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  #1121  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2007, 4:03 AM
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^True, there is no guarantee that these restaurants will last. However, you're kidding yourself if you think these buildings (if vacated) would remain so for long. This area is becoming more of a destination. There really aren't too many restaurants this close to the water with these types of views. Keep in mind that this will attract many tourists as well who come to the Ferry Building and want a nice meal. In addition, it will draw on the crowds who already frequent the nearby upscale restaurants such as Boulevard, Chaya and Mexico DF.
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  #1122  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2007, 7:21 PM
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Rincon park restaurants

Kuleto is by far the most successful restauranteur in the area, if no the state, and maybe beyond. Great location given that it is right next to Gap headquarters, Google, and close to Infinity, Rincon, Watermark, and the Ferry building. So I predict big success.

But I wish the red brick building's exterior was more inspired. So far I am unimpressed and hoping the interior makes up for the exterior. All in all the neighborhood is coming along nicely.
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  #1123  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2007, 9:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peanut gallery View Post
690 Market update. I took these today (9/24).



I didn't realize the overhangs would wrap around to the back:

After looking at this project again yesterday, I still think that the new tower is a real dog. Those "overhangs" that are supposed to be the cornices in the original renderings are ridiculous. The tower looks like an overgrown mediocre condo development stuffed on top of a nice old building/facade. I find it to be almost hideous.

Although it definitely improves the street scape with the return of a historic brick building that was lovingly restored, even the residence lobby looks trite to me--like a place for the rich who don't have very good taste to live.

Overall, it benefits the City, but it could have been so much better. IMO, Ritz-Carlton's image has been diminished by allowing their name to be attached to this developer's misguided architectural adventure. It looks more like the influence of Marriott, Ritz-Carlton's owner.
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  #1124  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2007, 5:52 AM
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I agree with you

Quote:
Originally Posted by viewguysf View Post
After looking at this project again yesterday, I still think that the new tower is a real dog. Those "overhangs" that are supposed to be the cornices in the original renderings are ridiculous. The tower looks like an overgrown mediocre condo development stuffed on top of a nice old building/facade. I find it to be almost hideous.

Although it definitely improves the street scape with the return of a historic brick building that was lovingly restored, even the residence lobby looks trite to me--like a place for the rich who don't have very good taste to live.

Overall, it benefits the City, but it could have been so much better. IMO, Ritz-Carlton's image has been diminished by allowing their name to be attached to this developer's misguided architectural adventure. It looks more like the influence of Marriott, Ritz-Carlton's owner.
I agree this is a really ugly mediocre building. Rather than trying to blend with such a bland design I would prefer the new condo tower to be unabashedly modern because, hello, its a condo tower on top of an old building. If ever there is a time to create a great contrast this is it. The Hearst building New York really pulls this idea off IMO. I love to look at that building. This just looks like it was trying to not offend anyone.
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  #1125  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2007, 10:17 PM
markermiller markermiller is offline
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Originally Posted by Frisco_Zig View Post
I agree this is a really ugly mediocre building. Rather than trying to blend with such a bland design I would prefer the new condo tower to be unabashedly modern because, hello, its a condo tower on top of an old building. If ever there is a time to create a great contrast this is it. The Hearst building New York really pulls this idea off IMO. I love to look at that building. This just looks like it was trying to not offend anyone.
I completely agree. The reason it LOOKS like it's trying not to offend anyone is because that's exactly what comes out of San Francisco's overly-democratized planning process. Over the years I've come to realize that the worst-of-the-worst designs that get wrung through our 'process' are those with a 'mandate' to 'fit-in' with an old beloved classic. Witness the piece of trash immediately behind the Sentinel Building at Columbus & Kearny, which breaks my heart every time I pass by and imagine the alternatives that could have been built on this great, front-row property. Or the Market Street frontage of 33 New Montgomery - the infamous Boudin’s Café frame (which, speaking of modern ‘cornices’, boasts one of the most ridiculous ‘solutions’ imaginable). Look at 456 Montgomery (the silver box Wells Fargo built in ’83, which blocked the great street wall view up Montgomery to the TA Pyramid), or the Citicorp highrise at Sutter & Sansome, or the (now) old Bank of California building at California & Sansome.

