If you are living at a place for more than 15 years you might have known each and every turns and street nearby by your home, ri...
If you are living at a place for more than 15 years you might have known each and every turns and street nearby by your home, right? But this is not the case for the people living in San Francisco. Despite its long history, most inhabitants of San Francisco and especially even those that drive by it daily, have no clue where Albion Castle exists. For most San Franciscans, the castle is either unknown or a puzzle.
Built in 1870 by a young English immigrant Hamlin Burnell plans for a brewery to supply the salons serving in the growing city. The beer was already the preferred choice in San Francisco, with many local breweries competing for a business. But Burnell's new property had an advantage: an underground aquifer that serves cold water perfect for brewing – and not to mention free.
The property was not only meant for the workspaces for Ale Brewery and Albion Porter but also it was a castle home. The Albion Castle is a six-story square with two bathrooms, terraced gardens, and numerous patios. The castle was built into a hillside and features a distinctive tower built from stones that are pulled out cargo ship’s ballast, modeled after Norman fortifications. (17.1)
Inside the castle, Hamlin Burnell dug out two stone cisterns each one holding 8000-10,000 of spring water per day. The 200-foot pools are accessed at the cave entrance and still provide fresh water today. The castle has revamped many times over the years. When Prohibition forced the brewery to shut down in 1919, the castle reborn as the Albion Water company offering drinking water from the underground cisterns. In 1938, the castle was again bought by the sculptor Adrian Voisin who revamped the area, adding woodworks and medieval –inspired interior that is still there.
It was in 1961 when the castle became the victim of the highway construction that was planned to bulldoze the building but it was saved based on the argument that the water source under the castle “could only be a non-contaminated source of fresh water in the event of nuclear attack.” (As per the San Francisco Chronicle at the time)
In 1998 the property was again sold to another artist Eric Higgs. Until 2005 this underground castle was used as an occasional party location, art studio and a residence, and then it was sold at auction for $2.1 million dollars. The local brewers and castle fanciers from Napa County intended to revamp the property and re-launched the historic Albion Brewery.
The home would work great for a single family home with 1436 square feet of living space and the latest kitchen. Many of the people who are interested in the property are restaurateurs, people who are looking for a place to host any special events and brewers.
Note- The property is privately owned and is not open for any visit.
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