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Advocacy Alert: Historic Van Ness Streetlamps


Photo caption: Looking North on Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street with New Street Lighting System | July 14, 1937; Image from SFMTA.com/photo

Update: On September 20, 2016, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the resolution calling on SFMTA to make all efforts to save the historic Van Ness Streetlamps. Thanks to Supervisor Aaron Peskin for his leadership and support!

The 259 historic trolley poles and streetlamps that run the length of Van Ness Avenue were constructed in preparation for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition and moved in a Work Progress Administration (WPA) road widening project to inaugurate the Golden Gate Bridge in 1936. Known as the “Ribbon of Light,” the graceful ironwork brackets and lamps serve as a geographic marker that defines the two-miles of Highway 101 from Market Street to Bay Street. In 1982 San Francisco Heritage rated the Van Ness poles and light standards “Level B (Major Importance).”

In conjunction with the recently approved Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project, SFMTA plans to remove the streetlamps even though the EIR for the project did not consider preservation alternatives. The proposed replacement design is pictured below. On September 13, 2016, Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced a resolution calling on SFMTA to “fully explore the costs and technical feasibility of reuse as well as replication of the Van Ness Avenue Historic Streetlamps.” The Coalition to Save the Historic Van Ness Streetlamps, including Heritage, has formed to preserve the historic character of Van Ness Avenue. Click here to download a letter to the Supervisors.


In the news:


Century-Old Van Ness Streetlamps To Be Removed For Rapid Bus Project 

Legacy program aims to keep longtime SF businesses thriving


From SFGate: “Executive director Isabel Fondevila of Roxie Theater supports Proposition J, a measure that would provide some financial assistance for “legacy” businesses struggling in the current real estate market in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, October 6, 2015″ Photo by Paul Chin

Thank you to all of those who voted to create the San Francisco Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund.

The measure is historic in its own right, as San Francisco will offer a model for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the U.S.

In the News:

Legacy program aims to keep longtime SF businesses thriving
San Francisco Examiner
August 6, 2016

Prop. J: Measure to help save longtime ‘legacy’ businesses passes
November 4, 2015

Legacy businesses earn protection
San Francisco Examiner
November 4, 2015

New fund for ‘legacy businesses’ wins voter approval
San Francisco Business Times
November 4, 2015


Mayhem Mansion Returns in October 2016


Mark your calendars! Mayhem Mansion returns in 2016 for four nights only, October 21, 22, 28 and 29. Scares abound when the Haas-Lilienthal House is transformed into a terrifying haunted mansion beginning with a heart-stopping tour led by a ghoulish host, or hostess, and ending with our delightful “Spookeasy.” Full details to be announced in August.

2016 Lecture Series


Heritage is excited to announce the 2016 Lecture Series line-up!

Each year, Heritage’s Lecture Series explores the breadth of San Francisco’s cultural inheritance in historic settings throughout the city. From July through November, lectures are held on Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 PM.

Individual tickets are $10 for Heritage members and students (with ID) and $15 for the general public. Series passes (all five lectures) are $40 for members/students and $60 for the public.