Category Archives: Architecture

The Dark Art of the Painted Lady

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The Dark Art of the
Painted Lady

 

Throughout the city, florid gingerbread houses
are taking a monochrome turn.

 

Cole Valley and Noe Valley

(1 of 8)

Lower Haight and Castro

(2 of 8)

Mission and Noe Valley

(3 of 8)

Noe Valley and Marina

(4 of 8)

Mission and Russian Hill

(5 of 8)

Mission and Bernal Heights

(6 of 8)

Lower Haight and Cole Valley

(7 of 8)

Mission

(8 of 8)

Mission and Bernal Heights

 

 

Douglas Burnham of the design firm Envelope A+D is locally considered the godfather of dark Victorians. These days, you’ll spot them sporadically around the Bay—in Noe Valley, Jingletown, lower Pacific Heights—imposing obsidian beauties popping against their macaron-hued neighbors. But Burnham was the among the first to overthrow the prevailing Painted Lady, having painted the exterior of client Claire Bigbie’s traditional Clipper Street home a uniform blackish blue over five years ago. The original intent wasn’t to make the facade stand out (the Victorian’s whimsical trim “looked like roasted marshmallows on a stick,” Burnham remembers), but to disguise the molding with an inky finish, highlighting the texture instead.

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Mission and Russian Hill

The idea came from the dark houses of Amsterdam, which Burnham had recently visited. “It’s not some freaky, haunted house kind of thing there,” Burnham says. “It’s classic and proper, like a tuxedo.” Since then, the dark lady of Clipper Street has spawned dozens of jet-black imitators, not only Victorians, but also storefronts, museums, restaurants, and condos. Within the local design community, there’s ongoing debate as to which monochrome hue will emerge as the new black—forest green, dark teal, and midnight blue are top bets. “I always envied Claire’s black gingerbread house, but now that it’s turning more mainstream, I’m thinking we’ll paint ours monochrome fuchsia,” says interior designer Alison Damonte. “Don’t tell my neighbors.” After all, the Gothic look “is like any great song,” says Burnham. “You hear it too much, you get sick of it.”

vic4Noe Valley and Marina


 

Emphasizing texture 

Why go to the dark side?

Lowering costs 
“It used to be that people were using 7 to 12 paint colors to make their houses look like wedding cakes,” says professional painter Jill French, cofounder of Heather and French painting. At $65 to $105 a gallon for high-end exterior paint, that gets pricey. “Now, we’re seeing more home owners sticking with one or two colors.”

Standing out 
“In a row of pastels, a dark house pops,” says architect Owen Kennerly of Kennerly Architecture & Planning. The trend coincides with a wave of younger Victorian buyers, says interior designer Melissa Guerrero. “They want to do something a little shocking.”

Camouflaging fussy trim 
“My house is kind of a shack Victorian,” jokes Damonte of her periwinkle—“not by choice!”—Bernal Heights home. “If we paint it black, everything we don’t like will go away.” Going monochrome allows unloved details to blend in.

Letting the light work for you 
On north-facing homes, “warm and pastel colors can look feckless” without sunlight to animate them, says Kennerly. A darker color—particularly one with some blue in it—will look rich even without direct light.

Minimizing spring cleaning 
In the city, grime builds up on the edges of Victorian trim. “When the rain comes, it oozes down the house in sheets of gray and catches in the caulking joints,” says Kennerly. That film is more obvious against pastel paint.

Mission and Noe Valley

Emphasizing texture 
“Going monochrome lets the three-dimensional quality of the Victorian ornamentation speak for itself,” says architect Casper Mork-Ulnes of Mork Ulnes architects. The trim comes together as a cohesive tapestry rather than candy-colored fragments.

Playing down size 
Bigger homes can seem less monolithic by going dark, says Guerrero. (Conversely, bright paint colors can make small homes appear larger.) Window glass looks dark from the outside, so a dark paint color unifies the volume of a house by downplaying contrast with the window openings.

Projecting style 
“Monochrome black paint has a certain elegance and sophistication, like an Armani suit,” says Kennerly. Many owners also see it as an expression of their own modernist sensibilities. “It’s kind of like pets—people want their house to reflect who they are,” says Burnham. “And in San Francisco, a lot of people wear all black.”

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Lower Haight and Castro

House Swap: Five steps to transition from safe to striking.

1. Do your homework 
Burnham bought a can of black paint and a can of the darkest blue available, then mixed five versions in a spectrum. He and Bigbie had a custom formula made from the winning sample. Mork-Ulnes photoshopped a picture of his house with a series of gray-blue hues to choose the right one.

2. Invest in prep 
Proper priming and sanding are key. “Dark paint colors show a lot of flaws and make the wood more susceptible to blistering,” says French. Use elastomeric caulk and epoxy filler, especially on south-facing exposures, to protect the wood from expanding and contracting when it heats up.

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Cole Valley and Noe Valley

3. Consider the pigment
Pick a paint with a high pigment ratio, which indicates a greater volume of solids. Benjamin Moore’s aura exterior paints are a designer-recommended choice for quality and longevity. The more sheen, the better—it gives the home better UV protection than a matte color. Stay away from hues on the yellow end of the spectrum, which are prone to fading.

Mission

4. Seal the color 
Top the paint with at least two finish coats to protect the color and the underlying wood.

5. Delay the fade 
A lighter color lasts 30 percent longer than a darker color—even more in sunny neighborhoods. (“We should start a colony of tiny black matchbox houses in the foggy Outer Richmond,” jokes Burnham.) Benjamin Moore recommends retouching paint on a southern exposure every three to five years—Bigbie repainted the south side of her clipper street residence after four. Annual power-washing can stretch the time between repaintings.


