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September 16, 2009

September 16, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO

HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Hearing Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

11:30 A.M.

ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Alan Martinez, Charles Chase, Karl Hasz

COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT: Andrew Wolfram

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY ­­­ALAN MARTINEZ, CHAIR, AT ­­­11:34 A.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Tina Tam – Preservation Coordinator, Shelley Caltagirone, Tim Frye, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary


1. 2009.0412E (S. Caltagirone (415/558-6625)

1338 FILBERT STREET, Filbert Street Cottages, north side between Polk and Larkin. Assessor's Block 0524, Lot 031 - Request for Review and Comment before the Architectural Review Committee regarding rehabilitation of the cottages and site for residential use. The project is currently undergoing environmental review per the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by the Department (Case No. 2009.0412E) and will require a Certificate of Appropriateness (CofA) for final Department approval. The Filbert Street Cottages are San Francisco Landmark No. 232. The site is zoned RH-2 (Residential, Two-Family) District and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Commission Secretary, Linda Avery:

· Asked the Chair to set guidelines on how long Project Sponsors and members of the public have for their presentations.

Committee Chair, Alan Martinez:

· Project Sponsors can have as long as they like and three minutes for the public.


SPEAKER(S): David Lo – Project Sponsor, Jay Turnbull – Page and Turnbull, Jerome Butterick – Architect, Marta Frye – Principal, Marta Landscape Associates, Joseph Butler

ARC Committee Members' Comments:

Commissioner Chase:

· The articulation of the building could be better in a couple of ways. One is the orange rain screen - a more compatible neutral color associated with the property is a more proper way to go. I think the indication and the philosophy ought to be that new addition stands as good partners rather than stand out.

· The solution to the parking to the site is a very good one. It does take some mechanics to get the vehicle there but the final effect is that they eventually disappear.

· In terms of the carport, is there a way in which the technology will respond to lowering the lift to its closed position after it has not been used for a period of time?

Commissioner Hasz:

· I enjoyed all the changes that were made. I find the addition is terrific because the corner where you would associate the roofline to the new addition is hidden behind the studio so you don't see the transition from the street or the public right-of-way. When you see it from front on, you'll be standing down on the ground. Any kind of set-back from the buildings wouldn't make any difference from the look of it. I appreciate the way it sits.

· The parking solution turns out great.

Commissioner Martinez:

· I agree with Commissioner Chase that the orange rain screen is inappropriate.

· The fact that you are saving the mews and real dirt at grade, you can get away with the garage the way it is in the plans.

· The height is driven by protecting the existing dirt grade. That is important if you need to make a slight change to the height.

· I agree with planning. The feeling of having a single monolithic building back there is inappropriate. There are four separate cottages, the addition merely has to feel like separate additions to each cottage.

· I like the idea of the recess that Planning suggested. I think it probably needs to be deeper – three or four feet.

· I'd rather see a series of four separate sloped roofs with maybe a flat roof in between each one. I really think these should read like four separate additions to four separate buildings.

· I don't really like the intersection of the new building with the shed roof of the studio. It should stop at the wall of the studio.

ACTION: Review and comment only – no action by the Committee is required.


2. 2009.0081ACE (T. Frye: 415/575-6822)

950 MASON STREET, THE FAIRMONT HOTEL, bounded by California, Mason, Powell and Sacramento Streets. Assessor's Block 0244, Lot 001 - Request for Review and Comment before the Architectural Review Committee regarding the removal of the existing adjacent podium and tower structure and the construction of a new podium and tower. The project is currently undergoing environmental review per the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by the Department (Case No. 2009.0081E) and will require a Certificate of Appropriateness (C of A) for final Historic Preservation Commission approval. The Fairmont Hotel is San Francisco Landmark No. 185. The site is zoned RM-4 (Residential, Mixed) District within the Nob Hill Special Use District and is in a 200-E, 300-E, and 320-E Height and Bulk District.

SPEAKERS: Susan Sagee – Owner Representative, Elisa Skaggs – Page and Turnbull, Glen Issacson – CMA Project Manager

ARC Committee Members' Comments:

Commissioner Chase:

· 40 feet is a bit exaggerated given the amount of massing that's been located on this property. The visual appearance of this corner has been a large blank masonry facade for many years. While I appreciate the notion of wanting to recognize what for some is the rear facade of the main block of the historic building, I'm not so sure that's actually easily perceived as a pedestrian or someone viewing the building going up and down the hill because of the steep change in grade. Certainly, photographically you could get that but I don't think public perception would be greatly enhanced by a 40 foot depth.

· I think from the conservation and restoration efforts for the historic building, I think they are certainly appropriate and are in keeping with the standards.

