Orchard Supply Hardware's original flagship store is scheduled to be shut down in two weeks.
The site of OSH's first store on San Carlos Street in midtown San Jose also has deep sports history, having served as a ballpark prior to the store opening in 1946.
“In 1927, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig did a barnstorming tour of the west coast," OSH CFO Chris Newman said. "They were in 21 different cities and they played a game on this site in October of that year.”
The baseball legends visited San Jose to play on Sodality Field.
Newman said "the Bambino" hit a home run that day, one that went 50 feet beyond the center field fence at Sodality. Babe's team won 13 to 3, Newman said.
In addition to the sports history, the store has a mystery on its second floor, where an old vault that has not been opened in decades sits.
“Someone lost the combination 20-30 years ago, so it hasn't been opened since," Newman said. "I'm not sure how we're going to open it."
Meanwhile, crews are putting the finishing touches on a new OSH store scheduled to open next door on May 31.
Newman said it will be a new-generation Orchard Supply, but one that will still have the feel of a corner hardware store.
And that’s important for shoppers like Sharon (who didn’t want to give her last name).
“I remember going to the hardware store with my father as a little girl and enjoying the smell of wood and the plants," she said. "I'd hate to see it go, but glad to see a new one."
(Correction: An earlier version of this article said the original OSH would be torn down in two weeks. A company official points out the store will be demolished at some point, but it won't be in two weeks "because all the merchandise has to be removed and the city needs to issue permits for demolition, etc.")