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Embarcadero Historic District Named To 2016 List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places



Photo by: spencerbrownphoto.com

On October 5, 2016, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named San Francisco’s Embarcadero Historic District to its 2016 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Heritage nominated the Embarcadero to highlight two major physical threats facing the district: earthquakes and sea level rise that present enormous challenges to the future of the historic waterfront. In addition to formidable threats posed by sea level rise of up to 66 inches by 2100, a recent earthquake vulnerability study revealed greater than expected risk to the three-mile-long seawall. The dual seismic and climate change threats require a coordinated local, regional, state, and federal response that embraces creative strategies that assure long-term resilience for the Embarcadero’s rich heritage. Click here to see full press release.

The National Trust’s annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places spotlights important examples of the nation’s architectural and cultural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. Last year, Heritage successfully nominated the Old U.S. Mint to the 2015 list, leading the city to allocate $20 million for its rehabilitation in the proposed Central SoMa Plan.

SF’s Embarcadero added to national endangered historic places list
San Francisco Examiner
October 5, 2016

These 7 Historic Sites Need to be Saved
Architectural Digest
October 5, 2016

America’s 11 most endangered historic places: Are they worth saving?
Yahoo News
October 5, 2016

Earthquakes, rising seas threaten historic Embarcadero
Bay City News
October 5, 2016

America’s 11 most endangered historic places
October 5, 2016

SF Embarcadero placed on list of endangered historic places
October 5, 2016

ABC 7 News
October 5, 2016

San Francisco Embarcadero Listed As Endangered Historic Site
CBS 5 News
October 5, 2016

Embarcadero in SF on list of nation’s at-risk historic treasures
San Francisco Chronicle
October 4, 2016

Upcoming Workshop: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire: Strategies for Resiliency of Historic Resources, November 7, 9am-4pm, Pier 1, Bayside Conference Room

Mayhem Mansion SF 2016


Mayhem Mansion SF
A Haunted House Experience for 2016
Two Weekends Only!
October 21, 22 and 28, 29
Purchase tickets through EventBrite.com

Once the former home of an oddball surgeon and his family, Mayhem Mansion will be open to the public for a short time this October.

The current caretakers of Mayhem Mansion have agreed to let curious outsiders get a peek inside, however, the ghostly presence of the mysterious Mayhem family still remains. Your tour begins in the foyer, where a benevolent host will lead you through the magnificent manse, but beware! You never know who, or what, is lurking in the dark corners, or behind closed doors. The tour ends at the bottom of the stairs, in the more lively Spookeasy. Watch your step!

The Spookeasy will be open during event hours and accessible through a separate outside entrance. It will feature a cash bar serving beer, wine and elixirs for guests 21 and over only. Nonalcoholic beverages will also be available. Visit before and after the tour to share your experience, learn more about the House or even compete for a raffle prize! Credit cards accepted.

Proceeds go to the continued maintenance and restoration of the Haas-Lilienthal House under the direction of San Francisco Heritage.

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 Board of Supervisors unanimously called on San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to make all efforts to preserve the historic character of the Van Ness Corridor through reuse as well as replication of the Van Ness Avenue Historic Streetlamps instead of replacing them with industrial design streetlamps for the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Click here for full press release

The over 200 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.