· I have a bit of concern about the new design. In the perspective drawing of the California elevation of the new construction, it looked like the floor levels are not consistent from the Powell Street elevation wrapping around the corner. Is that correct that the floors are down the line? Because that is not evident in the illustration. That's my first concern. There is a blank vertical ban that runs in what looks like a recess – from the historic wall to the new construction.

· I think the mass at that corner where you have a series of changes in volume is too much of an isolation of the historic wall from the rest of the new construction. It kind of sets it apart and says,  I'm too precious to be integrated with the new construction. I think that it needs some attention.

· As I said earlier – I'm not sure the 40 feet will get us what is really intended. I would think a 20-foot set back maybe appropriate.

Commissioner Hasz:

· I agree on not only that pillar, but making sure that it looks even [all the way] around because all of a sudden we have these three other pillars that sit above. I don't know if it's going to be in public view. It just makes this thing feel dominate but also not have any kind of resemblance of even floor plates.

· I agree that a 40-foot set-back is excessive and I think we can achieve our goal with much less set-back than that.

· I'd like to see in the presentations when it does come before the Commission, a lot more street views.

Commissioner Martinez:

· I like what you're doing on the California Street facade as far as the entrance and material.

· I agree with Planning about the canopy at the back. The design doesn't work very well.

· The volume of construction on the site now is inappropriate. I couldn't vote for anything that was larger than the volume of what is there now.

· I think the east facade of the Fairmont Hotel is quite visible from both California and Powell Streets. The landmark designation mentions the view of the Fairmont from the East Bay as part of the significant feature. This is a Venetian palazzo so it can be seen from all four sides. Part of its character is being able to read its square massing.

· Any more volume on the east side from what there is now really diminishes that character. I would like to see the volume on the east side be less.

· The vault of the pavilion on the corner obstructs the view at the center part of the facade of California and Powell Streets.

· Any enlargement of the tower to the west begins to obscure the importance of the visual character of the facade of Fairmont which was completely visible from Powell Street when it was originally designed. If we look back to the history of modernist design, the whole point of having a tower was to open up open space. The Seagram Building works because there is a plaza around it. That was the justification of building tall buildings. If there's any justification for rebuilding a tower here it would be opening that open space to the east of this building. From my point of view if what is there now is demolished, then we should start from the beginning to see what is appropriate or not. I would have to be convinced that the tower is at all appropriate.

Commissioner Chase:

· When this comes back to us, I would urge you to expand your elevations and three dimensional views of this proposal to include more of the adjacent properties across Powell and California Streets; to be able to exhibit what the proposed changes do and how the other buildings are informed by what the design determinants are, what the surrounding environment is, and how those may have affect on the visibility as well as the scale and proportion of what you are proposing.

ACTION: Review and comment only – no action by the Committee is required

Adjournment: 12:56 p.m.


12:30 P.M.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda

COMMISSIONERS ABSENT: Buckley and Wolfram

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT CHASE AT ­­­1:05 P.M.

[The ARC meeting ran over in time and as such, the President moved Categories A, B.1, C and D to the end of the calendar. The meeting opened with item B.2 – Planning 101 Training]

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Tina Tam – Preservation Coordinator, Steve Wertheim, K. Dischinger, John Billovits, Abigail Keifer, Moses Corrette, S. Caltagirone, Tim Frye, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary

A. PUBLIC COMMENT

[This category was moved to the end of the calendar]

SPEAKERS: None

B. STAFF REPORT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. (T. Tam: 415/558-6325)

Landmark Designation Work Program – Review properties for status and possible

funding sources

(Continued from the September 2, 2009 hearing.)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: This Item was moved to the end of the calendar and without hearing or consideration, subsequently continued to October 7, 2009.

2. T. Sullivan: 415/558-6257)

Planning 101 Training; Identify training needs; and establish a training schedule for the Commission.

Tara Sullivan Department Staff: The training presentation was done in two parts:

· Part 1 – How the Planning Department is set up and the roles of the different divisions; roles of the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission to the Department; and entitlements.

· Part 2 – Preservation planning in the Planning Department.

SPEAKERS:

Peter Warfield – Library Users Association

ACTION: An informational/training item that did not require Commission action

C. PRESIDENT'S REPORT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

[This category was moved to the end of the calendar and without hearing or consideration, subsequently continued to October 7, 2009.]

D. MATTERS OF THE COMMISSION

[This category was moved to the end of the calendar and without hearing or consideration, subsequently continued to October 7, 2009.]

E. INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION

3. (S. Wertheim, P. LaValley: 415/558-6612; 415/575-9084)

Pier 70 - Former Union Iron Works/Bethlehem Steel Shipyard (bound by Mariposa, Illinois and 22nd Streets) Assessor's Parcel 9900 Lots 068 & 07. Informational Presentation by the Port of San Francisco on a draft Pier 70 Preferred Master Plan for the 65-acre site and the integration of a historic preservation strategy that expands upon the Planning Department's 2001 Central Waterfront Cultural Resources Survey finding that the property is an eligible National Register Historic District and the issues affecting the future reuse of the site including; retention of ship repair operations, rehabilitation of historic resources, environmental remediation, open space and public access to the bay, infrastructure development that includes a land use and economic program to support the goals for the future development of the site.

