November 17, 2008
Peskin (Et Alia?) Joins The Fisher Contemporary Museum Fray
"On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on a resolution making it city policy to oppose the [Contemporary Art Museum Presidio (CAMP)]. The legislation, introduced by board President Aaron Peskin, says the project would ruin the historic integrity of the Presidio and violate demolition restrictions.
The City has no jurisdiction on Presidio decision-making, but the resolution would indicate its feelings on the proposal and may apply enough pressure to ensure the Presidio Trust does not approve it."
∙ S.F. Board of Supervisors intrudes on Presidio fight [San Francisco Examiner]
∙ JustQuotes: Presidio Plans, Proposals, And Preservationist Protests [SocketSite]
∙ The Presidio Was Packed With Opposition, But Does It Even Matter? [SocketSite]
First Published: November 17, 2008 7:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Why doesn't the BoS just save some time and money and rather than this project by project by neighborhood by neighborhood opposition to anything new just pass a resolution that nothing new can ever be built or developed in the city.
I'm sure future generations will be most greatful.
Posted by: CameronRex at November 17, 2008 9:09 AM
If Peskin is against it, I'm automatically for it in a big way. That douchey power-mad midget.
Posted by: amused at November 17, 2008 9:20 AM
What Napoleon opposes something which he has absolutely no control over? How unusual!
Our BOS functions solely as a voice to the small but strident group which opposes anything new anywhere in SF.
Fisher would be wise to take his collection and move it to a city which isnt terrified of change.
Posted by: Joe at November 17, 2008 9:32 AM
It's an empty gesture, but I absolutely support the sentiment. A new museum downtown close to BART/Muni would be great (heck maybe even Fishermans Wharf to help de-touristify the area) but out in the Presidio? I just don't see it.
Posted by: Jake at November 17, 2008 10:11 AM
There is a new Disney museum under construction in the Presidio right now so I really see no reason why this project is any different and shouldn't move forward.
Posted by: progressive? at November 17, 2008 10:25 AM
The Disney Museum is going into existing buildings, but maybe that's just an imaginary difference.
Posted by: EH at November 17, 2008 10:31 AM
Oh my god, I never thought I'd live to agree with Peskin on anything - this is it. Promise it won't happen again.
Can't Fisher find any other existing building in the Presidio to use or do the downtown option? I'm 100% in the nimby camp on this one. It's an egotistical eyesore on one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate in the country.
Editor, please keep us up on the voting.
Posted by: resp at November 17, 2008 10:33 AM
Pier 70 is the place for CAMP.
Posted by: jkd at November 17, 2008 10:46 AM
I vote for Pier 30-32.
And build it soon. This is the best private modern art collection on earth. Time to share it with the public!
Posted by: anon at November 17, 2008 10:50 AM
"There is a new Disney museum under construction in the Presidio right now"
Yes, and it's inside an older building. The specious land-use planning arguments against the Fisher project merely veil subjective distaste for a piece of modern architecture that is decidedly not the best of its breed.
As for historical arguments, anything short of faithfully restoration of the central post to its 19th c. past is disingenuous. The proposed hotel along its eastern flank has already eliminated this option.
The presidio is not going to get a better offer than this.
Posted by: slobber at November 17, 2008 11:05 AM
The elected councilmen of San Francisco are nothing but taxpayer funded land rights lawyers and development blockers. Are the streets cleaner? No. Homeless off the streets? No. Crime right under control? No. Vandalism and graffiti? Nope. Is MUNI operating well enough to attract new riders? No. Are the streets kept paved and smooth? No way. But try to open a museum here and you will get the entire board working non- stop against you for months and even years. God help this city, because apparently nobody else is going to.
Posted by: sf at November 17, 2008 11:41 AM
The presidio is not going to get a better offer than this.
Of course they will. There's no reason for this to be a hustle, and if it's not Don Fisher who gets to ruin- er, bring the Presidio into the future, then some other rich white guy will. Hypothetical, but can you imagine how far this project would get if it was for the Museum of the Diaspora? Chuckle...
Posted by: EH at November 17, 2008 12:15 PM
And is it just me, or does submitting a comment take 30-60 seconds for everybody?
sf: I don't know if you know this, but The Presidio is not city property.
[Editor's Note: Everybody (and we're working on it).]
