North Beach Branch Library Rendering
Having previously sided with the Land Use and Economic Development Committee with respect to voting against landmark status for the North Beach Branch Library late last year, today San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors sided with the Planning Commission and voted down an appeal of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the North Beach Library/Joe DiMaggio Playground Master Plan, clearing the way for the current library to be razed and a new North Beach library and playground to rise.
North Beach Branch Library: No Landmark Status For You! [SocketSite]
North Beach Public Library and Joe DiMaggio Playground Master Plan Appeal [sfbos.org]
North Beach Library/Joe DiMaggio Playground Master Plan Report [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by CH

    I’ll believe it when I see it happening but it’s about time!

  2. Posted by Delancey

    Can they fire the jackasses who gave more than a moment’s consideration to “historic bookshelves”?
    [Editor’s Note: An Only In North Beach NIMBY Preservationist Argument: Shelves]

  3. Posted by Stucco-sux

    Poor Aaron. The Peskin has been written off as Pesky.

  4. Posted by Bale

    Finally! Hard to believe we will be witness to an actual improvement project in the neighborhood. THD must be very unhappy, they don’t like pretty, new things. Score one for the regular people who want a livable community, and someone (THD and Pesky Peskin) should have to reimburse the City for all of those ridiculous impact reports that held this project in limbo for years.

  5. Posted by Oceangoer

    Thank heavens. A vote for sanity in North Beach. About time.

  6. Posted by uponahill

    Can’t wait to see the new library! Will the Supes now do something about the shell of the Pagoda Theater?

  7. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Can someone remind me why (some) members of the neighborhood were against the new library in the first place?
    Was it the loss of those street parking spots or just the loss of that little section of street?

  8. Posted by lol

    badlydrawnbear,
    More often than not, this type of local resistance is more political than rational. Some local group will randomly block a project simply as a proof you have a top-to-bottom control of the “democratic” process. As a result, people will fear you and will show respect to your power. The end result of course is an undue representation that goes against the will or the interests of a community.
    2 losses in a day.
    Ship Napoleon to Saint Helena! Or the Farallons!

  9. Posted by zzzzzzzz

    “Will the Supes now do something about the shell of the Pagoda Theater?”
    What is happening with the Pagoda Theater? Wasn’t there a proposal that’s been described on Socketsite before? Is the plan progressing, or (more likely) are the THD holding it up?
    [Editor’s Note: Pagoda Theater Preview (And Signs Of Progress All Around). The Planning Commission approved the amendment referenced in the link.]

  10. Posted by embarcadero

    Whoot!
    The Hill Dwellers’ days are numbered! Pesky Aaron is on his way out and that troll wife of his too!
    [Editor’s Note: Telegraph Hill Dwellers 2.0?]

  11. Posted by rubber_chicken

    Great news, yes.
    But all that work and time to achieve a victory for a rather bland design.
    Yeah, yeah, it’ll be new and clean and functional, but I look forward to the time when these career obstructionists are defeated for something truly fantastic.

  12. Posted by North Beach Tony

    Talk around the bocce courts is that Shanahan, Peskin & Co. are filing for state/federal landmark status.
    Won’t these people ever get the message that THEIR neighborhood has changed into _our_ neighborhood?

  13. Posted by kthnxybe

    When the proposed building is more appealing than the existing one, you’re eventually going to run out of appeals.

  14. Posted by sfrenegade

    “When the proposed building is more appealing than the existing one, you’re eventually going to run out of appeals.”
    Unfortunately, that rationale didn’t work for 555 Washington. Yet another abusive use of the process by this same corrupt crew.

  15. Posted by Jim

    According to the current Heritage newsletter, on May 19, the State Historical Resources Commission voted 4-1 to recommend that the library be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. And these people wonder why sane people do not take them seriously.

  16. Posted by btosf

    Spot-on comment by “rubber_chicken”:
    “But all that work and time to achieve a victory for a rather bland design.
    Yeah, yeah, it’ll be new and clean and functional, but I look forward to the time when these career obstructionists are defeated for something truly fantastic.”
    I couldn’t agree more – the many amazing libraries that have been designed and built lately in other cities unfortunately put this mediocre design to shame!

  17. Posted by wonkster

    I think the next step by the opponents is a lawsuit on the grounds that the original public vote for the appropriation of funds for the purchase of the “triangle” was to make the triangle open space. All of the anti-library speakers waxed rhapsodic about how wonderful the “string of triangles” along Columbus is and how great it would be to have a green space triangle.
    Of course, if the triangle actually became a small patch of grass it would be nothing but a dog toilet and a campground for the homeless. But the dogs and the homeless would have a great view of the “historic” North Beach library.

  18. Posted by Robin

    Thank heavens! We moved over here from the Mission to North Beach to be nearer our kids’ public school, and discovered a vibrant family neighborhood. Kids everywhere. Great schools. A true diverse mix of white, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Italian, Euro, whatever. It’s awesome. I cannot wait to use the new library. It’s sorely needed, and is the busiest of any branch library I’ve seen in town. A library is something you USE; it must FUNCTION; and the old one was practically unusable.
    All the misguided folks who wanted to keep the old building as is, just missed the whole point of how important a vibrant library is for kids and elderly and everyone else.

  19. Posted by btosf

    Robin: Agreed – but why should a “vibrant library” not be of a vibrant architectural design (which this scheme clearly is not)?

  20. Posted by inmycountry

    If anybody gets nostalgic for the old library, they can always watch the car chase in “Bullitt”…it’s on the left, in the scene just before the Charger takes off.

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