One of the first things people notice as they approach the front of 500 Capp Street is the shimmering gold lettering in the front window. While the letters have faded over time, you can still make out “Accordions – P. Greub.” This was one of the first things that David Ireland noticed about the home as well. Mr. Greub’s accordion shop proved to be a key feature of the property that motivated David to purchase it.
When David began his search for a property in 1975, he was not looking for a house to turn into his masterpiece. He was looking for a very practical space that met two key requirements: 1) Something that fit his modest budget, and 2) a place where he could live and maintain a working studio. 500 Capp Street easily met these two requirements.
Mr. Greub created a shop to build and sell his accordions by closing off the northwest corner of the home. On the 20th Street side, Mr. Greub also added a separate entrance for customers and a display window to show off his wares. When David purchased the home, he closed off the doorway, boarded up the display window, and turned the space into his studio. As larger commissions began coming in, he moved his studio to the East Bay and used the old accordion shop as an archive room.
When 500 Capp Street re-opens, the Foundation will use this space to help us fulfill our mission. The room can function in several different ways. We plan to reactivate the door, use the room as a studio, a gathering space or a place for small exhibitions or performances. The archives will be moved into a temperature-controlled area underneath the house. This will not only allow for the accordion shop to return to being a place of work and creative energy, but provide better protection and storage for the archives.