October 1, 2013

Plans To Honor Rincon Hill's Past For Its Future To Rise

340%20and%20350%20Fremont%20Buildings.jpg

In order to make way for the 400 foot residential tower that’s getting ready to rise at 340 Fremont Street, the two former maritime union halls at 340 and 350 Fremont Street will need to be razed.

340%20Fremont%20Base.jpg

And as a condition of approval for the two historical halls to be demolished, the developer will include interpretative displays on the history of Maritime Unions on Rincon Hill as part of the project.

340%20Fremont%20Display%20Rendering.jpg

The details and designs for the proposed exterior and interior displays:

As designed by Page & Turnbull and Handel Architects (Project Architects), the interpretative display includes a series of interpretative panels located on the exterior within the mid‐block public passage and an interpretative video kiosk located within the interior off of the main public lobby.
On the exterior, the interpretative display would be located along the mid‐block public passage and would be demarcated with a 18” by 18” bronze case plaque. The exhibit includes six panels (each measuring approximately 3‐ft by 2‐ft) located on a corten steel pedestal, and imprinted with images and texts.
The exterior interpretative exhibit includes a salvaged flagpole, which would be located at the end of the mid-block public passage and mounted with banners of the union crests.

A stainless steel video kiosk designed to mimic the existing job board within the union hall at 350 Fremont Street will be located within a small viewing room off of the residential lobby of the new tower with a looping video presentation of the area’s history.

The designs for the exterior and interior displays will be presented to San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission for approval tomorrow.

The Clock Is Ticking For The 400-Foot Tower At 340 Fremont [SocketSite]
Neighborhood Scoop: 340 Fremont's Refined Design And Parking [SocketSite]

First Published: October 1, 2013 5:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Historic halls? This is a joke, right?

Posted by: Mark at October 1, 2013 7:56 AM

I wonder if, 100 years from now, when they raze mid-rise buildings to put in new highrises, will they build statues of somebody staring into a device to pay tribute to the city's appster heritage? Generations ago, somebody texted "OMG LOL which bar u @?" to a friend on this very spot.

Posted by: Legacy Dude at October 1, 2013 8:52 AM

Hey, it's about the union! Now that you have arrived from where ever... you need to get in step. In "The City" the first order of business is to smile warmly and get misty eyed about the following:

Street people's daily struggles,

Anything related to the oppressed, particularly those arrivals from central or south america who fled fascist regimes, then attended Harvard Law and became SF Supervisors etc.,

Recycle centers

Bike lanes

Starving artists who enjoy a good party,

Bike lanes (oh wait that was already mentioned)

People that know what to know and tell you what they know


What else?


Posted by: Hey hey at October 1, 2013 8:57 AM

Nice idea. This city was built and founded on the backs of the men who worked SF's docks and the ships who were berthed there. A far cry from the narcissistic twits I see glued to their smartphones 24-7 who would need an app to move a simple piece of furniture from one room to another.

Posted by: Fishchum at October 1, 2013 9:00 AM

A more fitting tribute would be to utilize at least one of the maritime halls as part of the building's facade, if not both. I am OK with some new construction (although certainly not at the rate it is occurring) as long as the new buildings utilize the historic architecture that exists already, that made this city what it is.

Posted by: Hawkins at October 1, 2013 9:06 AM

Mark’s comment is a perfect endorsement supporting the requirement for an exhibit reminding people about Rincon Hill’s historic relationship to maritime worker history in San Francisco, including the labor union halls that will be demolished on Fremont Street.

Posted by: emanon at October 1, 2013 9:14 AM

There is a building, and people went inside it. Historic!!

Posted by: sf at October 1, 2013 9:24 AM

Some of you people are very annoying. What is the matter with a few plaques that memorialize how a space was formerly used? It adds to the richness of our experience to understand how the City has evolved over time. Like it or not, there was a time when SF was a port city, and the maritime unions were very strong and had an important role (both positive and negative) in the life of the City. As the physical reminders disappear, I'm glad to see a ghost image to remind us.

And, of course, a plaque or two is much better than preserving the buildings, which are completely undistinguished.

Posted by: curmudgeon at October 1, 2013 9:49 AM

Second what curmudgeon said.

Posted by: Michael E at October 1, 2013 9:57 AM

Third what curmudgeon said

Posted by: chriso at October 1, 2013 10:39 AM

This might be a legitimate historical site and if someone has no interest in history, the approach described above is rather inoffensive. Small monuments actually do add to the texture of the city. The negative reaction (and I had it very strongly at first too) is that its an example of:

1) The city telling people what to do with their property

2) Historic preservation

In this case we actually see a reasonable approach to these two, which is such a rare thing in this land of historic libraries with shelves, that many of us just have a knee jerk reaction before computing what is actually being proposed.

Posted by: frog at October 1, 2013 11:10 AM

Those "halls"may have witnessed some history but they are bad architecture and need to go. The notion of preserving their facades (Hawkins) is so "scary-San Francisco" I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. Plaques are fine. They'll disappear in a decade or so as nobody will have an interest in maintaining them. The longshoremen have passed on and their descendants have moved to Antioch.

Posted by: BTinSF at October 1, 2013 11:58 AM

If they wanted to be architecturally clever about it, they could have
made the lower, right part of the building look like the prow of a ship. If you squint your eyes, it almost looks like the prow of an old ocean liner. A little curve to the surface, a metallic skin, have the windows become less distinct...and voila! A ship is launched.

I am just kidding, btw.

Posted by: jlasf at October 1, 2013 12:10 PM

Fishchum, I pity you.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at October 1, 2013 1:52 PM

I saw some seriously good music in these places, including Public Enemy and James Brown, but I am not sad to see them go. The memorial is a nice touch.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at October 1, 2013 3:12 PM

Wait a sec NoeValleyJim, we're not talking about the Sailors' Union of the Pacific building here are we? I thought that the buildings to be razed are the nondescript buildings pictured here, not that deco-ish building around the corner at First and Harrison where Maritime Hall once was located.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at October 1, 2013 3:41 PM


Those buildings have no historical significance. The men who worked the docks were significant. The union leaders who represented them, maybe not so much.
The millions of people who have lived and worked in SF since 1849 all contributed to our fair city. We can't "honor" all of them or their "leaders".
Let's move on.
The place for city history is in the new city museum planned for 5th Street.

Posted by: james jr at October 1, 2013 5:02 PM

The place for city history is everywhere. History doesn't belong only in a museum just as animals don't belong only in zoos. Don't be ridiculous.

Posted by: curmudgeon at October 1, 2013 5:07 PM

Yeah you are right MoD, the name change got me confused.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at October 1, 2013 6:50 PM

Fourth what curmudgeon said

Posted by: SFRealist at October 1, 2013 11:36 PM

In all of these renderings there is not one place to sit down, not even a reliable seat wall. Really, are they afraid of the homeless or someone actually lingering long enough to realize the building is ugly...a retake on the high 80's.

Posted by: nativebayarea at October 17, 2013 6:34 PM

Post a comment


(required - will be published)


(required - will not be published, sold, or shared)


(optional - your "Posted by" name will link to this URL)

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)


Continue Perusing SocketSite:

« Governor Brown Signs Bill For Warriors Arena Development | HOME | San Francisco's City Attorney Sues Short-Term Rental Scofflaws »