Lower Haight and Cole Valley

How much would it cost to repaint one of Alamo Square’s famed Painted Ladies dark? 
$15,000 to $25,000, says Philip Storey of RedHill Painting, which specializes in restoring historic Victorians. “That quote will depend on the condition of the home and its orientation to the sun,” he says. Some budget-minded clients opt to paint only the front facade, rather than the entire house. On a Painted Lady, that would run around $8,000 to $12,000.

 

 

The Dark Art of the Painted Lady.

 

 

 

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Just the Gritty: SF Mission District Architecture | Untapped SF

 

The City’s First Neighborhood has
some of it’s best architecture

by Kate Shay

 

yellow building in the misstion district

You don’t have to be an architect to appreciate architecture. I’m going to be frank with you right now: I am not an architect. Nor am I some sort of architecture buff or historian. I simply love the buildings in my neighborhood — the bright colors and ornate facades just beg me to capture them, and fit perfectly with my style of high saturation and dreamy light blurs.

blue building in the mission district

It’s actually very rare for me to walk down a Mission district block and not stop at least twice to snap a photo (or five). It’s rather entertaining to watch my dog roll her eyes at me because I stop more than she does. How could I not? I’m surrounded by bright beacons of color with the sun bouncing off the plentiful windows.

One of the interesting things is that this neighborhood actually gets a pretty bad rap. It hasn’t had the nicest of histories, and most recently was well-known as a squatter’s district. Since it is shielded by hills and protected from the cold fog that plagues most of the rest of the city, the Mission is the city’s warmest district, attracting those without proper housing. Today families of Latino descent hold the majority — since the ’50s, the Latino population in the Mission has doubled every 10 years — providing much of the current flavor. Recently, however, Silicon Valley insta-millionaires decided it was chic to live in the Mission, and the largely Latino community is slowly being displaced.

victorian house

I hope that this article will inspire you a bit – perhaps open your eyes to a new neighborhood. I took the photos you see here over the last year or so, just imagine all the ones I’m not showing. Get out there, snap some photos, and share them with me on Instagram! @justthegritty and with Untapped Cities using #untappedcities hashtag.

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Pacific Telephone Building From Condos To Yelp



Pac Bell Building

Scraps Plans For Condos

Yelp Is Moving to 140  Montgomery Street

 

Back in 2007, developers Wilson Meany Sullivan (of Ferry Building and One Powell fame) acquired the Timothy Pfleuger art deco skycraper at 140 New Montgomery Street. Known as the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Building, the tower was one of the tallest skyscrapers on the West Coast at the time it was constructed in 1925. The developers had grand plans to renovate the building into luxury condos, and even got through the permitting and entitlements labyrinth in 2008. Unfortunately for them, the plans were hatched right before the recession, and the loss of funding cause the project to stall out for the past four years.

Fast forward to today and the office market has started to boom again, so the developers have redirected the project. With a $50 million-plus modernization project about to begin, the new rehabilitation will include a major seismic retrofit and upgrading the skyscraper’s 280,000 square feet of available office space to house potential tech start-ups, venture-capital firms and others. According to the project website, the space will included high-end amenities like a private

outdoor tenant garden, showers, bike parking and repair rooms, and first-class ground-floor dining. Are you listening, future fancy tenants?

Designed by local superstar architect Timothy Pflueger (art deco mastermind behind the Transbay TerminalNew Mission TheaterCCSF, and the Paramount Theater in Oakland), it has soaring terra-cotta piers, art deco details and 13-foot-tall eagle statues at the top – not to mention a pretty fierce marble lobby. There’s also a 26th floor auditorium (sure, why not?), complete with bas reliefs with a snake charmer, elephants and other animals. According to the plans, WMS seeks to maintain the architectural integrity of the building – vintage light fixtures in the lobby will be restored, original bronze medallions on the elevator doors replicated, and the old mail chute retained.

It won’t be all historic sentimentality though, as the plan also include measures to modernize and add safety features to the building. They will replace 1,300 of the building’s 1,700 steel-frame windows, install seismic bracing and modernize the elevators. The developer also plans to create two new retail or restaurant spaces off the restored main lobby. According to the Wall Street Journal, the building should beready for occupancy in the summer of 2013.


UPDATE**** YELP Moving in

Yelp has given San Francisco a five-star rating, committing itself to stay in its hometown through at least 2021.

The popular online review site, one of the first dot-coms to set up shop in the city after the Internet bubble burst, will announce Thursday that it has signed a roughly 100,000-square-foot lease at the Pacific Telephone Building, an Art Deco classic of the city’s skyline.

Pac Bell Building

Pac Bell Building (Photo credit: jgatts)

“We’ve grown up here in the city, and it’s fair to say that Yelp wouldn’t have been as successful had we not started in a city like San Francisco,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, chief executive of Yelp, in describing why the company decided to keep its headquarters here. “It’s a very dynamic cultural scene, lots of restaurants and nightlife, and all those things feed nicely into what Yelp is about.”

Contributing factors included the deepening design and engineering talent pool in the city, the convenient commute to that slice of South of Market and the unique character of 140 New Montgomery St., he said.

Designed by prominent architect Timothy Pflueger in the 1920s, the Pacific Telephone Building is considered one of the finest Art Deco skyscrapers in the city, routinely praised in local architecture guides.

Yelp will relocate from its current space at 706 Mission St. in the fall of 2013. The new space will accommodate around 800 employees, room to grow from the roughly 500 San Francisco workers Yelp has today.

