McDonald Construction and Development, Inc. is currently searching through the wreckage of a recently burnt down 1951 Henry Hills home in the east bay. Why? Because Hill built the home for Karl von Hacht, who owned a lighting design and manufacturing company in the Mission. Von Hacht ultimately went on to provide all or most of the custom lighting for Hearst Castle, the SF Opera House, and many Julia Morgan buildings. Shoot forward to 2008, and the great grand niece of von Hacht is the current owner of the home. She hired an architect to remodel her home and the architect hired MCD to do the construction. Two weeks later, the home burnt to the ground in a freak accident. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the surrounding homes didn't get damaged, but decades of family history and heirlooms were lost.
And then they discovered the "mechanical room"...the only area of the home that didn't burn. The "artifacts" we've posted are just a few of the hundreds of lighting samples, family photographs, sketch books, furniture...all of these items were stored in the mechanical room. McDonald Construction and Development, Inc. has been going through the burnt shell of the home meticulously and finding even more items in the ashes. "We've rescued as much as we could and have off loaded them to a storage facility for cataloging and hope at some point to set up an exhibit both back in the new home that we plan to start building in the Spring and perhaps even at one of several California focused museums." says McDonald.