San Francisco Landmarks
The following is adapted from the San Francisco City Planning Commission Resolution No. 6276 dated October 3, 1968:
Sources indicate that this building was constructed in 1852 on the foundations of an 1849 structure destroyed in the fires of 1851.
The building housed the Golden Era (1852-1856), the first of the literary papers that were recorded in Franklin Walker's San Francisco's Literary Frontier. Here, too, Bret Harte worked as a type-setter and authored his first poem which was published early in 1857.
During the 1860's, the building was used as an appliance (stoves and pipes) store, a crockery shop, and in 1862, billiard table maker Henry Echert had his shop here. In a later era, the building housed a Chinese broom factory.
Before the 1880's, the upper floor had been converted into a meeting area known as Lafayette Hall, and the Lafayette Guard, a militia company, had its armory here. This conversion may have taken place as early as 1869 when the British Benevolent Society had its offices and rooms here. The Sons of Temperance also met here at one time.
The Golden Era Building is in the Jackson Square Historic District.