 

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Hotel Hugo site specific art installation – Defenestration is now 16 years old – Brian Goggin

 

Defenestration Installation

Defenestration

1997-present

(Site-specific installation on the corner of 6th and Howard St. in San Francisco)

This multi-disciplinary sculptural mural involves seemingly animated furniture; tables, chairs, lamps, grandfather clocks, a refrigerator, and couches, their bodies bent like centipedes, fastened to the walls and window-sills, their insect-like legs seeming to grasp the surfaces. Against society’s expectations, these everyday objects flood out of windows like escapees, out onto available ledges, up and down the walls, onto the fire escapes and off the roof. “DEFENESTRATION” was created by Brian Goggin with the help of over 100 volunteers.

The concept of “DEFENESTRATION”, a word literally meaning “to throw out of a window,” is embodied by both the site and staging of this installation. Located at the corner of Sixth and Howard Streets in San Francisco in an abandoned four-story tenement building, the site is part of a neighborhood that historically has faced economic challenges and has often endured the stigma of skid row status. Reflecting the harsh experience of many members of the community, the furniture is of the streets, cast-off and unappreciated. The simple, unpretentious beauty and humanity of these downtrodden objects is reawakened through the action of the piece. The act of “throwing out” becomes an uplifting gesture of release, inviting reflection on the spirit of the people we live with, the objects we encounter, and the places in which we live.

The ground level has served as a rotating gallery

for the vibrant artwork of street muralists.



Operation Restore Defenestration

See Defenestration in person 

»»» See the restoration of Defenestration online

via Brian GogginDefenestration – Brian Goggin.

English: The "Defenestration" art pr...

English: The "Defenestration" art project by Brian Goggin on a building at 6th Street and Harrison Street in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Site-specific installation by Dan Flavin, 1996...

Site-specific installation by Dan Flavin, 1996, Menil Collection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The battle of 8 Washington | SF Bay Guardian

The battle of 8 Washington

Condos for millionaires approved with progressives split

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(22)

The condos at 8 Washington (center) would be the tallest buildings and the priciest housing along the waterfront

tredmond@sfbg.com

More than 100 people showed up May 15 to testify on a condominium development that involves only 134 units, but has become a symbol of the failure of San Francisco’s housing policy.

I didn’t count every single speaker, but it’s fair to say sentiment was about 2-1 against the 8 Washington project. Seniors, tenant advocates, and neighbors spoke of the excessive size and bulk of the complex, the precedent of upzoning the waterfront for the first time in half a century, the loss of the Golden Gateway Swim and Tennis Club — and, more important, the principle of using public land to build the most expensive condos in San Francisco history.

Ted Gullicksen, director of the San Francisco Tenants Union, calls it housing for the 1 percent, but it’s worse than that — it’s actually housing for the top half of the top half of the 1 percent, for the ultra-rich.

It is, even supervisors who voted in favor agreed, housing the city doesn’t need, catering to a population that doesn’t lack housing opportunities — and a project that puts the city even further out of compliance with its own affordable-housing goals.

And in the end, after more than seven hours of testimony, the board voted 8-3 in favor of the developer.

It was a defeat for progressive housing advocates and for Board President David Chiu — and it showed a schism on the board’s left flank that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. And it could also have significant implications for the fall supervisorial elections.

Sup. Jane Kim, usually an ally of Chiu, voted in favor of the project. Sup. Eric Mar, who almost always votes with the board’s left flank, supported it, too, as did Sup. Christina Olague, who is running for re-election in one of the city’s most progressive districts.

At the end of the night, only Sups. David Campos and John Avalos joined Chiu in attempting to derail 8 Washington.

The battle of 8 Washington isn’t over — the vote last week was to approve the environmental impact report and the conditional use permit, but the actual development agreement and rezoning of the site still requires board approval next month.

Both Mar and Olague said they were going to work with the developer to try to get the height and bulk of the 134-unit building reduced.

But a vote against the EIR or the CU would have killed the project, and the thumbs-up is a signal that opponents will have an upward struggle to change the minds of Olague, Kim, and Mar.

 

DEFINING VOTES

The 8 Washington project is one of a handful of defining votes that will happen over the next few months. The mayor’s proposal for a business tax reform that raises no new revenue, the budget, and the massive California Pacific Medical Center hospital project will force board members to take sides on controversial issues with heavy lobbying on both sides.

In fact, by some accounts, 8 Washington was a beneficiary of the much larger, more complicated — and frankly, more significant — CPMC development.

The building trades unions pushed furiously for 8 Washington, which isn’t surprising — the building trades tend to support almost anything that means jobs for their members and have often been in conflict with progressives over development. But the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union joined the building trades and lined up the San Francisco Labor Council behind the deal.

And for progressive supervisors who are up for re-election and need union support — Olague and Mar, for example — defying the Labor Council on this one was tough. “Labor came out strong for this, and I respect that,” Olague told me. “That was a huge factor for me.”

She also said she’s not thrilled with the deal — “nobody’s jumping up and down. This was a hard one” — but she thinks she can get the developer to pay more fees, particularly for parking.

The battle of 8 Washington – Page 2

Condos for millionaires approved with progressives split

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The condos at 8 Washington (center) would be the tallest buildings and the priciest housing along the waterfront

Kim isn’t facing re-election for another two years, and she told me her vote was all about the $11 million in affordable housing money that the developer will provide to the city. “I looked at the alternatives and I didn’t see anything that would provide any housing money at all,” she said. The money is enough to build perhaps 25 units of low- and moderate-income housing, and that’s a larger percentage than any other developer has offered, she said.

Which is true — although the available figures suggest that Simon Snellgrove, the lead project sponsor, could pay a lot more and still make a whopping profit. And the Council of Community Housing Organizations, which represents the city’s nonprofit affordable housing developers, didn’t support the deal and expressed serious reservations about it.

