Painted Gentlemen progress

 A few weeks ago, driving on Steiner Street, I saw that there was progress where the ‘Painted Gentlemen’ are proposed.  The Painted Gentlemen are the companions to the Painted Ladies famously pictured in San Francisco post cards across from Alamo Square.  The old buildings are gone and ready for development.

Then today when looking through Multiple Listings, I see that the three lots and the large home on the corner are all for sale.  They are entitled, meaning you can buy the lots and take over the plans and build them yourself.

FYI, the right to build, won’t come cheap.  The lots range in price from $1,250,000 to $1,500,000 and the house at 940 Grove is $3,000,000.

AT&T U-Verse Boxes given go ahead

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has ok’d AT&Ts proposed U-Verse Box installation without the requirement of an Environmental Impact Study.  The boxes are plain ugly and graffiti magnets.    Shame that AT&T was given the green light without much restriction.  Permits are still necessary, so there is likely to be some neighborhood fights left.  I imagine ultimately AT&T will get their way and install all they originally planned.

AIDSWalk 25th Anniversary

This last Sunday was AIDSWalk San Francisco’s 25th Anniversary, and coincidently, my 25th Anniversary too.  I’ve walked in every walk since it started.  It’s a great cause and very easy to do.

Along the route-CA Academy of Sciences

It was a great day for walking-it was cool but not cold and foggy; great for my meditative walk.  I got an early start, so I did not walk with my 25,000 closest friends!  I started out the day where it all started; at my very first home on Funston Ave. in the Inner Sunset.  I was driving by and found a great parking space; fate.

Along the route-setting up for entertainment

According to promoter statistics, the event raised just over $3 million dollars.  The numerous benefiting Bay Area AIDS Service Organizations will be greatly helped by these contributions.  An interesting statistic: since it’s inception, AWSF has generated $77 Million in donations!



Thanks to my fiercely loyal supporters, I raised over $3,600 to date.  There is still time to donate.  If you haven’t already donated, please visit my AIDSWalk home page here.

Along the route
Along the route-Spreckels Lake

Chronicle building gets tenants

Hard times all around.  The San Francisco Chronicle is leasing out portions of it’s building at 5th and Mission since their needs are shrinking.  There has been a portion rented out for a time to a tech company who is expanding.

From CurbedSF

I had heard that the Chronicle Building was being pursued by developers.  Since the financial market for developers is for the time being mostly dead, I guess that idea had to get taken off the table.

Post from CurbedSF.

Converting Garages into homes

A little ‘garage porn’.  I have to admit, I have fantasies about taking some poor, tired, neglected garage and making into a sexy living space.  There are so many really cool, architecturally interesting buildings that need a little love.  The folks at Curbed National came up with some really great shots.  I particularly like the first one.  Very barn looking, converted into a neat little living space.  I was surprized to read that it is in Oakland, CA.  I expected it to be on the East Coast.  Enjoy.

Oakland, CA Garage from Curbed National

Curbed National-‘garage porn’

Fairmont condos not likely

Well, it seems that the effort to tear down the ugly 1960’s tower at the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill is over, at least for now.  Locals and unions have banded together to stop the project and have worn out the developers who wanted to make it a reality.

Robert Frank Architectural Illustration via CurbedSF

I suppose if I lived over by the Fairmont I’d feel differently.  From my perspective, architecturally, it would have been a lot more interesting and vibrant for the neighborhood to have World-Class housing in that area.  Perhaps someone else will pick up the ball in the future.

Here’s the Curbed post.

25-35 Dolores gets more resistence

The proposed development at 23-35 Dolores has hit some more resistance.   There are the usual neighbor concerns; noise, traffic, height, light and ventilation, wild life, etc…  I’ve been on that end of a proposed development too.  You can’t really stop a project, but you want to make sure it’s sensitive to the neighborhood.  As it stands, the developer wants to demolish the existing early 1900’s buildings previously occupied by S & C Ford.

The San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission feels that the buildings have architectural merit and that the facades should be kept.  The developer wants them drawn, documented and subsequently demolished.  The buildings are architecturally  interesting, but would need to seismically upgraded AND a new building shoved into the envelope and make sense in a different world from when they were built.  Quite a challenge.

25-35 Dolores-Existing (via Socketsite)
25-35 Dolores-Developer Rendering (via Socketsite)








The compromise is to keep the facade and build the new building behind.  It reduces the number of units-making the project financially unfeasible.

25-35 Dolores-Alternative Design (via Socketsite)

Obviously, if it costs more to building the building than the developer can sell the units for, the project won’t get built.  The existing building has no current practical use and will continue to deteriorate.

I have to say, architecturally, I don’t care for either one.  I like the old S & C Building, but we can’t keep everything.  Time to move on.

The proposed design looks like something in Mission Bay.  That’s fine in Mission Bay, but does not fit into the urban fabric of Dolores St.  Time to go back to the drawing board.  Let the developer tear the building down, BUT put in a building thoughtful to the neighborhood. Just my two cents.