At the corner of Folsom and Freemont

Leslie Dowd Director of Client Relations Read Bio

The Story of 353 Folsom

Copper Foundry turned Office

Originally constructed in 1921, the E.M. O’Donnell Copper Works building at 353 Folsom Street was designed as a foundry that remained active until the early 1960s. Eventually purchased by Howard Friedman, former Chair of the Department of Architecture at University of California, Berkeley, he renovated the space to support his private practice and family foundation.

Keeping the bones

The renovation proved to be a major undertaking, especially balancing the tension between old and new, celebrating the building’s past and patina. While the exterior remained industrial, the interiors were transformed into a warm, inviting space. From the Douglas fir beams and steel ties to the original foundry equipment mounted on steel rails, these elements were kept to pay homage to the building’s history.

At the corner of Folsom and Freemont


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