Paint Factory to Potrero Court: The Story of Kansas and 24th Streets

Unfinished History

Information contributed by Joseph Leake, Potrero Court HOA Board President


In 1930 the Dutch Boy Paint Factory sat on the northeast corner of 24th and Kansas.

Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library (AAB-5992)


By 1994 the west side of Kansas Street had been demolished and replaced by the 101 Freeway, hidden by eucalyptus trees in this image, and a new apartment building had replaced the paint factory.

Photo: David Green

1857 – Bass-Hueter Paint Co. and San Francisco Pioneer Varnish and Glycerine Works is founded by Mr. Bass, and located at the northeast corner of Kansas and 24th Streets. Famed California photography & pictoralist Oscar Maurer (1870–1965) worked in sales for Bass-Hueter from 1891–98, and his father also worked for the company. They lived at 2220 24th St., which was a small building at the factory toward Rhode Island Street, next to the main entrance of the present day Potrero Court residences on the site.

1906 – Bass-Hueter opens a new office at 816 Mission near 4th Street, next to where Bloomingdale’s now sits.

1908 – Bass-Hueter is purchased by National Lead Co., makers of Dutch Boy Paints. The Dutch Boy Paint factory becomes the name that sticks for this industrial building.

1938 – Factory still in operation. The 24th St. trolley passed right by it.

1955 – Highway 101 under construction, in whose path the west side of Kansas Street is demolished and planted with Eucalyptus trees.

It's unclear when Dutch Boy moved out.

1971–74 – Synanon, Inc.—a communal group begun as a treatment center for narcotics addicts—creates its San Francisco House in the factory building after National Lead Co. transfers the plant (1970) to the intentional community.

1986Proposal for Grosvenor Terraces, a 132-unit housing development, made by Grosvenor Development and Cal Fed Enterprises to neighborhood.

Late 1980s – Extensive toxic clean up done on site in preparation of creation of an apartment and condominium complex on the block.

1988 – Community picnic announcing new residential building construction.

1989 – Property name changed to Potrero Court; probably by Bay West, the developer.