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Bayview-Hunters Point creative fixture in danger of closing down

Beloved San Francisco creative space in danger of closing down for good
Beloved San Francisco creative space in danger of closing down for good 02:50

SAN FRANCISCO - The iconic Box Shop has been in Bayview-Hunters Point for 20 years, but founder Charles Gadeken says the space is in jeopardy of losing its home.

"If we went away, you are not going to get this kind of art made by artist in the City of San Francisco," Gadeken said.

The shop is made up of 60 shipping containers, all transformed into art studios. It allows artists access to space and tools used to create works found around and outside of the Bay Area.

Gadeken says it's always been a challenge for artists to find affordable places to create in the city. And that is a challenge the shop is facing, with rents being increased by 40 percent.

Now the community is raising funds, and the Box Shop is searching for a new home.

"To date, we have raised about $2.5 million. And we raised $1.75 million through a state grant from Sen. Weiner and the rest through private donations," said Gadeken. "It's just been massively stressful."

The art space is currently looking at two possible locations, but will need to raise at least a million by the end of the year to sustain itself.

"One property is about nine million dollars and the reality of a nine-million-dollar property, with the money we raised is that it comes to about $71,000 in just rent, and insurance a month," said Gadeken.

The financial stress is taking a toll. Instead of spending days working on his craft, Gadeken spends countless hours searching for solutions to save one of the last few creative spaces in the area.

"My goal was like to create a place where people can find community, find friends, and that additional purpose in life beyond working for money," Gadeken said.

He says the community ties are what makes this place so special, and he's hoping they can support him in saving the Box Shop. More information can be found on the facility's website.

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