San Francisco Points of Interest

Wall on the Waterfront The Gateway and the Embarcadero Center
Folks who live and work in these buildings don't want a wall on the waterfront.
24 May 2014
The Existing Wall on the Waterfront The Existing Wall on the Waterfront
26 April 2009
The Existing Wall on the Waterfront The Existing Wall on the Waterfront
13 September 2013
Wall on the Waterfront
Bay Club Fence
24 May 2014
Wall on the Waterfront Bay Club Fence and One of the Gateway Buildings
24 May 2014
(Click Photos to Zoom)
San Francisco Landmark 30: Ghirardelli Square Fontana Towers
4 July 2009
Wall on the Waterfront
The Embarcadero

Some people who work in the Embarcadero Center and some people who live in the Gateway do not want highrise buildings on the San Francisco waterfront. To this end, they funded two voter referendums: Proposition C in 2013 and Proposition B in 2014.

Proposition C in 2013 stopped a project to build condominiums on the Embarcadero between Washington and Jackson Streets.

In approving the project, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors had granted a height waiver on 16% of the site. The existing height limit is 84 feet. The Supervisors allowed a height of 92 feet in one section and 136 feet in another. Major opponents to the new housing live in the adjacent Gateway complex (height of 220 feet) and work in the afjacent Embarcadero Center (four buildings ranging in height from 413 feet to 570 feet).

Proposition B in 2014 expanded the scope of Proposition C to require voter approval for all future construction projects on Port Commission property where any building exceeds existing height limits.

Both propositions passed.

The Warriors Arena

Collateral damage included the arena which the Golden State Warriors planned to build on derelict Piers 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge, a plan widely supported by the public.

The Warriors chose Snøhetta, the Norwegian architectural firm who designed the new addition to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the acclaimed and popular Oslo Opera House, a waterfront building with much in common with the Warriors Arena.
  Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House
Photo from Wikipedia
(Click Photo to Zoom)

Preliminary drawings indicated that the Warriors Arena would be as striking as the Oslo Opera House and equally engaged with the water. Far from blocking the waterfront, the arena would have offered open space and new vantage points.

Some of the inclined surfaces of the Opera House are open to skateboarders. Some of the inclined surfaces of the Warriors Arena would have been designed to accommodate kayaks.

The Warriors abandoned the unwinnable fight and purchased property in Mission Bay, near the water but not on the water.

Everything we build here is mediocre and compromised. Take a look at the photographs to the left and see if you can find even one distinguished building.

The Warriors Arena could have been one of the world's great buildings.

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