All these –and many more- saved a much loved original structure (or at least some of it!), but at what cost? They could have been fantastic, innovative and inspiring projects –if only the city would have allowed them the ‘air space’, and then more-or-less stayed out of the way! Our ‘mandate’ should simply be: “save the old beauty; then dazzle us!”

Yikes... my first post here turned into quite a little rant!
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  #1126  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 2:28 AM
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^ a good one tho. i agree that the planning process provides for very bland designs

welcome markermiller to ssp!
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  #1127  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 3:30 AM
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^ a good one tho. i agree that the planning process provides for very bland designs

welcome markermiller to ssp!
Yeah, 690 Market doesn't bother me much at all... probably because the renovation is so extraordinary, and the overall shape of the addition works well. Compared to many other such projects in SF, it's a beauty. It's only when I stare at buildings like this, and imagine what COULD have been, that I get critical.

Speaking of which, I've gotta say that I LOVE this thread! I discovered it about a year ago, and it's been great reading the comments of so many guys, most of whom seem to share my sensibilites about urban planning and architecture.
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  #1128  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 3:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markermiller View Post
I completely agree. The reason it LOOKS like it's trying not to offend anyone is because that's exactly what comes out of San Francisco's overly-democratized planning process. Over the years I've come to realize that the worst-of-the-worst designs that get wrung through our 'process' are those with a 'mandate' to 'fit-in' with an old beloved classic. Witness the piece of trash immediately behind the Sentinel Building at Columbus & Kearny, which breaks my heart every time I pass by and imagine the alternatives that could have been built on this great, front-row property. Or the Market Street frontage of 33 New Montgomery - the infamous Boudin’s Café frame (which, speaking of modern ‘cornices’, boasts one of the most ridiculous ‘solutions’ imaginable). Look at 456 Montgomery (the silver box Wells Fargo built in ’83, which blocked the great street wall view up Montgomery to the TA Pyramid), or the Citicorp highrise at Sutter & Sansome, or the (now) old Bank of California building at California & Sansome.

All these –and many more- saved a much loved original structure (or at least some of it!), but at what cost? They could have been fantastic, innovative and inspiring projects –if only the city would have allowed them the ‘air space’, and then more-or-less stayed out of the way! Our ‘mandate’ should simply be: “save the old beauty; then dazzle us!”

Yikes... my first post here turned into quite a little rant!
I second northbay420's welcoming you to SSP and thank you for a well reasoned and documented first post!

I unexpectedly happened to end up on the 12th floor of a building downtown today that afforded an excellent view of this project and had time to reflect upon what Frisco_Zig had written in response to my post, which I agreed with completely. You carried it several steps further and listed numerous examples, both "ancient" and recent that have bothered me. In short, you succinctly stated the problem and the solution. "Save the old beauty--then dazzle us" is a most appropriate slogan for San Francisco. We have only to look at the recent Transbay tower competition to see yet again that the least offensive design was selected; it's so ironic that it was the one to have the big bucks behind it. Perhaps that's why I like the new Federal Building, despite its flaws.

I think that we have to be careful not to prostitute ourselves just for the sake of wanting to see new construction or a higher skyline. I've seen many posts on SSP that seemed to do just that, attempting to justify mundane projects. Thankfully, we do have several good ones going up now, but we can never afford to forget our past mistakes such as ones that you have mentioned.

There's my little diatribe to respond to your first rant!
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  #1129  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 5:57 AM
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Unhappy

To my eye... the overhangs don't seem completed (finished). It appears as though it was something just added as a last touch, hopefully, to tie-in to what was there years ago.
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  #1130  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 7:54 AM
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Foundry Square I is nearing completion. The outside of the structure is pretty much done:


Inside, work continues:


Lately, most of the exterior action has been focused on the entrance tilework and landscaping (ok, planting a dozen or so trees):


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  #1131  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 8:01 AM
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Kuleto is by far the most successful restauranteur in the area, if no the state, and maybe beyond. Great location given that it is right next to Gap headquarters, Google, and close to Infinity, Rincon, Watermark, and the Ferry building. So I predict big success.

