Fourteen months ago we announced:
While we haven’t finalized the opening date, this is the home stretch of a project that’s been years in the making. That’s not long in terms of the Long Now, a fraction of a century, but this project is very close to home.
The Salon location is also Long Now’s headquarters, and the renovation work required us to move to temporary offices within Fort Mason Center. If you’ve ever worked or lived through a time when your belongings were largely packed away in storage, you can imagine what it has been like for our team for the better part of a year.
We don’t talk about it much, but this project also improves our office setup, redesigned to serve a staff that has roughly doubled since we moved in (though our full-time staff is still only in single digits). That spiral staircase leads up to the office, and, yes, there is a secret door in the bookshelf.
From a construction standpoint, all the work in the concrete floor is done, as well as various drains, plumbing and framing. There was an important electrical upgrade which is complete and now lots of wiring (electrical, heating, and audio visual) is going in.
Building a full scale cardboard prototype of the space in one night last year gave us important insights that lead to design adjustments in seating, sight lines, and the bar area flow. That night staff, donors and Long Now members worked together in what was really the inaugural Salon event. It was inspiring for all involved to get the first inkling of the venue moving from design models into reality.
All that is to say that it won’t be long now. In just a few months the construction will be complete. We will have news about the opening date before you know it. So please stay tuned here on the blog, on Twitter and Facebook for all the news on this and other Salon progress.
Meanwhile there’s lots of preparation. We are working on programming events for the Salon, and Jennifer is planning our bar menu and details like tea service and glassware. We’ve also received 1200 submissions from Salon donors and Long Now members of books for the Salon’s 3500-volume library, our Manual for Civilization.
And we’ve had major progress in raising the funds to complete the renovation. A rush of gifts at the end of 02013 took us past $330K, the two-thirds mark of our goal. The list of Salon donors who got us there includes not only many from San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, but people from around the country and more than a dozen countries around the world.
The list includes celebrated authors, eminent scientists, entrepreneurs, technologists, musicians and artists. Our own Long Now Board members have been generous as a group and individually, including our co-founder Brian Eno who has designed light and sound installations for the Salon.
— Neal Stephenson (@nealstephenson) June 28, 2013
Our donors hail from New Hampshire to Hawaii; from cities in Finland to small towns in Australia, Croatia, and France. From Albuquerque, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Paul, Salt Lake City, and Cape Town, Glastonbury, Hong Kong, Madrid, Rome, Stockholm, and Zurich. We are blown away by the response.
That support has come in gifts ranging from $10 to $25,000, all of which help us reach our goal. Donors at $100 or above receive a Long Now “Carpe Millenium” Challenge Coin, which has been the most popular level for donations. But there are numerous special gifts we have as thanks, which you’ll find on our ‘brickstarter’ page.
Our fundraising continues as we complete the renovation. We appreciate any way you choose to support the effort. Whether with a tax-deductible gift or by spreading the word about us to your friends online or off. It all helps us on the way.
Salon donors will hear first about all the opening festivities we have planned. Including donor-only events, the debut of our cocktail menu, and dates of the first public events in our new venue. Donors also have the chance to suggest as many books as they’d like for our Manual for Civilization library.
Thanks again for getting us this far, and we can’t wait to see you here: