Campaign for San Francisco Heritage / Haas-Lilienthal House

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Since 1971, San Francisco Heritage has been instrumental in ensuring the
continued vitality of San Francisco’s architectural and cultural identity. Amid rapid and inexorable change, Heritage has led the civic dialogue on historic preservation to establish protections that allow this city to evolve and flourish while retaining its unique character.

Since 1973, the 1886 Haas-Lilienthal House has served as the city’s only Victorian-era house museum, the face and foundation of Heritage’s educational programming, and an icon of San Francisco’s historic preservation movement. Today more than ever, this Queen Anne gem stands as a site of national cultural and architectural significance. The House’s status was elevated in 2012 when the National Trust for Historic Preservation identified the House as one of 34 National Treasures in America, and the only one in San Francisco.

Green Apple BooksIn November 2015 San Francisco Heritage announced the first comprehensive campaign in its history. By securing and restoring its landmark headquarters, the $4.3 million Campaign for San Francisco Heritage/Haas-Lilienthal House will ensure the continued vigor and utility of the historic preservation movement in San Francisco and present a freshened and enhanced historic property for the enjoyment and edification of all.  The campaign is premised on a holistic vision for the future of Heritage and the Haas-Lilienthal House, grounded in the conviction that one cannot thrive without the other. The House is the physical embodiment of our mission and its sustainability is essential to Heritage’s stability and effectiveness as a preservation organization.

View the Winter 2015/2016 Heritage News for Campaign Details.

The campaign budget includes the following priorities:

  • Preservation – $3 million will be used for immediate stabilization and rehabilitation of the Haas-Lilienthal House, including upgrades to accessibility, life safety, technology, and structural features. Heritage recently completed phase one of exterior repair and repainting, marking the first major capital project to be funded by the campaign.
  • Interpretation & Education – $650,000 will implement a new interpretive plan that offers fresh insights on how to tell the House’s unique story, focusing on evocative historical themes: the Gold Rush, the 1906 earthquake and fire, and the legacy of San Francisco’s pioneering Jewish community.
  • Endowment for Operations – $350,000 will double Heritage’s existing endowment, providing permanent, ongoing support for the House’s cyclical maintenance needs and Heritage’s continuing efforts to promote preservation awareness across San Francisco through educational initiatives, tours, research, and public testimony.


Heritage’s dual focus is on San Francisco’s past as well as its future—what we share, remember, and carry to the next generations that will make their lives better. This campaign will enable the Haas-Lilienthal House to serve as an active and lively bridge across the generations, while reinforcing Heritage’s core mission to preserve and enhance San Francisco’s unique architectural and cultural identity.

We invite you to help us realize this vision by making a one-time gift or multi-year pledge to the Campaign for San Francisco Heritage/Haas-Lilienthal House. Please review the Donor Recognition Brochure for a list of named and commemorative gift opportunities.

Mike Buhler
President & CEO

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December 2016 Campaign Update: $50,000 Matching Gift!

As 2016 draws to a close, a member of our campaign cabinet has offered to match any new contributions up to $50,000 in a push to wrap up fundraising efforts. Eligible matching funds include contributions and pledges to the campaign from individual donors, businesses, and corporations. The campaign has raised just under $4 million in gifts and pledges to date, 93 percent of the $4.3 million goal.

The need to finish the campaign is increasingly urgent as construction nears and Heritage prepares to sign contracts, write checks, and temporarily close the House. On December 7, the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission unanimously approved our plans for the Haas-Lilienthal House, with major construction scheduled to begin in spring 2017. If we are unable to reach the campaign goal, the Heritage Board will need to cancel important projects in the campaign plan. We need your help to meet the challenge and catapult fundraising efforts to their conclusion.

Questions? Contact Mike Buhler at 415/441-3000 x15 or

Rotating Banner Credits: 1019 Market Street (Jeff Peters); Haas-Lilienthal House exterior restoration (Susan Clark); Twin Peaks Tavern (M.V. Jantzen); “Culture Contains the Seed of Resistance that Blossoms into Liberation” by Miranda Bergman and O’Brien Thiele (Jeremy Blakeslee); Haas-Lilienthal House interior detail (Jody Stuart Photography)

-Last updated on December 9, 2016