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The Path Forward in “Life of Washington” Mural Controversy

Aug4th

The sprawling digital panorama, “in Pursuit of Venus [infected],” by indigenous artist Lisa Reihana, animates the story of Captain Cook and “first contact” by reinterpreting an 1804 French wallpaper by Joseph Dufour. It will be on view in San Francisco at the de Young Museum from August 10, 2019 thru January 5, 2020.

On June 25, the San Francisco School Board unanimously voted to paint over — or, if too costly and time-consuming, cover with panels — Victor Arnautoff’s 1936 “Life of Washington” mural cycle at George Washington High School. Despite Arnautoff’s intent to expose racial injustice and genocide countenanced by this country’s first president, his depictions of Native Americans and African Americans in the sprawling fresco have been targeted by activists as deeply offensive, demeaning, and traumatic to students, especially to students of color.

The school board’s decision in June initiates a lengthy environmental review process that must evaluate a range of potentially feasible, less harmful alternatives to destruction. Although Heritage adamantly opposes the school board’s desire to paint over and destroy the entire “Life of Washington” mural, we support their guiding objective to protect and educate students. In April 2019, we submitted a memo to the school district that suggests multiple potential paths forward, including case studies that combine screening, interpretation, education, and/or new artwork. Then and now, Heritage’s goal is to provide the school district with a range of technical options to facilitate a constructive and unifying solution. Click here to review Heritage’s memo to SFUSD.

2019 LECTURE SERIES

Jul26th

Each year, Heritage’s Lecture Series explores the breadth of San Francisco’s cultural inheritance in historic settings throughout the city. Lectures are at 6:00 PM, with doors opening at 5:30 PM. Series passes are available at the price of $30 for Heritage members, and $50 for the general public. Individual lecture tickets are $10 for members and students and $15 for the public. The November 14 lecture at the Presidio Golf & Concordia Club will be followed by an optional fixed-price dinner for $75. To purchase a series pass or individual tickets, visit www.sfheritage.org/lecture-series or click on the titles below.

September 26 – History of Tamale-Making in San Francisco

As a cheap and easy-to-prepare food, the sale of tamales on the streets of San Francisco dates to the Gold Rush. By 1890, tamale factories flourished in the “Mexican Colony” surrounding Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (at 906 Broadway), with the city’s residents consuming more than 25,000 tamales each week. In fact, the popularity of tamales as a late-night street food is a uniquely San Francisco export. Jonathan Lammers explores the city’s rich tamale-making tradition, which served as the basis for some of the city’s longest lived and most successful Latino-owned businesses. Co-presented by 906 World Cultural Center and SF Latino Historical Society. VENUE: 906 World Cultural Center, 906 Broadway

October 17 – Janis: Her Life & Music   SOLD OUT 

An evening with Holly George-Warren, author of the new definitive biography about Janis Joplin. This intimate profile establishes the Queen of Rock & Roll as the rule-breaking musical trailblazer and complicated, gender-bending rebel she was. Based on unprecedented access to Joplin’s family, Written by one of the most highly regarded chroniclers of American music history, and based on unprecedented access to Janis Joplin’s family, friends, band mates, archives, and long-lost interviews, Janis is a complex, rewarding portrait of a remarkable artist finally getting her due. Co-presented by Booksmith. VENUE: The Bindery, 1727 Haight Street

November 14 – South Park & Rincon Hill

San Francisco was a rough place in the 1850s, but it contained an island of style and propriety: Rincon Hill and South Park. Robert Louis Stevenson called it “the most San Franciscoey part of San Francisco.” The notorious Second Street Cut, the 1906 Earthquake, and the Bay Bridge almost killed it, but today the area has been reborn as a unique and delightful part of the city. Paul Fisher gives you a virtual tour. Lecture to be followed by an optional fixed-price dinner for $75. Co-presented by 640 Heritage Preservation Foundation. VENUE: Presidio Golf & Concordia Club, 8 Presidio Terrace

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS! 

PRESENTING SPONSOR: HOBART PRESERVATION FOUNDATION 

SERIES SPONSOR: CAW ARCHITECTS, INC.

NATIONAL TRUST NAMES ‘CORNER OF HAIGHT & ASHBURY’ A NATIONAL TREASURE

Jun3rd

             

Washington (May 15, 2019) – The Corner of Haight and Ashbury, the heart of the neighborhood at the epicenter of the American counterculture in the 1960s, was today named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Together with San Francisco Heritage and the Haight Street Art Center, today’s announcement was made at the iconic Doolan-Larson building, which was recently bequeathed to San Francisco Heritage by longtime owner Norman Larson. The National Trust and San Francisco Heritage will develop a vision for the building to serve as a center for the interpretation and preservation of Haight-Ashbury’s many contributions to America’s countercultural legacy.

