Vignette 238 > Keystone Building

Keystone Block 1930 – log is for a pedestrian bridge in Muir Woods

The Keystone Block on Lytton Square was built in 1906 and remodeled in Tudor–style in 1934 as the Keystone Building. The upstairs once housed the Odd Fellows Hall.  There have also been offices for a dentist, a physician, an attorney and various commercial enterprises. On the ground floor there have been retail businesses such as stationery (Strawbridges), shoes (Mosher’s), pharmacies, groceries, clothing, and coffee (Peets). The most notorious was that of Dr. B.P. Kemp, a dentist who filled cavities and extracted teeth without Novocain. In 2007 after 36 years of catering to Mill Valley customers, Capricorn Gourmet Kitchenware on the corner of Bernard went out of business as a result of bad luck, devastating flooding and an unrelated evacuation order from the city. The flooding was caused by inept plumbing work upstairs. Capricorn reopened a month later, but was closed the next day by a building inspector who discovered structural weaknesses in the building’s beams, flaws not caused by the flooding. The 65-year old owner, Mike Jurs, took the events philosophically and said, “I think when I get past it all, I will see there was a silver lining after all.  Maybe it was the incentive I needed to retire.”

Keystone Building 1950