Several sources close to the lobbying effort told me that the message for the swing-vote supervisors was that labor wanted them to approve at least one of the two construction-job-creating developments. Opposing both CPMC and 8 Washington would have infuriated the unions, but by signing off on this one, the vulnerable supervisors might get a pass on turning down CMPC.

That’s an odd deal for labor, since CPMC is 10 times the size of 8 Washington and will involve far more jobs. But the nurses and operating engineers have been fighting with the health-care giant and there’s little chance that labor will close ranks behind the current hospital deal.

Labor excepted, the hearing was a classic of grassroots against astroturf. Some of the people who showed up and sat in the front row with pro-8 Washington stickers on later told us they had been paid $100 each to attend. Members of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, to which Snellgrove has donated substantial amounts of money in the past, showed up to promote the project.

BEHIND THE SCENES

But the real action was behind the scenes.

Among those pushing hard for the project were Chinese Chamber of Commerce consultant Rose Pak and community organizer David Ho.

Pak’s support comes after Snellgrove spent years courting the increasingly powerful Chinatown activist, who played a leading role in the effort that got Ed Lee into the Mayor’s Office. Snellgrove has traveled to China with her — and will no doubt be coughing up some money for Pak’s efforts to rebuild Chinese Hospital.

Ho was all over City Hall and was taking the point on the lobbying efforts. Right around midnight, when the final vote was approaching, he entered the board chamber and followed one of Kim’s aides, Matthias Mormino, to the rail where Mormino delivered some documents to the supervisor. Several people who observed the incident told us Ho appeared to be talking Kim in an animated fashion.

Kim told me she didn’t actually speak to Ho at that point, although she’d talked to him at other times about the project, and that “nothing he could have said would have changed anything I did at that point anyway.” Matier and Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Ho was heard outside afterward saying “don’t worry, she’s fine.”

Matier and Ross have twice mentioned that the project will benefit “Chinatown nonprofits,” but there’s nothing in any public development document to support that assertion.

Chiu told me that no Chinese community leaders called him to urge support for 8 Washington. The money that goes into the affordable housing fund could go to the Chinatown Community Development Corp., where Ho works, but it’s hardly automatic — that money will go into a city fund and can’t be earmarked for any neighborhood or organization.

CCDC director Norman Fong confirmed to me that CCDC wasn’t supporting the project. In fact, Cindy Wu, a CCDC staffer who serves on the city Planning Commission, voted against 8 Washington.

The battle of 8 Washington – Page 3

Condos for millionaires approved with progressives split

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(22)

The condos at 8 Washington (center) would be the tallest buildings and the priciest housing along the waterfront

I couldn’t reach Ho to ask why he was working so hard on this deal. But one longtime political insider had a suggestion: “Sometimes it’s not about money, it’s about power. And if you want to have power, you need to win and prove you can win.”

Snellgrove will be sitting pretty if 8 Washington breaks ground. Since it’s a private deal (albeit in part on Port of San Francisco land) there’s no public record of how much money the developer stands to make. But Chiu pointed out during the meeting, and confirmed to me later by phone, that “there are only two data points we know.” One is that Snellgrow informed the Port that he expects to gross $470 million in revenue from selling the condos. The other is that construction costs are expected to come in at about $177 million. Even assuming $25 million in legal and other soft costs, that’s a huge profit margin.

And it suggests the he can well afford either to lower the heights — or, more important, to give the city a much sweeter benefits package. The affordable housing component could be tripled or quadrupled and Snellgrove’s development group would still realize far more return that even the most aggressive lenders demand.

Chiu said he’s disappointed but will continue working to improve the project. “While I was disappointed in the votes,” he said, “many of my colleagues expressed concerns about height, parking, and affordable housing fees that they can address in the upcoming project approvals.”

So what does this mean for the fall elections? It may not be a huge deal — the symbolism of 8 Washington is powerful, but if it’s built, it won’t, by itself, directly change the lives of people in Olague’s District 5 or Mar’s District 1. Certainly the vote on CPMC will have a larger, more lasting impact on the city. Labor’s support for Mar could be a huge factor, and his willingness to break with other progressives to give the building trades a favor could help him with money and organizing efforts. On the other hand, some of Olague’s opponents will use this to differentiate themselves from the incumbent. John Rizzo, who has been running in D5 for almost a year now, told me he strongly opposed 8 Washington. “It’s a clear-cut issue for me, the wrong project and a bad deal for the city.” London Breed, a challenger who is more conservative, told us: “I would not have supported this project,” she said, arguing that the zoning changes set a bad precedent for the waterfront. “There are so many reasons why it shouldn’t have happened,” she said. And while Mar is in a more centrist district, support from the left was critical in his last grassroots campaign. This won’t cost him votes against a more conservative opponent — but if it costs him enthusiasm, that could be just as bad.

Comments

Such a sad sorry broken record. Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.
If we absolutely have to allow something to be built, we must extort as much money as possible from the developer (even though those costs are just transferred back to the buyer) or we must knock a story or two off the building.

What do you people have to offer San Francisco other than being the token opposition to everything proposed?

Posted by Greg2 on May. 23, 2012 @ 9:51 am

irrelevant. Opponents of this development are the same few dozen activists who show up for many of these meetings. Attend any city meeting and, if you believe only the crowd, you’d think this city is well to the left of Lenin.

The simple fact is that most residents don’t have a few hours to spare, especially during the day, to attend these borefests. The supes know that and routinely ignore the speakers. I actually feel sorry for them having to listen to hours of this droning before they can actually make the important decisions.

As for 8-Wash, I suspect 8/11 of the city residents want a prime architectural jewel to bedeck our waterfront, and want the jobs, tax dollars and affordable housing setasides that comes with it.