But I wish the red brick building's exterior was more inspired. So far I am unimpressed and hoping the interior makes up for the exterior. All in all the neighborhood is coming along nicely.
All fine but I still hope they have a plan B for the buildings. I've never before seen such specialized structures in such a prominent place (well, maybe Tavern on the Green in NYC).

Maybe a homeless shelter?
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  #1132  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 8:04 AM
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To my eye... the overhangs don't seem completed (finished). It appears as though it was something just added as a last touch, hopefully, to tie-in to what was there years ago.
They look like their function is to stop people from jumping out the windows. The stock market is bad, but . . . .
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  #1133  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 11:50 PM
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This is my first test of posting a photo; hopefully, my photo of Market / Embarcadero will display: Does anyone know what's happening (or going to happen) with the precious piece of land, just south of Market at the Embarcadero? For lack of something better, I'm currently calling it "Dog Poo Annex". It's an absolutely hideous space right now... and as such, it DOES fit in with what I call "Median-Strip Plaza" in front of the Ferry Building (which looks fantastic from the air... and NOWHERE else.

I wonder if BTinSF would object if I chose "Curmudgeon Jr." as my moniker? (Even though I'm pretty old, I like the ring of it...)
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  #1134  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2007, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by markermiller View Post


This is my first test of posting a photo; hopefully, my photo of Market / Embarcadero will display: Does anyone know what's happening (or going to happen) with the precious piece of land, just south of Market at the Embarcadero? For lack of something better, I'm currently calling it "Dog Poo Annex". It's an absolutely hideous space right now... and as such, it DOES fit in with what I call "Median-Strip Plaza" in front of the Ferry Building (which looks fantastic from the air... and NOWHERE else.

I wonder if BTinSF would object if I chose "Curmudgeon Jr." as my moniker? (Even though I'm pretty old, I like the ring of it...)
I haven't heard anything proposed for that space. I've actually seen people play football there, believe it or not.

I've heard of talk of condos to the south in a small space, right next to Boulevard restaurant and to the north at the Tennis and Swimming place.
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  #1135  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2007, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by markermiller View Post


Does anyone know what's happening (or going to happen) with the precious piece of land, just south of Market at the Embarcadero? For lack of something better, I'm currently calling it "Dog Poo Annex". It's an absolutely hideous space right now... and as such, it DOES fit in with what I call "Median-Strip Plaza" in front of the Ferry Building (which looks fantastic from the air... and NOWHERE else.
That has long been, and as far as far as I know still is, intended as a place to install the Panama Pacific Exposition Organ:

Quote:
Pipe Up!

Waterfront Pavilion to Feature Historic Pipe Organ



A new and exciting project, that will bring music and magic to the people of San Francisco, is brewing at the foot of Market Street and Embarcadero, in front of the historic Ferry building. The Waterfront Pavilion will be a cultural facility that will become the permanent home of the 1915 Exposition Organ. The 7,500 pipe organ was originally built for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, in celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal and a testament to the city’s tenacity to rise from the ashes of the 1906 earthquake.

The initiative to bring the historic pipe organ to the waterfront is thanks to a collaboration between the San Francisco Department of Recreation and Park and the Committee for the Waterfront Pavilion, a volunteer group of San Francisco residents representing a wide spectrum of the community, under the fiscal sponsorship of the Friends of the Rec and Park. Its task is to raise funds to build the pavilion and install the historic organ. Upon completion of this task, a non-profit organization to be called "Friends of the Waterfront Pavilion" will be organized to preserve, maintain and administer the Waterfront Pavilion and the historic organ as well as to develop and produce free outdoor concerts.

