Launched by San Francisco Heritage in 2017, the Landmark Fund aims to ensure that the city’s official inventories of historic landmarks and legacy businesses reflect the diversity of its people and places. To commemorate Heritage’s Golden Anniversary in 2021, the Landmark Fund will nominate 50 buildings, districts, businesses, and nonprofits for City Landmark, Legacy Business Registry, or other type of historic designation.
San Francisco is celebrated for its progressive history, distinctive architecture, and thriving neighborhood commercial districts. It also is a city with a rich cultural history — home to waves of immigrants from across the globe, a beacon for the gay rights movement, and birthplace of the counterculture movement of the 1960s. San Francisco Travel ranks the city’s “historic buildings and architecture” as its No. 1 cultural attraction.
San Francisco has much to be proud of —but the physical representation of this history is in danger of being erased. Only two percent of the city’s 152,880 parcels are protected as landmarks or as part of a historic district. The list heavily favors master architects and downtown edifices, leaving large swaths of the city and entire ethnic groups largely unrepresented. The entire southern third of San Francisco has less than a dozen City Landmarks. Only a handful of landmarks honor the contributions of the city’s Asian-Pacific Islander communities. The Mission District’s murals are celebrated —but currently, there are no protections to prevent them from being painted over. As commercial rents escalate, legacy restaurants, bars, retail stores, galleries, places of worship, community centers, and nonprofits have never been more at risk. Otherwise healthy businesses and gathering places that embody San Francisco’s unique character and serve as neighborhood anchors are being closed down for good.
50 Landmarks To Celebrate 50 Years
Historic designation is the most effective and proactive way to safeguard important places from demolition, destruction, and displacement. Through the Landmark Fund, Heritage will partner with communities to identify the places that matter most to them, confirm their eligibility, and then author, fund, or advocate historic designation to ensure those places are protected.
To celebrate Heritage’s 50th anniversary in 2021, the Landmark Fund will designate and protect fifty buildings, businesses, and artworks.
The Landmark Fund will ensure that the diversity of the city’s cultural inheritance is more fully recognized, remembered, and preserved. The Fund will enable future generations to understand San Francisco’s complex history by “reading” its architecture, recognize the lasting contributions of its residents, and value and promote the preservation of culture in their community.
We need your help to save these cultural and community gems, and maintain San Francisco’s 150-year old legacy as a diverse, welcoming place. If you are committed to this vision of our city, will you join us by contributing to the Landmark Fund?