Again that, ideological whimpering by the usual suspect NIMBY’s doesn’t really matter.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2012 @ 10:09 am

If you think this is going to be an “architectural jewel” you may want to look at the video that the Planning Department commissioned to show what the project would look like (see YouTube, “We Tore Down the Embarcadero Freeway for This!”). The project narrows the sidewalk along Embarcadero from current 16′ down to 15′. The sidewalk along the Embarcadero in front of Sue Bierman park, one block south, is actually 18′ wide. The devil is in the details.

The much touted Jackson Court, which extends Jackson to The Embarcadero, allows the bulky residential towers to project 10-12 feet into the public right of way. If this project ever gets built, you may be surprised by what it actually looks like, particularly after the design gets ‘value engineered’ to reduce construction costs.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2012 @ 10:27 am

Let me know when someone even notices or cares.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

If you think this is going to be an “architectural jewel” you may want to look at the video that the Planning Department commissioned to show what the project would look like (see YouTube, “We Tore Down the Embarcadero Freeway for This!”). The project narrows the sidewalk along Embarcadero from current 16′ down to 15′. The sidewalk along the Embarcadero in front of Sue Bierman park, one block south, is actually 18′ wide. The devil is in the details.

The much touted Jackson Court, which extends Jackson to The Embarcadero, allows the bulky residential towers to project 10-12 feet into the public right of way. If this project ever gets built, you may be surprised by what it actually looks like, particularly after the design gets ‘value engineered’ to reduce construction costs.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2012 @ 10:29 am

If you think this is going to be an “architectural jewel” you may want to look at the video that the Planning Department commissioned to show what the project would look like (see YouTube, “We Tore Down the Embarcadero Freeway for This!”). The project narrows the sidewalk along Embarcadero from current 16′ down to 15′. The sidewalk along the Embarcadero in front of Sue Bierman park, one block south, is actually 18′ wide. The devil is in the details.

The much touted Jackson Court, which extends Jackson to The Embarcadero, allows the bulky residential towers to project 10-12 feet into the public right of way. If this project ever gets built, you may be surprised by what it actually looks like, particularly after the design gets ‘value engineered’ to reduce construction costs.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2012 @ 10:29 am

If you think this is going to be an “architectural jewel” you may want to look at the video that the Planning Department commissioned to show what the project will look like (see YouTube, “We Tore Down the Embarcadero Freeway for This!”). The project narrows the sidewalk along Embarcadero from current 16′ down to 15′. The sidewalk along the Embarcadero in front of Sue Bierman park, one block south, is actually 18′ wide. The devil is in the details.

The much touted Jackson Court, which extends Jackson to The Embarcadero, allows the bulky residential towers to project 10 feet into the public right of way. If this project ever gets built, you may be surprised by what it actually looks like, particularly after the design gets ‘value engineered’ to reduce construction costs.

Posted by Brad Paul on May. 24, 2012 @ 10:33 am

It’s, like, so much more persuasive that way.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

How can anyone possibly call this ugly boxy monstrosity an “architectual jewel”?!?!

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2012 @ 10:08 am

that is hoping to be marketed to high-value buyers will look like crap.

I propose that you divorce form from substance. If this were a new center for the homeless, or a medical pot dispensary, you’d probably be singing its praises.

Class envy has no place in architectural critiques.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2012 @ 11:29 am

These people are so incredibly myopic and selfish.

Myopic because they obviously don’t understand what 1% means. If you create more housing it’s not like there’s more 1%. It’s a fixed ratio of people, meaning, if they buy at 8 Washington they probably won’t buy somewhere else. Inventory opens up elsewhere, where it’s more affordable based on market demand. That’s a free market folks.

Selfish because they’re obviously protecting their own best interests. They could care less about affordable housing. If they did, they’d want to see more housing inventory. Let’s see if they prefer an exclusively low income development next door.

As for “too bulky”, I don’t know what to say. Give me a break. You live in the heart of one of the most dense areas in the state, if not country. If you want quaint, you’re in the wrong place.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2012 @ 11:45 am

What are you talking about? If we cannot afford the $3 million to buy one of the 143 apartments at 8 Washington, what makes you think we will be able to afford the former homes of the new buyers? These apartments are for the richest of the rich. They will contribute nothing to the city. They are not providing jobs (except for their poor servants). The probably own several homes and will not spend much time here.

The trickled down theory has been discredited. The city’s plan admits we have an affordable housing crisis and yet they build luxury housing? We need smart development not shortsighted gifts to their political donors.

Posted by Sigmarlin on May. 24, 2012 @ 4:29 pm
MANY OF THE COMMENTS ON THIS POST, LIKE THIS ONE, ARE OBVIOUSLY MADE BY CORPORATE TOOLS
Tim, the fact that “two to one” at the meeting opposed it is

Mirrelevant. Opponents of this development are the same few dozen activists who show up for many of these meetings. Attend any city meeting and, if you believe only the crowd, you’d think this city is well to the left of Lenin.

The simple fact is that most residents don’t have a few hours to spare, especially during the day, to attend these borefests. The supes know that and routinely ignore the speakers. I actually feel sorry for them having to listen to hours of this droning before they can actually make the important decisions.

As for 8-Wash, I suspect 8/11 of the city residents want a prime architectural jewel to bedeck our waterfront, and want the jobs, tax dollars and affordable housing setasides that comes with it.

Again that, ideological whimpering by the usual suspect NIMBY’s doesn’t really matter.

The top 2% pay 50% of all taxes, according to the IRS. Plus all the sales tax and jobs their spending creates. That’s why every city on the planet tries to attract them and SF doesn’t even really have to try. Do you have any idea what an incredible benefit that is?

And if I pay a million or two for a new condo, then I’m not buying a condo in SOMA, which means the next leg down the hierarchy can, which means they are not competing for that TIC in the Mission that you want. And so on.

