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Enid Sales Collection
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This collection contains 30 boxes of material relating to the work of preservationist Enid Sales (1922-2008), focusing on her work in Monterey County. Sales restored dozens of historic homes in San Francisco, Healdsburg and on the Monterey Peninsula. She preserved more than 350 Victorians as head of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency's residential rehabilitation program; and surveyed 2,000 historic buildings in Carmel.
Born June 3, 1922, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sales moved to San Francisco with her family around the age of 10. She studied literature at Reed College in Portland, OR, and married jazz critic Grover Sales. By the late 1940s she was running Allied Potters, turning out dinnerware that sold at Gump's in San Francisco. She later founded a movie soundstage in San Francisco with her husband. Sales began renovating Victorians after her divorce, updating bathrooms and kitchens, redoing plumbing and electrical systems, adding decks and restoring facades and interiors by scrounging through salvage shops. During this time, after one client refused to pay her, Sales got her contractor's license - the first woman in the state to pass the test, she said - to make sure that would never happen again. Redevelopment created a residential rehab program to save some of the area's Victorians in 1966, and Sales was hired to help out. She was soon chief of rehabilitation, overseeing a staff of 20, including six architects. Sales and crew preserved more than 350 Victorian homes that today include some of the city's best-known streetscapes. In the 1970’s she moved to 54 acres in Healdsburg for the life of a grape grower - Zinfandel and Pinot Noir. She remained in construction, building a few small houses and rehabbing perhaps 20 mostly Victorian cottages. Farm life was wonderful, but crop spraying aggravated Sales' breathing problems caused by her three-pack-a-day cigarette habit. Her daughter suggested a return to Carmel, where Sales' mother had lived. Sales had visited Carmel off and on since 1933 and moved to the city in 1986. In Carmel, where Sales did not go to retire, she found a town that was losing its Arts and Crafts cottages to development. There were no active preservationists. Sales recruited supporters by organizing talks and tours, and was soon surveying 2,000 of Carmel's historic buildings. When Mayor Clint Eastwood proposed tearing down the city-owned Flanders mansion , she responded by having it placed in the National Register. Sales' efforts led Carmel to create a preservation commission and to pay more attention to preservation, thanks to a plan worked out with the state Coastal Commission. Many cottages were saved thanks to her efforts - including one built entirely of doors. As in San Francisco, she gained fame by moving and restoring a building, this time the first house built by Carmel's leading builder, M.J. Murphy. In 1991, Sales was named Citizen of the Year by the Carmel Residents Association for her efforts at civic betterment and historic preservation. Sales subsidized her activism by evaluating potentially historic buildings and by remodeling. She lived in the quaint Newberry House, built by a former mayor, Perry Newberry. She helped preserve the Marsh Building, a once-famous Asian antiques emporium at the entryway to Monterey. Enid Thompson Sales, died of respiratory failure, September 17, 2008 at 87 years old.
30 archival boxes
The Henry Meade Williams Local History Room, Harrison Memorial Library does not hold copyright to these items. Permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder by the user.
Materials are open for research.