Preliminary Recommendation: Informational only

SPEAKER(S):

David Beaupre – Planner from the Port, Kathleen Diohep – Development Project Manager, Mark Paez – Preservation Planner from the Port, Howard Wong – Member of the Central Waterfront Advisory Board, Kimberly Austin – One of the 40 artists in the Noonan Building

ACTION: Although this item was for information only and no action was required by the Commission, Commissioner Martinez encouraged all to think about preserving at least part of the pier as a working class area for arts and light manufacturing even though they are not huge income producing sorts of uses; and he reminded us that the Secretary of Interior Standards does encourage compatible reuse (not necessarily another Ghirardelli Square or high-end use).

F. REGULAR CALENDAR

4. 2009.0707MZ (K. Dischinger: 415/558-6284 & M. Corrette: 415/558-6295)

Review and Comment on the Survey Integration into the Market and Octavia Plan Area. Last winter the Planning Commission and the Landmarks Advisory Board endorsed the Page and Turnbull Area Plan level survey of the Market and Octavia Plan Area. Following this endorsement, in coordination with the community, staff has developed a recommendation for the integration of these findings into the Market and Octavia Plan as required by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

(Continued from the August 19, 2009 hearing)

Preliminary Recommendation: Provide written comments to the Planning Commission.

SPEAKER(S):

Arnie Lerner – Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association, Peter Luis – President, Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association, Peter Cohen – Duboce Triangle, Jack Gold – SF Heritage.

ACTION: This item was informational only. Although no action was required, the Commission agreed to forward their comments to the Planning Commission through staff.

5. 2009.0852L (S. Caltagirone: 415/558-6625)

1833 PAGE STREET, Park Branch Library, south side of Page Street between Shrader and Cole Streets, on Assessor's Block 1229, Lot 031 – The subject property is a Classical Revival-style branch library building designed by the McDougall Brothers and constructed circa 1909. Before the Commission is consideration to approve, disapprove, or approve with modifications initiation of landmark designation as a San Francisco Landmark under Article 10 of the Planning Code. The property is zoned P (Public) and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Disapprove Initiation of Landmark Designation.

SPEAKER(S):

Brian Vanber(?) – from the Library, Jill Warren – Deputy City Librarian, Howard Wong – Architect, Aaron Goodman – Public Member, Peter Warfield – Library Users Association, Vincent Marsh – Preservation Consortium

ACTION: The Public hearing was closed. Following Commission deliberation, this item was continued to 10/7/09 to allow the Project Sponsor a chance to see if the recommendations of their consultant are cost effective and whether or not the cost to use a different material for a door as recommended by Commissioner Martinez is within their ability to do.

AYES: Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT: Buckley and Wolfram

6. 2008.0968L (T. Frye: 415/575-6822)

THE APPLETON & WOLFARD LIBRARIES – Parkside Branch Library, 1200 Taraval Street: Assessor's Block 2351, Lot 001; Marina Branch Library, 1890 Chestnut Street: Assessor's Block 0469, Lot 001; Merced Branch Library, 155 Winston Drive: Assessor's Block 7236, Lot 001; Ortega Branch Library, 3223 Ortega Street: Assessor's Block 2094, Lot 005; North Beach Branch Library, 2000 Mason Street: Assessor's Block 0074, Lot 001; Eureka Valley Branch Library, 3555 16th Street: Assessor's Block 3564, Lot 095; Western Addition Branch Library, 1550 Scott Street: Assessor's Block 0703, Lot 002; Excelsior Branch Library, 4400 Mission Street: Assessor's Block 6797, Lot 046. The subject buildings are eight postwar branch libraries designed by the firm Appleton & Wolfard and constructed from 1951-1966. Before the Commission is consideration to approve, disapprove, or approve with modifications the initiation of landmark designation as a San Francisco Landmark under Article 10 of the Planning Code. The properties are zoned P (Public) and/or Open Space (OS).

Preliminary Recommendation: Approve Initiation of Landmark Designation with Modifications for some Branch Libraries and Disapproval for others. Staff will identify each at the hearing.

SPEAKERS ON THE CONTINUANCE:

Peter Warfield – Library Users Association, Aaron Goodman, Ann Wintraub

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to 10/7/09 as the first item on the Regular Calendar

AYES: Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT: Buckley and Wolfram

Adjournment: 4:57 P.M.

Adopted: The minutes was proposed for adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, October 21, 2009.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Hasz, Martinez, Wolfram, Damkroger

ABSENT: Buckley, Matsuda, Chase

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:56 PM