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Larkspur in Marin County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Green Brae Brick Kiln

 
 
Green Brae Brick Kiln Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 24, 2013
1. Green Brae Brick Kiln Marker
Inscription. The Remillard Brick Company, of which the Green Brae Brick Kiln is the only surviving structure, was by 1900 the largest brickmaking firm on the Pacific Coast. The kiln is one of the few remaining examples of the Hoffman type kiln in the U.S. and is an engineering landmark of statewide significance. The kiln supplied much of the brick required to rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake, and the Remillard Brick Company served as a chief supplier of bricks for the entire Pacific coast. It was closed in 1915.

California Registered Historical Landmark No. 917

Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Intermark Interests Inc., October 21, 1989.
 
Erected 1989 by California State Department of Parks and Recreation and Intermark Interests, Inc. (Marker Number 917.)
 
Location. 37° 56.684′ N, 122° 30.339′ W. Marker is in Larkspur, California, in Marin County. Marker can be reached from East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard east of Larkspur Landing Circle. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 125 East Sir Francis Drake Avenue, Larkspur CA 94939, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow
Green Brae Brick Kiln Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 24, 2013
2. Green Brae Brick Kiln Marker - Wide View
The marker is visible here mounted to the chimney, opposite the restaurant entrance.
flies. Greenbrae Brickyard Superintendent's Cottage (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mission San Rafael Arcangel (approx. 2.4 miles away); The Gate House (approx. 2.5 miles away); The Belrose Theater (approx. 2.5 miles away); Falkirk Community Cultural Center (approx. 2.6 miles away); John Reed's Saw Mill (approx. 2.9 miles away); Historic Dedication of the Lagunitas Road Bridge (approx. 3 miles away); Marin County Civic Center (approx. 3.9 miles away).
 
More about this marker. Note that although the marker indicates that the kiln is the sole remaining structure from the Greenbrae Brickyard, the superintendent's cottage is also extant and located some 800 feet to the northwest of the marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Remillard Brick Company, Greenbrae Yard. California Bricks provides a history of the Remillard Brick Company and the Greenbrae Birckyard:"...In 1890, Remillard found a new clay deposit at Greenbrae...In 1891, the Remillard Brick Company acquired the property and opened the Greenbrae yard. Building of the plant and kilns cost $50,000 to $60,000. Sam Simard was the superintendent of the yard. The clay pit was located behind the plant....Common bricks were formed using wooden molds. Pressed bricks were made using a brick
GreenBrae Brick Kiln image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 24, 2013
3. GreenBrae Brick Kiln
This partial view of the kiln shows 7 of the 14 arched openings to the kiln. The Wikipedia entry (retrieved 3/29/2013) for Hoffman Kiln provides an explanation for the workings of the kiln, as well as the shape of the building itself: A Hoffmann kiln consists of a main fire passage surrounded on each side by several small rooms. Each room contains a pallet of bricks. In the main fire passage there is a fire wagon, that holds a fire that burns continuously. Each room is fired for a specific time, until the bricks are vitrified properly, and thereafter the fire wagon is rolled to the next room to be fired. Each room is connected to the next room by a passageway carrying hot gases from the fire. In this way, the hottest gases are directed into the room that is currently being fired. Then the gases pass into the adjacent room that is scheduled to be fired next. There the gases preheat the brick. As the gases pass through the kiln circuit, they gradually cool as they transfer heat to the brick as it is preheated and dried.... In addition to the inner opening to the fire passage, each room also has an outside door, through which recently-fired brick is removed, and replaced with wet brick to be dried and then fired in the next firing cycle.
press. After the bricks were air-dried, they were stacked in the kiln for firing. Remillard built a 16-compartment continuous Hoffman kiln, which still stands today. This kiln had 14 arched openings on the sides and the smoke was ventilated out a tall brick chimney. The fuel was coal. They employed 100 workers and produced 10 to 12 million bricks per year. A dock for shipping the bricks by schooners was built on the bay shore. Schooners, named after the Remillard daughters, carried the bricks to Oakland and San Francisco.
(Submitted on March 29, 2013.) 

2. Historic Photos of the Greenbrae Kiln and Chimney. A set of historic photos taken by Robert H. Lee in 1973, showing the brickyard in a state of decay prior to its renovation and conversion to an office complex and restaurant. (Submitted on March 29, 2013.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
GreenBrae Brick Kiln - Looking North Across East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 24, 2013
4. GreenBrae Brick Kiln - Looking North Across East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Note that only the kiln and chimney are original to the brickyard - the factory-like offices were added in the 1980's.
Kiln Chimney image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 24, 2013
5. Kiln Chimney
Halfway up is lettering reading "RB Co. 1891".
Shoreline of Remillard Park - Looking West image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 24, 2013
6. Shoreline of Remillard Park - Looking West
Here the kiln's chimney is visible, as is the area along the shoreline where the brickyard's dock was formerly located. The Larkspur Ferry Terminal is visible in the background.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 357 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   2, 3. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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