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Heritage 50: Landmark Fund

A set of cards Heritage created in 2017 to promote the Landmark Fund, featuring (clockwise from the top) the Community Music Center (legacy business), El Rey Theatre (city landmark), Joe Goode Performance Group (legacy business), and the Glen Park BART Station (city landmark).

San Francisco is celebrated for its distinctive architecture, thriving neighborhood commercial districts, and rich cultural history.

However, the city’s official inventory of historic landmarks does not adequately reflect the diversity of its people and places, favoring downtown edifices and master architects, leaving large swaths of the city and entire ethnic groups virtually unrepresented. Recognizing this, and in commemoration of Heritage’s 2021 50th anniversary, the Landmark Fund was launched in 2017 to directly support the nomination of 50 buildings, districts, businesses and nonprofits for city landmark, Legacy Business Registry, or other type of historic designation, including inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

Interior of the Glen Park BART Station, one of the city’s finest examples of Brutalist architecture. Heritage awarded a grant to the Glen Park Association in 2017 to nominate the station for landmark designation.

Historic designation is the most effective and proactive way to safeguard important places from demolition, destruction, and displacement. The Landmark Fund has supported work leading to the designation of businesses, buildings, and institutions such as The Great Cloud of Witnesses collage-mural in Ingleside Presbyterian Church (city landmark); Bimbo’s 365 Club (legacy business); 24th Street Dental operated by Dr. Bernardo D. Gonzalez III, AKA “Dr. Rock” (legacy business); the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (National Register); the Royal Baking building in the Excelsior District (city landmark); and the Lyon-Martin House in Noe Valley (city landmark).

dr rock poses for a photo in his dental office

Dr. Gonzalez, aka “Dr. Rock,” in his dental office at 24th Street Dental. Located at 2720 24th Street in the heart of the Mission District, 24th Street Dental is more than an important bilingual dental practice; it’s a significant place for San Francisco’s Latin Rock history.

As we celebrate our Golden Anniversary in 2021, we continue to actively pursue designation for several more Landmark Fund projects to reach our goal of 50 places. This includes spearheading the effort together with Supervisor Connie Chan to designate Lincoln Park, the location of the former City Cemetery; and working with our Heritage in the Neighborhoods’ community groups to designate the Trocadero Clubhouse in the Parkside District as a city landmark and the Italian American Social Club in the Excelsior District as a legacy business.

The Kong Chow funerary monument in Lincoln Park, a significant piece of Chinese American history in what was formerly City Cemetery.

Thank you to all of those who have called in to hearings, written letters, and have overall supported our Landmark Fund work to date. If you would like to make a financial contribution towards the Landmark Fund, please choose “Landmark Fund” when designating your gift.

Legacy BusinessesLandmark FundLandmarkHeritage 50

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