After a terrible five-alarm fire in the Sequoia Building at 2441 Haste Street on the evening of Friday November 18, Amoeba Berkeley was able to open for business on Monday. Traffic has been rerouted and now access by foot, car and bus is a whole lot easier than it has been over the past few days.
The fire broke out about 8:45pm on Friday night, and at first did not seem all that serious. But by the time employees left the store at 10:30, it was really starting to spread. There were fire trucks from many surrounding precincts that had been called in to help extinguish what was by now a five-alarm fire. The fire was brought under control at about 3:15am, but it was clear that the building was entirely gutted, leaving only the facade. Because the facade is brick and could topple any time, the street was cordoned off for two blocks while they conducted their investigations, and unfortunately, that meant Amoeba Berkeley was closed on Saturday and Sunday. In all 39 apartments and two businesses (Raleigh's and Cafe Intermezzo) were lost, along with a lot of jobs. Thankfully, though, there have been no reported injuries or loss of life at this point.
Watch video here.
The building has been slated for demolition, which has been fast-tracked and should take place soon.
Amoeba Berkeley was able to re-open on Monday, just in time for an in-store performance by Kimya Dawson. It was a truly special event, with Kimya playing for about an hour and even bringing Aesop Rock on stage to perform a few songs together at the end of her set. See photos from the in-store.
An amazing collection of powerful performers. I never realized just how many musicians have the power to hold flames or flaming objects. I wonder what gave Andy Gibb all that energy?
The fellow on the Kansas LP below (Audio-Visions) recieves his power from the lightning bolt pictured directly above him. Really. Said lightning bolt picture is the inner sleeve for Audio-Visions. And you thought he was just dipping into someone's crank stash...