Monday, September 5, 2011

Pepperland Revisited (Again)

Former Pepperland building from the West
Photos: M. Parrish 7/11

Roof of Pepperland building - note relatively intricate wooden bracing
Thanks to the guidance of an anonymous commentator who worked at Pepperland, I was corrected in my assertion that the building with the Litchfield’s sign in front of the Bermuda Palms hotel was the space that housed Pepperland. Although that building was the home of the Bermuda Palms, the Citadel, and possibly Euphoria, Pepperland itself was a marginally bigger Quontset Hut type building immediately north of the Litchfield’s building. Today it houses Marin Hydroponics, and is indeed considerably changed from its concert configuration in the 1970s. I made a second road trip to the Litchfield Compound in early July, and was given a tour of the former Pepperland building by Al, the very helpful proprietor of the current establishment, who was well acquainted with the building’s storied history, and still rents the property from the Litchfield family. I have to admit that this correction of venue was a relief to me, as the building, sans the bay window in front and the addition on the southern end, was much more recognizably like the structure I remembered from its days as a concert venue. Although the promoters could have probably squeezed 1000 people into the building if the fire marshall wasn’t looking, it was still a good deal smaller than any of the SF ballrooms. One of the notable features of the building is the curved wooden roof, a much more elegant structure than the typical Quontset huts roofed with aluminum sheets (like Sophie's/Keystone Palo Alto on the Peninsula, which I will get around to eventually).

These days, the former concert floor is cut in half by the service counter and a longitudinal wall that splits the east and west halves of the building. Al let me peek in the storeroom area where the stage had been, but it was pretty piled with various kinds of merchandise. I’m no expert on hydroponics, but it appears to be a well-stocked place with a knowledgeable staff and a premier rock and roll pedigree. If you drop by, tell ‘em you read about it here!
Front of the former Pepperland Building from the Southwest 7/11

Pepperland building from the South- side view

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