Driving around SoMa you've likely noticed the tiny shingled building, now dwarfed on all sides by condo towers and other modern structures, with the sign that says Klockars’ Blacksmith & Metal at 443 Folsom Street. It is, in fact, still a fully functioning blacksmithing shop run by the son-in-law of former owner Edwin Klockars, who took it over in 1938 from another blacksmith, who opened it here in 1912. It was, once upon a time, a little building standing by itself on this hill, before there was a Bay Bridge or anything much at all around here.

The Chron's Mike Kepka just made this lovely short film about the place for his 'The City Exposed' series, and it has remained virtually unchanged over the last hundred years. It's been run since 1970 by Tony Rosellini, now 81. It's still got a dirt floor, and they still make things like manhole cover hooks, and huge metal tongs for canning company assembly lines. Rosellini says he still "gets calls every once in a while," and so he keeps coming to work some days, even though he technically retired twenty years ago. There are still a few places in town like Jefferson Mack Metal and Renaissance Forge that do ornamental-type metal work, but Klockars' is the only place left that does this sort of purely functional metal tool work in these parts.

[City Exposed/SF Gate]