The Waterfront Pavilion will become the center of a burgeoning renaissance taking place at the Embarcadero Waterfront since the dismantling of the Embarcadero freeway in 1991. Its idyllic location and accessibility will make it as one of the city’s premier attractions, becoming the biggest outdoor organ pavilion in the country. Free yearlong organ concerts and collaborative performances reflecting the city’s multicultural heritage will be presented.

The Exposition organ enjoyed tremendous popularity from 1915 till the late 1950’s. With the advent of big bands and rock and roll music, the organ’s popularity waned and it fell into disrepair. Various efforts were made to maintain the instrument but the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake severely damaged it. A Citizens’ Committee to Preserve the Organ secured funds from FEMA to repair the instrument. Subsequently, the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, together with the Committee for a Safe Embarcadero, sought assistance from the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to secure a permanent home for the organ.

For more information, see www.sfpavilion.org, e-mail watpavl@aol.com. Or call (510) 898-8523.
Source: http://www.baycrossings.com/Archives...ront_organ.htm

Quote:
I wonder if BTinSF would object if I chose "Curmudgeon Jr." as my moniker? (Even though I'm pretty old, I like the ring of it...)
I'd be flattered but I don't deserve the honor.
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  #1136  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2007, 1:27 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
That has long been, and as far as far as I know still is, intended as a place to install the Panama Pacific Exposition Organ:


Source: http://www.baycrossings.com/Archives...ront_organ.htm



I'd be flattered but I don't deserve the honor.
I'm sure you're as honorable as the next curmudgeon. Regarding the plans, again (in the drawing), it looks great from the air. I wonder how it's going to feel going to an organ recital next to a freeway? It'll be nice to see this space spruced up though. Anyway, thanks for the good info...
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  #1137  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2007, 1:31 AM
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^^^I've been wondering if the people in that hotel next to it will appreciate it. But the organ plans came before the hotel.
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  #1138  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2007, 2:26 AM
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^^^I've been wondering if the people in that hotel next to it will appreciate it. But the organ plans came before the hotel.
From what I've been hearing over the past year or more, the organ pavilion project is almost dead. A bond issue to funding the biggest piece of it was defeated (the catch-all bond contained numerous projects) and some of the Bay Area's most prominent organists are not in favor of the pavilion. San Diego's Spreckels Organ Pavilion notwithstanding, organs are meant to in enclosed spaces designed for them or vice versa. In addition, our climate would be very harsh for the historic Austin organ.
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  #1139  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2007, 5:00 PM
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via http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2....html#comments

Quote:
Planning For 5,700 New Homes In San Francisco’s Parkmerced

From J.K. Dineen at the San Francisco Business Times: “Parkmerced's owners want to add 5,700 housing units to San Francisco's largest apartment complex in a dramatic redesign that would cost billions of dollars and nearly triple the west side community to 9,000 units.

Stellar Management and Rockpoint Group's aggressive plan calls for the construction of between 200 and 300 units a year over the next 15 to 20 years. The owners plan to file an application for environmental review with the city before the end of the year, according to spokesman P.J. Johnston.

The proposal, as envisioned by architects Skidmore Owings Merrill, would reinvent the automobile-centric World War II-era community as a denser, more pedestrian-oriented neighborhood with a new transit stop, parks, and grocery shopping. Ten of the 11 existing 13-story towers would be preserved. Approximately 70 percent of the 5,700 new units would be in townhouses of three or four stories. Others would be in new towers up to 13 stories. The housing will include a mixture of rental apartments and for-sale condos.”
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  #1140  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2007, 5:43 PM
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Thumbs down The Worst Perspective Yet

POLA's pic #22 from his great "San Francisco by Pola (big)" thread shows just how unsightly the Ritz-Carlton Residences project is when viewed from above. Not only is it painfully obvious how the two sections do not fit together and how cheap looking the new structure is, but it also shows that they made no attempt to hide the mechanical penthouse and equipment on the roof. From this angle, the project rates a big F in my book.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1351/...f8cc1fdd_b.jpg
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