department’s warehouse, 1243 Appleton St., on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 25 and 26 from 9am-1pm or by appointment. For more information, or to view the lots online, visit or call 415-561-4260.

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to oversee the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,500-acre site contains expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. It also comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to its status as a National Historic Landmark District.

Presidio of San Francisco. celebrating 15 years as a national park.

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One Response to “Auction at the Presidio this Friday Friday Friday! Clawfoot Bathtubs, Anyone?”

  1. Eric says:

    I would like to get a butcher table if any are left after the auction. Not able to get out for the bidding