Monday, December 14, 2015

The Old Russian Embassy

The William Westerfeld Mansion sits across the street from the northwest corner of Alamo Square in San Francisco at 1198 Fulton Street and is known as The Old Russian Embassy. Constructed in 1889 at a cost of $9,985, the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is San Francisco Landmark Number 135.

Timeline:

1928 – A group of Czarist Russians bought the home. They turned the ground-floor ballroom into a nightclub called Dark Eyes and used the upper floors for meeting rooms. The house became known informally as the "Russian Embassy".

1965 – The house was mentioned in the book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. The Calliope Company, a fifty-member collective, moved in.

1967 – Underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger took up residence. Anger filmed Invocation of My Demon Brother starring Bobby Beausoleil and Anton LaVey, and featuring music by Mick Jagger. According to this blog, "Invocation of My Demon Brother was assembled from scraps left over from Anger’s first version of Lucifer Rising he made in San Francisco. This first production came to a halt after the script was stolen by Bobby Beausoleil. Invocation of My Demon Brother summed up Anger’s feelings about the Vietnam war and is a collection of images intended to invoke a spell and induce a drug-like experience. The film was shot in The Straight Theater and The Russian Embassy in San Francisco. Anger also works in war shots, a cat funeral and footage from a Rolling Stones concert. Mick Jagger improvised a soundtrack for Invocation of My Demon Brother on a Moog Synthesizer." During this time, Stanton LaVey told Marlyn Marynick that he believes that his grandparents, Kenneth, Bobby, Charles Manson and Susan Atkins were all in the same place at the same time.

1968 – Members of the Family Dog occupied the house while promoting acid rock concerts at the Avalon Ballroom. Members of the Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company were frequent visitors.

View interiors of the William Westerfeld Mansion here.
 above: friend of the blog Stoner Van Houten recreates Bobby Beausoleil's iconic portrait.





34 comments:

Sun King said...

I pass by that house every day! I recall reading that Bobby liked the view of the trees in the Park across the street. The house is occasionally open to the public for viewing and is often rented out for film shoots.

orwhut said...

Another of life's mysteries solved for me by Panamint Patty. I've occasionally been puzzled as to why the Russians would place their embassy in San Francisco instead of Washington. Thank you Panamint Patty.

beauders said...

If I just had a billion dollars, I would buy the Russian Embassy and turn it into a Manson Museum.

christopher butche said...

If I had a billion dollars I would recreate a 1:1 scale replica of Dealey Plaza.

Matt said...

If I had a billion dollars I'd disappear so fast your heads would spin.

stoner van houten said...

great post !!!!

St Circumstance said...

Great post and pic!

christopher butche said...

But Matt, would you be happy? As Dylan sang, money doesn't talk, it swears. You're better off here.

Matt said...

Chris, that's one of my favorite all time lyrics!

Panamint Patty said...

Hell a billion would make Patty deliriously happy lol

Panamint Patty said...

PS hi whut!!

christopher butche said...

Matt, it occured to me that Manson's most successful recording year is also the one in which Dylan didn't release an album (1968). This should mean something somewhere, where is Mr Hendrickson to assist with the decoding?

HellzBellz said...

If I had that Billion Dollar, I would buy off a croocked high politician..... And then be the Ruler of the world.. Or sounds too Far Fetched ? ? Delusional ?? ................ No, just kidding here, What I seriously would do is Buy Mansons Freedom. Take him to Holland and go to Amsterdam and party alll night, then I will send you Guys a FotoGraph,..... I think that would be a Hell of a good investment of my Billion.. or not ???
Greetins from overseas....

BTW.... I will be smart enough to not lent out ANNY of it to Manson, he cannot con ME !!

Fiddy 8 said...

If i had a billion dollars I'd buy all 7 billion humans a coke and teach them to sing in perfect harmony.

HellzBellz said...

PePsi or CoCa ? ?

Fiddy 8 said...

I'm gonna need more like $14 billion if they want a 2 Litre.

Fiddy 8 said...

No coke, Petsi. chip! chip chip!

Fiddy 8 said...

Hellz, you probably have no idea what that media culture reference I made was, "No Coke, Petsi" was a classic Saturday Night Live TV show sketch with Belushi and Ackroyd from the 70s.

Matt said...

Fiddy, I drove a taxi in NY as a summer job during that period. "Coke Coke Chip Chip" was a secret code for us on the radio!

Fiddy 8 said...

"Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets. I go all over. I take people to the Bronx, Brooklyn, I take 'em to Harlem. I don't care. Don't make no difference to me." ~ *Taxi Driver*

Fiddy 8 said...

Great post Patty!

Is it possible Bobby met Mick Jagger in 1968?!

Fiddy 8 said...

Probably not.

Disclaimer at end credits for TV version of *Taxi Driver*:

"To our Television Audience: In the aftermath of violence, the distinction between hero and villain is sometimes a matter of interpretation or misinterpretation of facts. "Taxi Driver" suggests that tragic errors can be made. The Filmmakers."

Robert Hendrickson said...

Are joking CHRIS ? YOU need a "decorder ring" for San Francisco ?

1) LOOK at the POST pic - That's the DEVIL himself !
2) Haight Ashbury - birthpace of the Devil's children (Hippies)!
3) The stomping grounds of the Zodiac Killer !
4) The "gathering" place of The MANSON Family !
5) The birthplace of the Black Muslim "Death Angels" and the ZEBRA KILLINGS - designed to be the actual Helter Skelter.

AND San Francisco will VOTE 98% for Hillary Clinton.

YOU don't NEED a "decorder ring" - YOU need a tab of acid.

christopher butche said...

George Harrison went to Haight Ashbury August 7 1967. Dont think Jagger did as the Stones were having legal hassles, in particular with Jones' conviction he couldnt get a visa, so no tours after 1966 I believe until 1969.

Jenn said...

Robert, OF COURSE SF will mostly vote for Hillary. Too many intelligent people there to go for Trump (lol), or Cruz, or...

christopher butche said...

SF Police employed Dirty Harry mind you.

MamaPoohBear said...

A little off the subject....The other night, the Jeopardy category was "Crime"..the answer was, "Susan Atkins and Tex Watson were two members of this crime family." One of the contestants responded correctly with, "The Manson Family." I wonder if ol' Tex happened to catch that episode of Jeopardy? Would love to have seen his face.

Robert Hendrickson said...

There's a REASON Manson headed straight for SF when HE got out of prison in 67.

Wild and crazy town? Lawless ? Accepting ? Jim Jones had good thing going-on there ? ANYBODY ?

Matt said...

Blogger christopher butche said...

SF Police employed Dirty Harry mind you.



St Circumstance said...

Mr H....

Had a contact from prison there and had nowhere else to go?

St Circumstance said...

Lol any chance the answer could be that easy ?

Manson Family Archives said...

Mafia bars and clubs.

DebS said...

Dr. Roger Smith was Manson's parole officer, not to be confused with Dr. David Smith who had the Haight-Ashbury Free clinic. Roger Smith was a federal employee who, with federal grant money, was doing a drug study based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Charlie was given Roger Smith's name as a SF contact when he left prison in March 1967.

christopher butche said...

Dirty Harry, is of course vaguely relevant because the killer character is a portayal of a 1970ish version of a blend of violent crazed hippy meets the Zodiac killer meets Charles Whitman.

A sort of super-villian version of Bruce Davis with sniper training.

In a media studies kinda way it's an interesting post Manson-Altamont view of how say the reactionary silent majority of Nixon voters expected your average long-haired youth to behave. And in Dirty Harry the proper way to deal with them.

Possibly the best theme music ever to boot.