City for Sale
The Transformation of San Francisco
Publication Year: 2002
Hartman was directly involved in many of the events he chronicles and thus had access to sources that might otherwise have been unavailable. A former activist with the National Housing Law Project, San Franciscans for Affordable Housing, and other neighborhood organizations, he explains how corporate San Francisco obtained the necessary cooperation of city and federal governments in undertaking massive redevelopment. He illustrates the rationale that produced BART, a subway system that serves upper-income suburbs but few of the city's poor neighborhoods, and cites the environmental effects of unrestrained highrise development, such as powerful wind tunnels and lack of sunshine. In describing the struggle to keep housing affordable in San Francisco and the seemingly intractable problem of homelessness, Hartman reveals the human face of the city's economic transformation.
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Other Works by the Author, Copyright, Dedication
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For a city as politically fascinating and world renowned as San Francisco, itis surprising how little exists in the way of book-length scholarly literaturefocused solely on the city’s recent history. Fred Wirt’s 1974 Power in theCity: Decision Making in San Francisco, Allan Jacobs’s 1978 Making CityPlanning Work, Richard DeLeon’s 1992 Left Coast City: Progressive Poli-...
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1. THE LARGER FORCES
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...*This book contains two types of notes. Numbered notes begin on page 403; notes†When capitalized, “City” refers to San Francisco’s government.San Francisco is perhaps the most unique and exhilarating of the nation’scities. A typical valentine, this from veteran New York Times reporter R. W.Apple Jr., sings the theme: “More than any other, this is the city that Amer-...
2. SUPERAGENCY AND THE REDEVELOPMENT BOOSTER CLUB
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Ben Swig’s dream and corporate San Francisco’s plans needed the officialbacking of the City and the federal government. Financing and assemblingland for massive downtown redevelopment is an enormous undertaking,and unguided individual developers might create a patchwork of small proj-ects, more a hindrance than a help in changing the face of the city. The task...
3. THE ASSAULT ON SOUTH OF MARKET
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In 1961, with Justin Herman firmly in the saddle, the San Francisco Rede-velopment Agency began the official assault on South of Market by filingfor a federal urban renewal survey and planning grant. While outlining aredevelopment study area slightly larger than that in Ben Swig’s 1955 plan,the application moved the site closer to Market Street and also omitted the...
4. THE NEIGHBORHOOD FIGHTS BACK
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One of the greatest injustices in South of Market redevelopment has beenthe callous obliteration of the neighborhood’s past. The name chosen by theRedevelopment Agency to dignify its project, “Yerba Buena” (Spanish for“good grass” or “good herb”), was the name of the original Spanish settle-ment that in 1847 became San Francisco. While preserving the old pio-...
5. INTO THE COURTS
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HUD’s unwillingness to provide administrative relief to Yerba Buena relo-catees gave the South of Market residents no choice but to turn to litiga-tion. On November 5, 1969, represented by a half-dozen named individu-als and TOOR, they filed a complaint in federal district court against bothHUD and the Redevelopment Agency, contending that the agency had not...
6. THE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY FLOUNDERS
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Delays caused by TOOR’s successful lawsuit and Justin Herman’s obviousintransigence in the face of this legal obstacle began to implant grave doubtsat city hall about the Redevelopment Agency’s handling of the YBC proj-ect, doubts furthered by Thomas Mellon, the City’s chief administrative of-ficer (CAO). In early 1971, Mellon suddenly announced possible illegalities...
7. RESOLVING THE CONVENTION CENTER DEADLOCK
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...*“[Burton] came to control the closest thing to an old style political machine thatis possible in fluid California. His was a remarkable semi-organization that reachedfrom the old Irish parishes to the ghettos, from Chinatown to Hunters Point, fromthe drawing rooms of the wealthy liberals to the union halls. It remained potent,even after the power of the unions and the old Democratic clubs dissipated in the...
8. SOUTH OF MARKET CONQUERED
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While opening the Moscone Convention Center (named after the city’s as-sassinated mayor—see chapter 11) marked a monumental step in the trans-formation of the South of Market area, development forces had not dalliedin incorporating this part of the city into the financial district. Particularlyto the east of Yerba Buena Center, directly across Market Street from the...
9. MOSCONE CENTER DOINGS
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When Moscone Center opened in December 1981, it got rave architecturalreviews. An exuberant Allan Temko, the Chronicle’s highly respected urbandesign critic, announced: “In the unprecedented exhibition hall of MosconeCenter—a column-free underground space nearly 880 feet long, nearly 300feet wide, and 37 feet high—San Francisco has another structural wonder...
10. YERBA BUENA GARDENS, TODCO’S HOUSING, AND THE SOUTH OF MARKET NEIGHBORHOOD
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Building the underground convention center was one piece of work. Whatwas to go on top of it was a whole other story. The first significant step to-ward developing the Central Blocks atop Moscone Center was taken in April1984, at a splashy luncheon presentation for seven hundred people, to an-nounce tentative agreement on a land disposition plan for the aboveground...
11. CITY HALL
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As has been demonstrated on many occasions, the city’s governing Boardof Supervisors gave virtually reflexive approval to the various steps in theYerba Buena project whenever required. More generally, the board reflectedits members’ economic and social ties to downtown interests, through theirbusiness dealings, campaign finances, social relationships, and class alliances....
12. HIGH-RISES AND THE ANTIHIGH-RISE MOVEMENT
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The transformation of San Francisco over the past four decades finds its con-crete expression in the height and bulk of the new buildings that have re-placed the old. One sometimes forgets how recent this change has been:From 1930 to 1958, only one major office building was constructed in SanFrancisco, and the city’s first modern high-rise, the Crown Zellerbach build-...
13. THE HOUSING CRISIS AND THE HOUSING MOVEMENT
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San Francisco’s housing costs are among the highest, if not the highest, ofany of the nation’s large cities. The Planning Department’s annual reportindicated that the median monthly rent in 1999 for a two-bedroom apart-ment was $2,500.1 An early 2001 Chronicle feature reports that the aver-age rent for an apartment of this size is $2,752.2 What is astounding is not...
14. THE LESSONS OF SAN FRANCISCO
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...*A letter dated 10 February 1977 from Gyo Obata to Roger Boas ends, “I haveenclosed for you two small booklets by my parents that might be of interest toyou,” next to which is written by hand (presumably by Boas to one of his aides),“Tom—write him a short reply of thanks for the books on flower arranging and†A letter dated 7 July 1977 from Robert Sullivan, executive director of the Con-...
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Figure 1a. [top] “I’ve lived my life so that I can look any man in the eye and tell him to go to hell.” George Woolf (1898–1972), first president, Tenants and Figure 1b. [bottom] Eviction of International Hotel residents, midnight, August 4,1977. Four hundred police and sheriff’s deputies confronted two thousand defend-Figure 3. Mendelsohn House (Robert Herman, architect), TODCO’s 189-unit...
Page Count: 501
Publication Year: 2002