Posted by: EH at November 17, 2008 12:17 PM
Mark Horton/3A Gallery has invited a group of architects to investigate CAMP's siting and propose alternatives. The opening for the exhibit is on Thursday evening. From his site:
In response to the public review process for the new CAMP museum in San Francisco's Presidio, ten architectural firms have been asked to provide conceptual site plan alternatives to what is currently before the public. These conceptual ideas for the 100,000 square foot museum will be on display for one month and will be the topic of a panel discussion midway through the exhibition. The intent of the collective display is not to provide realistic final design alternatives to the current proposed project, nor is it to comment on the current proposed project, but rather the exhibit is shaped to propose alternates on a conceptual level that pose as many polemical questions regarding the museum program and its siting in a National Park as they do possible concrete solutions and alternatives.
Posted by: zero at November 17, 2008 12:36 PM
The way to make this work in North Beach is to build tall. That could be where the first skyscraper art museum belongs.
Posted by: Mole Man at November 17, 2008 12:42 PM
I think the presidio should be closed off to all motor vehicle traffic on the weekend. If the presidio trust can find a way to do this, then I am for the museum. otherwise, no. this is a park for recreation , not traffic
Posted by: spencer at November 17, 2008 12:51 PM
Neighbors in Pacific Heights will not allow street parking in their neighborhood, unless 1 hour parking is enforced at all times.
Posted by: sf at November 17, 2008 1:14 PM
"The specious land-use planning arguments against the Fisher project merely veil subjective distaste for a piece of modern architecture that is decidedly not the best of its breed."
Slobber I disagree, I don't think the Land Use argument is specious at all. I for one have no problem with the architecture (it's not the best but it's not the worse either). I just don't think it makes sense to build a museum likely to draw large crowds, especially tourists who often rely on public transport, in the Presidio rather than a more central Downtown-type location. It's more sustainable, it's in line with the City's transit-first policy (which the city itself violates but that's another topic) and it will likely get more visitors in a more central location, presumably the reason for opening any museum. It is unfortunate that the NIMBY crowd has to some degree adopted this valid argument, but not everyone who makes it is a member of their ranks. I for one am not and would love to see additional mid-high rise development along the 101 Van Ness/Lombard route and more development in general.
Posted by: Jake at November 17, 2008 1:51 PM
Legion of Honor envy...
Posted by: Delancey at November 17, 2008 2:56 PM
CAMP is the wrong building in the wrong place. If they want that central location, then the building should be contextual in some way. If they want that building, then put it near Crissy Field, where the Sports Basement is now. George Lucas had to jump through stylistic hoops to get his complex built. Why is Fisher able to build whatever he feels like? After sitting for years on the Presidio Trust and enforcing the architectural history, Fisher seems hypocritical to
want a modern design like this.
Posted by: jlasf at November 17, 2008 3:37 PM
I do not fully agree with the idea that the museum would be too far from the center to be attracting tourists.
I am often cycling around Crissy Fields and am more and more surprised by the huge tourist crowd renting bicycles looking for nice places to visit. Most will stop around the Warming Hut for nice photos and warm latte. a few will go across the bridge to Sausalito and come back with the ferry. The Presidio is doing a lot to attract tourists and locals. A museum would be an extra way to motivate people to get out of downtown/NB/FW. And more things to see means more time spent in hotels, restaurants...
Posted by: San FronziScheme at November 17, 2008 3:37 PM
It's the wrong building in the wrong place. The focal point of the Main Post should not be this montrosity to one man's bloated ego.
Posted by: Fishchum at November 17, 2008 7:23 PM
me, I want the bowling alley to stay. We have plenty of rich-people-collections-on-display museums already, and other more likely localities with existing buildings open for renovation. What we don't have much of is family-oriented,
cheap(ish), physical activity fun (especially after dark).
I'm pretty thrilled there's at least a few hurdles in front of Fisher; he doesn't own the city, though he might think he can buy it.
Posted by: anna at November 17, 2008 9:30 PM
While it is not city property, the city ends up responsible for providing transit access to the Presidio for tourists so I think it is reasonable for the Supervisors and city agencies to make their voices known. It does seem a little late to say that The Presidio is not just any park and start talking about appropriate usage. On the other hand, the ultra modern design does not fit the location.
Other than a downtown location, maybe it could be fit between the Museum of Science and the de Young to create a concentration of museums well served by public transit.
Posted by: joe shmoe at November 18, 2008 12:47 AM