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Windows of History


Photo by Scott Hahn

Illuminating History Through Art

Through the month of November, the Haas-Lilienthal House will be aglow each evening from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with a site-specific, multi-media installation by artist Ben Wood. Drawing from a trove of family photos and home movies, the artwork was projected onto the front parlor windows of the house after dark. It vividly portrays the people, traditions, and celebrations that enlivened 2007 Franklin Street from the 1880s to 1972. Rooted in historic episodes and events, Wood’s unique projection artwork evokes a connection of the past with the present and future in a startling manner. Through the medium of contemporary video technology, his installation at the house engaged audiences in a way rarely associated with the interpretation of historic sites.


Further reading:

NBC Bay Area News:


SF Chronicle:


SFGATE Windows of History:


Holiday Open House & Toy Drive


T’is the season! Join Heritage for an afternoon of holiday fun at The Haas-Lilienthal House to show our appreciation for our annual membership support and public interest. Enjoy some holiday cheer, festive buffet, and a visit from Santa! Heritage will also hold a Toy Drive for Toys for Tots during the Holiday Open House.Free for members (available through an access code. Email tle@sfheritage.org for member code.) and their guests; $15 for the general public or bring a new toy for free admission!

Mayhem Mansion SF Returns!


Mayhem Mansion SF
A Haunted House Experience for Two Weekends Only!
October 20, 21 and 27, 28
Purchase tickets through EventBrite.com, search “Mayhem Mansion SF”

Mayhem Mansion returns for its fifth year of twisted shenanigans. This year’s tours are extra special since guests will get a sneak peek at recent renovations before we reopen to the general public in November!

Your fun begins in the foyer, where a groovy ghoulie will lead you on a magical tour through the rotting rooms and historic halls. It seems that recent construction may have shaken a few ghosts loose, and you never know who, or what is still lurking in the corridors!

Your tour ends in the Spookeasy, our Halloween haven stocked with refreshments and fun! 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. Alcohol served to guests 21 and over only. Nonalcoholic beverages will also be available. Credit cards accepted.

Proceeds benefit the continued maintenance and preservation of the Haas-Lilienthal House under the direction of San Francisco Heritage.

In Memoriam: Bruce Bonacker


Bruce Bonacker, San Francisco architect, community activist, historic preservation advocate, and stalwart Heritage board member, died peacefully on August 3, 2017, at age 69,  after a battle with a rare type of cancer.   

Bruce was born in Albany, New York and grew up in the suburb of Delmar. He received a degree in Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. Bruce then joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), a national service program designed to help alleviate poverty. He was assigned to western NY State where he worked on designing housing for migrant workers.  After his year in VISTA, he loaded his car with his architecture portfolio and a few belongings and headed for San Francisco in the late 1970s, never looking back. He worked at Bull, Volkmann, and Stockwell Architects before opening his own firm, Bonacker Associates.  

Bruce’s passion was historic preservation — in San Francisco and beyond. He was active in many community improvement organizations. He initially served on the San Francisco Heritage board from 1990 until 2007, including a stint as board president, and then rejoined the board in 2010. He remained fully engaged in the work of the organization until just a few weeks before his death. Bruce also served on the boards of the Glen Park Neighborhood Association (including past president) and Friends of the Geneva Car Barn, was a member of the San Francisco Historic Preservation Fund Committee, and contributed to innumerable other community-focused efforts. 

“Bruce was one of the most dedicated board members of Heritage that I have known,” remembers former board president David Wessel. “He was very direct, and never shy about communicating his views; in a good way.  As president of Heritage I had board members who had no problem criticizing, but did not want to jump in to help. In stark contrast, Bruce was always ready and willing to aid me in whatever I needed. I could always depend upon him to be there and many times I reached out to him for his counsel.  He had sound judgment and behind his somewhat abrupt character there was a very personal and sensitive individual.”  

In a recent profile in Glen Park News, Bruce reflected on his commitment to historic preservation and neighborhood “emancipation”: “I’d like to think I accomplished a great deal [on the board and as president of Heritage], but it’s reasonably well hidden. My interest in preservation came during college, but I have retained that interest as an architect, as well as advocacy for neighborhood ‘emancipation.’ “The concept of architectural preservation and the concept of neighborhood conservation — improvements can happen on both. Communities shouldn’t be stalled and maintained as they are forever. That’s not my view of preservation.” Please see the full  story  in the Glen Park News for more about Bruce. 

Bruce is survived by his sisters Jeanne Baum and Elizabeth Stevens, both in the Albany, New York area, as well as his four nephews and nieces and numerous grand-nephews and grand-nieces. His sisters were with him in San Francisco when he passed away. 

A memorial service is planned at the Haas-Lilienthal House on Saturday, October 14 from 2pm to 5pm. Please RSVP to San Francisco Heritage at http://bit.do/BruceBonacker. Donations in his memory may be made to San Francisco Heritage, 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94109. 

2017 Lecture Series


Heritage is excited to announce the 2017 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.

House and Walking Tours Updates!


The Haas-Lilienthal House will be CLOSED for regular public tours and event rentals from March 1, 2017 – October 2017, for planned upgrades and restoration.

During this period, the Pacific Heights Walking Tour will be available on Sundays at 12:30 PM by advance reservation only (MUST GIVE AT LEAST 48 HOURS NOTICE). Private walking tours can also be scheduled during the week (subject to availability). For reservations, questions, or concerns please contact Pam Larson — 415-441-3000 ext. 14 or email plarson@sfheritage.org.