In the summer of 1967, tens of thousands of young people from across the country and around the world converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, marking the culmination of a countercultural movement that forever transformed American life. The counterculture ethos developed in Haight-Ashbury had a deep and long-term societal impact, promoting equal access to health care and housing, environmental protection, and a more relaxed approach to sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. The era’s receptiveness to new ideas continues to resonate through American life to this day in law, politics, business, and other elements of the culture.

“The counterculture that converged in Haight-Ashbury truly changed the world. By designating this iconic corner a National Treasure, we are acknowledging this neighborhood’s standing as one of America’s most renowned and significant historic places,” said Barb Pahl, Senior Vice-President of Field Services at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We look forward to bringing our expertise to help reimagine the Doolan-Larson building as a place to both celebrate and interpret the cultural revolution that took place here. The National Trust is excited by the opportunity to partner with San Francisco Heritage by engaging the community and developing a sustainable operating model for this transformational gift.”

“Norm Larson was the loving steward of the Doolan-Larson building for over 30 years. We are incredibly grateful that he had the foresight to purchase, restore, and landmark the iconic corner of Haight and Ashbury before gifting it to San Francisco Heritage,” said Mike Buhler, President & CEO of San Francisco Heritage. “As we envision the future of this site, we will be guided by his deep commitment to community and ensuring the ideals of the counterculture continue to resonate with future generations.”

“The values of the San Francisco counterculture have informed my personal and professional choices for decades,” said Roger McNamee, activist, author, and founding member of Moonalice. “These ideals inspired the Haight Street Art Center, which is working with San Francisco Heritage and the National Trust on the future of the Doolan-Larson building. The counterculture deserves an interpretive center to shine a bright light on the city’s cultural history. What better place than at the corner of Haight and Ashbury?”

 

Haight and history: House at city’s most iconic corner named national treasure

FOLLOWING ILLEGAL DEMOLITION, CITY REQUIRES RECONSTRUCTION OF NEUTRA’S LARGENT HOUSE

Dec19th

On Thursday, December 13, 2018, the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously voted to require the owner of the Largent House – designed by noted architect Richard Neutra and illegally razed in October 2017 – to rebuild the house at 49 Hopkins Street based on the original 1935 drawings. After a spate of unauthorized residential demolitions in San Francisco, the unprecedented decision by the Planning Commission has garnered international media coverage and stands as a powerful cautionary tale for future would-be offenders. The outcome is a testament to the tireless efforts of a broad coalition of community advocates working to spotlight and curb similar abuses across the city. Click here to read Heritage’s testimony at the hearing.

        

IN THE NEWS:

SF to developer who tore down landmark house: Rebuild it exactly as it was

SF Chronicle, December 15, 2018

A man illegally razed his historic San Francisco home. Now he must build a replica.

Washington Post, December 17, 2018

Owner who demolished famed San Francisco house must build replica

BBC, December 17, 2018

Man ordered to build replica of San Francisco home after illegally demolishing building

Fox News, December 17, 2018

Developer is ordered to build an EXACT replica of a landmark San Francisco home designed by a famed architect after he illegally demolished the $1.7million property to make way for a new mansion

Daily Mail (UK), December 17, 2018

Man who ‘illegally’ razed his historic San Francisco home must rebuild an exact replica

New Zealand Herald, December 18, 2018

City-ordered rebuild of landmark house stirs debate: Appropriate or overreach?

SF Chronicle, December 18, 2018

San Francisco Heritage featured on SFGovTV!

Aug28th

Without its many independent, locally-owned businesses, San Francisco wouldn’t be San Francisco. Local businesses that have been flourishing for 30 years and longer are the anchors of our communities.

Preserving these legacy businesses are critical to maintaining San Francisco’s uniqueness and what draw tourists from around the world.

Liguria Bakery, Tommy’s Joynt, & Mitchell’s Ice Cream are 3 SF institutions who speak with QuickBites about their historic businesses and about why it’s so important that they are still around providing generations after generations of San Franciscans with their culinary delights.

More about Legacy Business Registry:
www.sfheritage.org
https://www.sfheritage.org/legacy/
https://sfosb.org/legacy-business

Featured Legacy Businesses:
https://www.yelp.com/biz/liguria-bake…
http://tommysjoynt.com
https://mitchellsicecream.com

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SFGovTV QuickBites Crew
Executive Producer: Jack Chin
Production Supervisor: Derek Fernandez
Operations Supervisor: Thomas Loftus
Series Creator/Photographer: Jennifer
Low Segment Producer: Andy Kawanami
Editor: Derek Fernandez
Photographer: Joshua Alexander
Photographer: Leo De Asis
Photographer: Adriane Starks
Photographer: Michael Baltazar
Audio Post-Production: Araceli Frias
Graphics: Mark Bunch/Derek Fernandez/Felix Berzabal