How San Francisco Should Look…

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How San Francisco should look is an argument (almost) as old as time. San Francisco is a town that struggles with its progressive dreams and conservative foundations. That’s what happens when a few shopkeepers put down roots and build a town to serve the gold-miners that used to show up looking for literal gold but now […]

How San Francisco should look is an argument (almost) as old as time. San Francisco is a town that struggles with its progressive dreams and conservative foundations. That’s what happens when a few shopkeepers put down roots and build a town to serve the gold-miners that used to show up looking for literal gold but now come west to mine stock options and the next killer app.

This week in San Francisco real estate was dominated by local starchitect Stanley going medieval on the planning department in Curbed (although John King covered the spat on April 4), followed by a dog-pile on planning from a bunch of other local architects… but really, can’t we all just get along? Apparently not.

After 17 years of living here, I guess I’m not surprised by any of this. My experience of San Francisco is that we always know better than our neighbors how they should be using their property. San Francisco is a town of independent thinkers that love to tell other people what to do. That we are arguing about how San Francisco should look is to be expected.

Here are just two controversial residential buildings built in SF over the years:

999 Green, The Summit – an Eichler-designed tower that managed to pretty much single-handedly end vertical residential development in San Francisco for decades.

8 Octavia in Hayes Valley, a Stanley Saitowitz building developed on a narrow lot created by the removal of the central freeway arteries in Hayes Valley after the Loma Prieta earthquake. People either love it or hate it!

Curious about how the city planning department thinks San Francisco should look? You can peruse the (currently) draft “urban design guidelines” and supporting documentation from the SF city planning department.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about how San Francisco should look. Let us know on facebook, twitter, instagram, or right here in our comments.

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