The Armory

For as long as I’ve been a San Francisco resident, I’ve been infatuated with the ominous structure on the corner of Mission and 15th St.  Resembling a Moorish Castle, San Francisco’s Armory is important piece of the cities history. Built in 1912, as a replacement for another armory that was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, the armory was used by the National Guard until 1976.

The Armory saw little use for the next 30 years and had fallen into ill repair, although it is rumored that several interior spaceship scenes were shot in the buildings drill quarters (no reference). In 2006, the building was purchased for $14.5 million by Kink.com and is now the companies office and studio space. I had been to Kink.com‘s former headquarters downtown (near Blue Bottle Cafe) for several happy hours in their Porn Palace and was given a tour of their sets and wardrobe spaces.

Kink is finished with most of the armory’s restoration and has built several permanent sets within. They’ve also cleaned the building’s exterior walls, which I used to think were black but can now tell they are red brick. There is still a lot of work ahead for them, but it looks like the armory is the perfect home for Kink.com.  As a matter of fact, I’m told that the company’s CEO, Peter Acworth, lives on the fourth floor. The armory is also the home of Kink’s in house lawyer and temporary dorms for visiting porn stars.

Recently, my friend and fellow Cartoonist Conspirator Star offered Mike Hales and myself a tour of the building. Star works in the company’s IT offices and loves it there. As she guided us on a roof-down tour of this SF landmark, I snapped as many shots as I could on my tiny iPhone camera. You can see my entire Amory photo set here. For more historic photos and information, check out the wonderful sfarmory.com site.