That’s the funny thing about the free market. It works, like an invisible hand, without some faceless over-paid city bureaucrat in a cheap suit meddling at all.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

The laws of supply and demand are held in abeyance by the Progressive school. Tim explained their platform in an earlier post. That the people who would live in 8 Washington would NOT otherwise buy an expensive condo in Soma. He seems to believe that they would not live in San Francisco if not for 8 Washington. I remember, in one of the highlights of the post, he calculated the environmental cost of them flying here once a month from New York in their private jets, all because of 8 Washington (I’m serious, I’m not making that up. Search for it).

And your economic arguments are quite logical but the Progressive movement has no innate interest in the tax revenue that the rich pay, other than that they want to spend it on social engineering. If the wealthy could just mail in checks from New York or the Caymans without actually owning property here the Progressives would be perfectly happy.

Posted by Troll on May. 24, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

One might ask, “why would I vote to re-elect a Supervisor who, even though they know a deal is completely out of compliance with zoning laws and the public trust, does not fundamentally support the deal and which may even be something their “normal” constituency does not support, vote for it anyway?”. I don’t’ want to vote for a Supervisor who is weak, and stands for nothing at all.

Thanks to Chiu, Avalos and Campos for doing the right thing for the City.

Posted by Guest observer on May. 23, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

vote the exact opposite, and support a project that will bring vital tax dollars to the city.

Envy is not a viable political strategy.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

>”I didn’t count every single speaker, but it’s fair to say sentiment was about 2-1 against the 8 Washington project.”

Several of us pointed out last time that the opponents of the project were allowed to speak in a time slot that ended around 8PM. The proponents of the project didn’t get a chance to speak until about 11:30PM, on a Tuesday night. Many people obviously had to leave the Civic Center area as midnight was approaching.

I just point this out in case there is anyone new out there reading this who might falsely assume that Tim Redmond is an honest journalist. He is not. He’s aware of this significant factor that dampened the opponents response but deliberately ignored it because it didn’t suit his agenda.

Just a reminder to everyone — Redmond is pure propaganda, you’ll see for yourself if you read this stuff for awhile. Good for a laugh now and then but if you are looking for information to base an opinion on you obviously need to look elsewhere.

Posted by Troll on May. 24, 2012 @ 11:05 am

against this project shows that even the “usual suspect” activists were struggling to get any numbers out to oppose this.

Frankly, I don’t even know why the supes have to vote on every new building. A bigger city would surely delegate such low-level decisions to those with expertise in building and development.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

I’m more concerned about the sleazy, rent-a-mob corporate lobbyists and corporate hacks and their corrupt politicians working for the 1% for their right-wing elitist agenda (they call it “moderate” to deceive people). I appreciate the “usual suspect” activists who are part of the 99%. They are not usually bought-off through corruption.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

In small town San Francisco, the people with the “expertise” are the endless neighborhood groups who have to make sure that nothing changes ever. We’re provincial and we know it.

Posted by Greg on May. 24, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

parochialism and provincialism more than the way any and very new building is considered “controversial”, requiring endless debate.

Just build the damn thing. The natives will always find something else to whine about.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2012 @ 11:31 am

But you’re whining too….about the “natives.”

That’s called being a hypocrite.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

Is Scott Weiner a Developer's Tool?

 

 

Scott Wiener goes after historic preservation | SF Politics

 

 

 

 

 

Housing for the super rich approved, 8-3

 

 The two defining votes of 2012



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San Francisco Nightlife – A Sampling of The City's Gay bars

San FranciscoGay Bars and Clubs, a Sampling

The Mix

4086 18th St., San Francisco CA 94114; Tel. 415.431.8616

The Mix offers a sense of warm familiarity as the Castro’s “neighborhood bar.” In addition to a selection of beers, cocktails, pool tables and friendly bartenders, patrons will also enjoy the Mix’s jukebox and open-air back patio. It’s a great spot for bonding over a pitcher with old friends or branching out and making new ones.

The Edge

1270 Valencia St., San Francisco CA 94110; Tel. 415.285.1200

The Edge is a divey corner neighborhood stop in the Castro with friendly bartenders and a happy hour that starts at noon and lasts until 7pm. Affordable drinks aren’t the only incentive to head to the Edge—its tagline promises “Strong Drinks, Low Lights, Men.”

Blackbird Bar

2124 Market St., San Francisco CA 94114; Tel. 415.503.0630

The Blackbird offers visitors a classy night out with local wines, artisanal beers, craft cocktails and an unpretentious attitude. Sip on drinks such as the Farmer’s Daughter or Old Boy while enjoying feature artists.

Twin Peaks Tavern

401 Castro Street (at Market), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.864.9470

Older men, younger men. Guess who’s buying? A Moroccan-pillowed triangular space with plate glass windows and a bar stocked with casual elegance and casual encounters. Located conveniently on Market and Castro, at the foot of the San Francisco gay bar scene.

MORE INFORMATION »

The Cafe

2367 Market St (at Castro), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.861.3846

No cover. Strong drinks. Super-gay top 40 dance mixes that bring scraggly-haired lesbians and boys who buy their youth at the tanning salon. It doesn’t get much more Castro than this.

440 Castro

440 Castro St (at 18th St.), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.621.8732

Yes, that leather-clad San Francisco silver fox with an obscenely prominent package is, as you might have suspected, tugging at his chaps for you.

Endup

Sixth St. & Harrison, San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.357.0827

There ain’t no party / like a West Coast party / ’cause a West Coast party / don’t stop. For over 25 years, the Endup has kept the San Francisco nightlife torch alive with its all day all night weekend dance-a-thons. The Sunday afternoon gay dance is legendary.

