Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ghirardelli Square.

Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli


Rapallo, Italy.

Born in 1817 in Rapallo, Italy, Ghirardelli served as a Genoa confectioner’s apprentice and at a young age developed a strong interest in the business. He left for Uruguay when he was 20 years old, then sailed around Cape Horn to Peru where he became a coffee and chocolate merchant.

1848 - 1849.

James Lick

James Lick—Ghirardelli’s neighbor in Lima—left for San Francisco in January 1848 taking 600 pounds of Ghirardelli’s chocolate with him. He arrived just thirteen days before the first shiploads of gold-rush pioneers.

Ghirardelli's general store.

Lured by his friend’s tales of the gold rush, Ghirardelli joined Lick a year later and opened a general store supplying mustard, coffee, spices and, of course, chocolate.

1852 - 1895.

Former site of the Pioneer Woolen Mills.

Between 1852 and 1895, Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Factory was located at four different sites before the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company took over the Pioneer Woolen Mills on North Point Street—today’s site of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Manufactory & Soda Fountain and Ghirardelli Square.

1960's Ghirardelli Menu.


In the 1960s the chocolate manufacturing operation was sold and transferred to San Leandro. A group of San Franciscans, fearing Ghirardelli Square might be demolished, purchased the property.

Ghirardelli Square Layout.

Unique shops and restaurants were created within the old factory, combining the latest in retailing and fine cuisine with the flavor of old San Francisco. The project officially opened on November 29, 1964.

1982 - Present.

Ghirardelli Square.

Ghirardelli Square is considered the first successful adaptive re-use project in the country.  In 1982 the owners applied for and were granted National Historic Register status, a move that ensured the preservation of Ghirardelli Square for future generations.

Ghirardelli Square.

Originally a chocolate factory, today Ghirardelli Square delights visitors with its lively retail mix, while maintaining Ghirardelli’s tradition as a trendsetter for the rest of the world.

Ghirardelli Logo.


Anonymous said...

This is so interesting! I had no idea Ghirardelli had such a history--I mean, OBVIOUSLY it does! I have ventured there so many times (my roommate actually works at one of the desirable little shops in Ghiradelli), but I have never taken the time to learn the history. Thank you for your Ghiradelli knowledge :) I really enjoy how you separate your paragraphs with pictures!

Lauren Rubin said...

I have to say, I agree with Ashley, I had no idea Ghiradelli square had such a history! I've been there so many times and although I knew Fisherman's Wharf had a vivid past I never stopped to think about the history behind Ghiradelli square; what made it into the place it is today. Fascinating! I really love your blog. I hope you keep writing when class ends!

Christopher Selland said...

Ever since I first visited Ghiradelli square, when I was a kid, it has been an awe-inspiring place. However, that was merely because it's chocolates are so delicious. Now that I've read this piece, I am even more fascinated with the place. I really like how you started with the seed of the historical tale, by just showing a picture of the founder and his name. Then you gradually got more detailed with more pictures, a chronological history accompanying them, and then a current description of the business and where it's at today.

Unknown said...

Since I grew up in the area I was aware of the history behind Ghirardelli chocolate but I was unaware of the history behind the restoration of Ghirardelli square. I find it fascinating that it was the first successful adaptive re-use project in the country. I guess that's because San Francisco has the most conscientious and clever people (this is where I would wink).

Anonymous said...

The foto labled as Rapallo Italy is actually the picture post card perfect med port of Portofino...
I know cause I been there n done that twice... It is so picturesque that as soon as I saw it out the porthole of my cruise ship. I said to myself. Wow ! Maxwell Parrish musta been there.

Julie Thompson said...

Loved to visit in the early 70's Sr. Pico's, Maxwell Plums, The Mandarin...English shop The Chelsea...Wonderful!