Historic Preservation Commission - September 20, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
September 20, 2017 - 1:00pm



Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers Room 400,
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
1:00 p.m.
Architectural Review Committe




STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:  Shannon Ferguson, Allison Vanderslice, Tim Frye – Historic Preservation Officer, Jonas P. Ionin – Commission Secretary

+ indicates a speaker in support of an item;

  • indicates a speaker in opposition to an item; and

= indicates a neutral speaker or a speaker who did not indicate support or opposition.

1. 2015-005890DES                                                                       (S. FERGUSON: (415) 575-9074)
546-554 FILLMORE STREET – east side of Fillmore Street between Fell and Oak streets, Assessor's Blocks/Lots 0828/022 (District 5) – Review and Comment before the Architectural Review Committee on proposed plans for reuse of the former Sacred Heart Church Building. The Church Building is part of the Sacred Heart Parish Complex which includes the former rectory, church, school and convent buildings and is currently proposed for Article 10 individual landmark designation. 554 Fillmore Street is located in a RM-1 Residential-Mixed, Low Density Zoning District and 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Review and Comment

SPEAKERS: = Shannon Ferguson – Staff report
+ David Sternberg – Project presentation
+ John Pollard – Project presentation


Reviewed and Commented
In general, the Committee members commented that the current design could be brought towards greater conformance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards. The Committee recommended the project sponsors hire a preservation architect to assist in developing a program that would be more sensitive to the historic character of the church, which may not include residential as currently proposed. Overall, the Committee supported staff's recommendations for additional study and consideration and made further recommendations on the proposed design, including in the following areas:

1. Interior: The Committee members acknowledged the difficulty of repurposing the nave while at the same time retaining its character-defining features, including its historic volume and decorative features. The Committee commented that the symmetrical layout of the nave was also very important. As currently proposed, the design would subdivide the volume of the nave, changing the feeling of the space and the full width first floor would obscure decorative features from public view.
The Committee supported staff's recommendation to explore inserting new floors into a smaller portion of the nave in order to retain a sense of its historic volume. Committee members suggested that a glazed volume with multiple floor levels could possibly be inserted within the nave and that the glazing would still allow the historic volume and decorative features to be interpreted. It was noted that perhaps a use other than residential would be more appropriate in trying to maintain the character of the interior volume. Committee members commented that floor levels should align and be based off of the existing choir loft level.

2. Roof: The Committee supported staff's analysis that the new openings at the south side of the gable roof would impact the integrity of the distinctive features and finishes that characterize the nave, such as the decorative plaster details and the ceiling murals, and would make a historically interior space into an exterior space, changing both its feeling and its integrity as an interior volume. Committee members raised the issue of the potential effects of wind, sunlight and water on the interior decorative features from new openings in the gable roof.

The Committee commented that the inset terraces proposed at the northern side of the gable roof would be very visible and supported staff's recommendation that some new openings within in the overall roof may be introduced provided a sufficient amount of solid roof area is retained.
The Committee members commented that the proposed new elevator tower would also be highly visible and suggested the project sponsor explore locating the elevator in the campanile.

3. West Elevation (primary façade): The Committee supported staff's recommendation to consolidate accessible entry for both residential and commercial spaces through a ramp at the south elevation accessing the baptistery entrance, as this would preserve the distinctive stained glass window of the Sacred Heart at the primary façade.

In response to the project sponsor stating that it would be difficult to meet the required ramp slope if the accessible entrance is located at the south elevation, Committee members suggested locating the ramp partially in front of the adjacent property to the south (former rectory) to achieve the required slope.

4. South and East Elevations: The Committee commented that new windows proposed for the south and east elevations are out of proportion and scale for the elevations and would require extensive removal of historic fabric. Committee members further commented that the proposed openings do not relate to the existing architecture, particularly that of the south elevation.

2. 2014-002541ENV                                               (A. VANDERSLICE: (415) 575-9075)
INDIA BASIN MIXED USE PROJECT – which includes 700 Innes Avenue, 900 Innes Avenue, India Basin Shoreline Park, and India Basin Open Space locations - generally bounded by the San Francisco Bay on the northeast, Earl Street and the Candlestick Point–Hunters Point Phase I and Phase II Shipyard Development Plan areas on the southeast, Innes Avenue on the southwest, and Hunters Point Boulevard on the northwest. Portions of Innes Avenue adjacent to the site are included in the project boundary. The project site is in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood and Supervisorial District 10 – Review and Comment before the Architectural Review Committee on the proposed preservation alternatives in the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project. The project proposes to demolish significant features of the India Basin Scow Schooner Boatyard Vernacular Cultural Landscape located on the 900 Innes Avenue property determined to be eligible for the California Register of Historic Resources. The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) and the privately owned real estate development company BUILD proposed a public-private partnership to redevelop approximately 38 acres located along the India Basin shoreline into an integrated network of new public parks, wetland habitat, and a mixed-use urban village. The mixed-use urban village would include two options: (1) a residentially-oriented project with approximately 1,240 dwelling units, 275,330 square feet of commercial space, 50,000 square feet of institutional space, and 1,800 parking spaces; or (2) a commercially-oriented option with approximately 500 dwelling units, 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space, 50,000 square feet of institutional space, and 1,932 parking spaces. The project is within P (Public Use), M-1 (Light Industrial), M-2 (Heavy Industrial),and NC-2 (Neighborhood Commercial, Small Scale) Use Districts, and OS Zoning Districts and 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Review and Comment

SPEAKERS: = Allison Vanderslice – Staff report
+ Nicole Labrum – Project presentation
+ Christina Dykos – Project presentation
= Richard Rothman – Fill preservation alternative


  Reviewed and Commented

  • Project design – Both Commissioners were complimentary of the proposed mixed-use development project.
  • Alternatives – Both Commissioners agreed that the full and partial preservation alternatives were adequate and explored an acceptable range of options to address proposed project impacts to the significant features of the cultural landscape.
  • Partial Preservation Alternatives – Both Commissioners questioned Preservation Staff regarding the impact determination for the Partial Preservation Alternative. Both Commissioners did agree with the Department's determination that Partial Preservation Alternative would be less than significant with mitigation.
  • Partial Preservation Alternatives – Commissioner Pearlman supported the Partial Preservation Alternative, specifically the proposed ADA path going through the interpretative frame structure proposed to replace and reinterpret the Tool Shed and Water Building.
  • Project Goals – ARC questioned the analysis of the ability of the preservation alternatives to meet the project goals and suggested that the Sponsor and Department revisit this analysis. Commissioner Pearlman explained that the preservation alternative do appear to meet the following project goals:
    • Create a safe environment for park users that includes increased visibility of park spaces, including direct sightlines from bordering streets to the water.
    • Create an entry experience from Innes Avenue that highlights the features of both the cultural and natural landscape, maintains sightlines to the waterfront, and contributes to a seamless park user experience and sense of place as a neighborhood center.
    • Create a center for waterfront programming with a variety of active and passive recreational opportunities, and strengthen the quality of existing parks and facilities.
    • Design park spaces that are safe and inviting and that follow departmental best practices for successful maintenance.
    • Create Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)–accessible pathways providing waterfront access and safe interactions with highly trafficked routes such as the Class 1 bicycle path.
Both Commissioners noted that both alternatives meet most of the proposed project's goals.