Kimo’s

1351 Polk (at Pine), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.885.4535

Tourists looking for more family-friendly San Francisco drag shows should stick to Beach Blanket Babylon. Kimo’s ladies are hard-core, hard-livin’ and workin’ hard for their money. Still, expect a fair share of Celine, Cher and Stevie Nicks.

The Lexington Club

3464 19th St., San Francisco CA 94110; Tel. 415.863.2052

While the menfolk have their run of nearly 30 San Francisco gay bars, lesbians are often limited to also-ran club nights. Luckily, San Francisco has the Lexington Club — the only lesbian bar in San Francisco to boast and attract a wombyn-on-wombyn clientele 7 nights a week. It’s got a pool table, some pretty ladies and a rough hewn style that befits the rag-tag city that begat it.

Martuni’s

4 Valencia St. (at Market), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.241.0205

Don’t let this San Francisco gay bar’s funereal front, with its large and lilied flower arrangement, get you down. Have a double martini (that’s the only size they come in here) and settle into the back room where a piano man and his singing muse will gather the crowd for a bittersweet rendition of “The Man Who Got Away.” Ain’t it the truth, ain’t it the truth.

Mint Karaoke Lounge

1942 Market (at Duboce), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.626.4726

Don’t mess with the Mint. While Friday nights are generally packed with post-work parties and birthdays, most nights the performances can bring down the house. Think American Idol, but sponsored by the vodka industry.

Trax

1437 Haight (at Ashbury), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.864.4213The Haight
isn’t so far from the Castro as one would think from their disparate cultures.
Trax is a good honest gay bar with a little mish mash of hipster, troll, nice guy and heavy-handed bartender. Party nights attract a fitter, faster crowd, but most nights you can count on a Bud Light, free popcorn and some mighty fine tv-watching.

The Phone Booth

1398 South Van Ness (at 25th St), San Francisco CA; Tel 415.648.4683

Intellectual ennui and surges of testosterone mix wildly at this refurbished Mission hang out. The jukebox is full of Nirvana, Weezer and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the patrons are full of cold San Francisco Anchor Steam. Cute boys, cute girls, fluid sexuality.

The Pilsner Inn

225 Church St (at Market), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.621.7058

This San Francisco gay bar is the default starting and ending point of any good tour of the Castro. Ring-necked collars belly (or perhaps, ab up), to this no nonsense bar with a cruisey back patio.

The Stud

399 Ninth St. (at Harrison), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.252.7883Fawn at singing

trannys, sweat to swirling beats and chug that rum and Coke. The Stud changes
parties nightly but is always on target. Crowds of devilishly cute boys, kick ass ladies and

nip-and-tuck gendernauts drink ’til blackout in this South of Market home.

Trax

1437 Haight (at Ashbury), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.864.4213The Haight
isn’t so far from the Castro as one would think from their disparate cultures.
Trax is a good honest gay bar with a little mish mash of hipster, troll, nice guy and heavy-handed bartender. Party nights attract a fitter, faster crowd, but most nights you can count on a Bud Light, free popcorn and some mighty fine tv-watching.

Join other local businesses. Get listed on this page.+ ADD YOUR BUSINESS

via San Francisco Nightlife – Gay bars.

 

via San Francisco Nightlife – Gay bars.

 

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Video: City of White Gold, San Francisco in the Gilded Age

[tube]http://youtube/v/LeVpGIHz9EE[/tube]

 

Contact Us

Please send comments or questions to cityofwhitegold@att.netThank you!

Meet the Crew
  • Geordie Lynch
  • David Brown
  • George Kelly
  • Ben Ferrer
  • Jason Williams

Co-Producer/Co-Director. Geordie is a filmmaker who comes primarily from a post-production background. He has been motion graphics designer, production assistant, and assistant editor with various production and post-production companies, including for the award-winning television series ‘More Than Entertainment’ for Frame By Frame Productions. He most recently created, directed, co-produced, and co-wrote a half-hour sketch comedy for cable television.

With a passion for history and the film arts, he is now answering the call to blend the two spheres together.

Be a part of inspiring,promoting, and preservingAmerica’s western heritage.Make a tax-deductible donation to production of this film.

For more information or to donate to this work in progress: City Of White Gold

 

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Armory Tours

In January, 2007 Armory Studios, LLC announced that it had acquired the San Francisco National Guard Armory and Arsenal located at the corner of 14th and Mission Street.For some in the neighborhood this was contreversial. But for Armory Studios,LLC and most citizens of progressive San Francisco this was and is the perfect home for Kink.com…

This behemoth San Francisco landmark completed in 1914 is a 200,000 square foot reproduction of a Moorish Castle and was used by the National Guard until 1976. It sat vacant and deserted for almost 40 years, imposing and foreboding, it’s identity was a mystery to most neighborhood residents. Upon closer inspection the beauty of this building becomes more apparent. It retains original period details including wainscoting, stone staircases,  sweeping corridors, beneath the main floors is the cavernous access to Mission Creek. It served as both a barricade and safety point for officers during the violent rioting in San Francisco in 1934. George Lucas used this place for filming during the production of the first Star Wars movie. This impressive structure is the home of Kink.com, an adult entertainment company and SF original. If you have ever wondered what an adult entertainment studio might be like this is your chance to see.

We are proud to be working with The Armory to bring you tours of this historic gem as a destination along with our historic neghborhood tours. We currently have two Explore SF tours that include a look around this fascinating facility. We are the only outside tour company offering Armory tours as part of our regular line up. Come see this incredible San Francisco landmark and tour the building and studio sets within. This is a unique chance to see a working adult entertainment production facility for yourself. You will actually see the sets and production areas in which adult entertainment is created. This is not the kind of tour that any of your friends have likely been on and this is one of the most unique experiences that anyone will likely have on any trip, ever.

