Tuesday morning I came into work on Muni. We've had a very unusual storm in the bay area and it was raining. In June! Unbelievable. I headed off on foot over lunch over to Civic Center because I wanted to have a look at the massive amount of construction on Market between 5th and 7th. It's pretty remarkable-- it seems that more buildings are under construction than not. Will this revitalization finally improve conditions on 6th St and the Tenderloin? I ain't waitin' up nights because it seems like every San Francisco mayor in the last hundred years has tried and failed to clean up the Tenderloin. Developing.
Here are some pics from the construction site for the unimaginatively titled 'Market Street Place'. This is a link to their site. There was a bit of back and forth about demolishing the 1910 St Francis Theater but in the end development won out and it was demolished. I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, it was a handsome building when constructed and it's a shame to see it go, but on the other hand it was a pretty much unusable structure in terrible condition in a neighborhood that needs foot traffic more than monuments.
I love the remnants of the long forgotten billboards:
A little farther down Market I noted that Market Street Cinema has closed. A search on the internets seemed to indicate that it isn't being remodeled and is just closed. I don't know that it's slated for the wrecking ball because it's in a protected building but I think there are a limited number of uses for it. Maybe they'll turn it into a gym. PS if you ever went there and actually touched the magic, you might need to go to your doctor to get a topical cream.
Renovations continue on the Oddfellows building and the sign says we're gonna get another CVS. How many drug stores does San Francisco need?
Then I headed over to the 2007 Federal Building designed by Thom Mayne to check out the skygarden on 11-13. The interior of the building has a lot of interesting volumes and angles but I don't know that I'd describe it as 'super fantastic':
The skygarden was a bit of a letdown. It looks like it's gonna be bigger from the ground but it's pretty small although the views are nice:
This is the David Hewes Building. It's pretty much a disgrace. I wasn't able to find any before pictures of it, but it seems to me to be an early 20th century office building with a 1963 renovation that's falling off in pieces. I hope that the building gets redone like the Hearst Building down the street. I think it would be great as condos but finding people willing to live at the corner of crack and whore might be a bit of a tough sell. A lot of the tenants are nonprofits which makes sense because the rents have to be pretty low on such a shabby building. Please help:
Some recent decay has revealed part of the classic 50's Shasta ad that's painted on the side of the building:
I headed back towards the office and stopped in Westfield Center for lunch. I headed up in search of the public roof deck there. You can't get to it from the mall but you can get under the beautiful dome:
You have to take an elevator from the office entrance at 835 Market. Whatever you do, don't try to take the fire stairs because all the doors to the upper floors are locked and there are no signs to tell you this and you have to go all the way down to the first floor and get yelled at by a security guard and then take the elevator from there. The deck isn't really very nice and wasn't worth all the effort in getting up there:
I headed back to the office. After work, instead of going to the gym like I should have, I met up with Mr. Chris and we went to meet David in Union Square. I noted the hot pride display at the Neiman Marcus:
Chris and David had dinner reservations so I went and hung out with Miss Smith. It got a little boozy and I didn't stumble home until almost 10(!). I had some food and went to bed.