Thursday, June 26, 2014

San Francisco 100 years ago

Scott and Hayes, 1917

Check out some wonderful pictures of old San Francisco digitized by the SFMTA

Thanks to Bold Italic for the link.

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George Lucas: "Visionary"?

An example of George Lucas's "vision"

John King's complaint about George Lucas going to Chicago with his junk art collection is that Mayor Lee supposedly didn't try hard enough to keep it here:

The sense of political opportunism extended to the site offered to Lucas on May 29: a parking lot just south of the Bay Bridge that had been part of the proposed Warriors' arena complex. The basketball team shifted its sights to Mission Bay in April and left behind a void. Who better to help fill it than a retired visionary who had been eager at the Presidio to spend $700 million to build and endow a personal museum?

Lucas is a "visionary"? (Not surprising that someone who likes this building would think so.) Lucas is just a guy who made a lot of money making movies for children. He assumed that gave him the right to put a clunky, mall-like building (below) up against the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Funny that King doesn't explain why the Warriors "shifted" their sights to Mission Bay for their new arena.

But King does explain why the Presidio isn't property City Hall can raffle off to billionaires:

The Presidio isn't just a scenic nook within the boundaries of San Francisco. It is part of the National Park Service. It is a National Historic Landmark District. The trust's board is appointed to oversee an American treasure, not a local jobs incubator. And when Lucas was asked by the trust to respond to specific site-related concerns, such as the height, his team responded in barely perceptible ways.

King is still grumbling about how We the Rabble meddled with how City Hall was auctioning off the city's waterfront by passing Proposition B earlier this month:

...whenever there is a desire to raise height limits on land owned by the Port of San Francisco, the city does not need any more finger-pointing. It needs a proactive, long-range bayside plan that balances history and tradition with such 21st century realities as sea level rise and emerging potential of active urban mixed-use waterfronts. If this happens, City Hall won't be stuck hoping that yet another billionaire shows up with yet another big plan for the most stubborn port-owned sites. Rules will be spelled out in advance---and it's a good bet that smart developers will be waiting in line.

With Proposition B, City voters did in fact "spell out in advance" the rules for port-owned sites:

The existing maximum building height limits on the San Francisco waterfront shall be preserved and shall not be increased unless a height limit increase is approved by San Francisco voters.

Even dumb developers can understand that.

Like an I-5 shopping mall

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