 

Both of these tours are for adults only

The Folsom District to The Armory

This historic walking tour will take you through the legendary Folsom District of Leather Bars,Gay Bathouses, huge dance clubs,and sex clubs. This area was once a vibrant neighborhood and was the front lines for gay identity and sexual liberation. Mostly wiped from the maps by zealous developers and corrupt politicians this area was also home to thousands of residents who were replaced with big box stores, office towers and condos. More

 

Mission Dolores to The Armory

Missión San Francisco de Asís was originally built close to the banks of a creek that the Spanish called, Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, meaning “Our Lady of Sorrows Creek. The original Mission was moved a few blocks to where it is now and later the creek was buried underneath city streets. Today, the creek flows throught the basement of The Armory. Our tour begins at the Basilica at the Mission, now commonly called Mission Dolores and ends at the Armory. We could have call this the Mission Creek Tour but From the Pope to Porn has more panache, either way this is a fascinating journey. More

   Tickets:$85

    Reservations Line: 800.595.4849 (24hrs)

Reservations Online: http://exploresanfrancisco.tix.com

More Information: 415.793.1104

                                                   E-mail: info@ExploreSanFrancisco.biz

                                 The Folsom District to The Armory| Mission Dolores to The Armory

via Armory Tours.

 

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Mission Dolores Armory Tour via Mission Creek

This tour is a study in urban contrasts and an easy walk through the formerly semi-rural landscape of The Mission lands, along the banks of a former creek and vanished lake.

We will begin at the Golden Fire Hydrant and make our way through Dolores Park, which originally was a Jewish cemetery and now may be packed with hipsters, gay men, Latin American immigrants, dogs and their owners and well-to do families with strollers and children.  We’ll head to the Mission Francisco De Asis, commonly known as The Mission Dolores. We will see the Mission Dolores Basilica which was dedicated by the Pope Pious in 1951. In 1984, while protestors chanted, Pope John Paul ll caused a scandal by hugging a child with AIDS. We will tour the Mission which is the oldest building in San Francisco,the original building was completedin 1776, several weeks before the Declaration Of Independence was signed. There is a small museum on site displaying artifacts from the decimated native population, a native garden and a graveyard filled with tombstones of mainly Irish immigrants is open to the public. Some 5000 Oholone were buried here as well. Admission to the Mission is incuded on this tour.

Mission Creek to the Armory

Missión San Francisco de Asís was originally built close to the banks of a creek that the Spanish called, Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, meaning “Our Lady of Sorrows Creek. The creek, now referred to as Mission Creek, in later years was buried under the city streets and acted as somewhat of a sewer system. We will roughly follow the path of the missing creek and will walk along the shores of a long lost lagoon, which appears on historic maps now as Lake Dolores.

We then will venture into the frenetic area of 16th and Valencia Streets and have a bite to eat at one of the areas many hip restaurants. Meal is included.

The creek continues toward the bay and eventually flows through the cavernous basement of the SF Armory. The Armory, built in 1914, is 200.000 square feet of Moorish castle in the heart of the Mission District. Built for the National Guard, it’s biggest claim to fame is that it was used to quell the depression era Lonshoreman riots and protected the troops from the strikers who were widely regarded as Communist insurgents. We too shall head towards the bay and will enter the Armory but will enter up the grand staircase through the front doors. You will be welcomed by the charming staff of Kink.com and will be given an unprecedented tour of the studios and production areas of Kink. The tour will not be conducted during operating hours.

We believe that you will find this tour as fascinating as we do and an unforgettable way to pass an afternoon. Please join us on this delightful journey. This tour sells our incredibly fast as does any tour that includes the Armory. Please book early and of course, this tour is only for adults.

A day in the park...

A day in the park... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)We believe that you will find this tour fascinating and an

Adults only

Tickets:$85

Reservations Line: 800.595.4849 (24hrs)

Reservations Online: http://exploresanfrancisco.tix.com

More Information: 415.793.1104

E-mail: info@ExploreSanFrancisco.biz

 

 

 

via Mission Dolores Armory Tour.

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Occupy To Shut Down Golden Gate Bridge: SFist

 

 

Occupy To Shut Down Golden Gate Bridge

 


Occupy just stopped being polite, and started getting real: Tuesday, May 1st a general strike has been called for the Golden Gate Bridge in an effort to “show the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District that fair wages and benefits can not be ignored.” The plan is to shut down the bridge.

Occupy Golden Gate Bridge’s Facebook page reports:

This action has been called for by the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition and endorsed by Occupy Oakland, Occupy SF, Jobs with Justice, and the Occupy SF Action Council.

Buses will be leaving at 6am from 19th and Telegraph and Justin Herman/Bradley Manning Plaza. Buses will return in time for the noon Occupy Oakland convergence, as well as for planned labor rallies at Union Square in San Francisco.

SFist asked Mary Currie of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District what they planned on doing in response to the possible shutdown. Currie tell us,”The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District are certainly aware of the Internet chatter regarding the activity you referenced. We obviously (due to our heighten security programs) have various protocols in place if something were to occur, but there is nothing set in stone at this time.”

This should be… interesting. For more information go to occupythebridge.com or follow @occupythebridge on Twitter.

Contact the author of this article or email tips@sfist.com with further questions, comments or tips.

By Brock Keeling in News on April 19, 2012 3:40 PM

via Occupy To Shut Down Golden Gate Bridge: SFist.Golden Gate Bridge

(Photo: Darwin Bell)

 

 

Golden Gate bridge

Golden Gate bridge (Photo credit: mpmoran

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