Sep 25, 2014 0 Comments in Event Recap, Tour by
Last weekend, the SF Housing Action Coalition launched its inaugural housing + bike tour series with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Our goal for these tours is to broaden the housing conversation and engage local residents on how housing can add to the vibrancy of neighborhoods. 
On our first tour we featured the 1% for the Arts program. We took 20 people on a bike tour of four different housing developments in SOMA. Each site had the artist, developer or architect tell their story about how the art project came into fruition. Jill Manton of the Arts Commission kicked off the tour with the history of the Public Art Trust program, which designates one-percent of the construction costs to create beautiful works of art for the public's benefit in this special SOMA district.
Here are some highlights from each location we visited:
Artwork: Caruso's Dream
Address: 55 Ninth Street
Speaker: Brian Goggin, Artist
You may remember Brian Goggin's Defenestration, the building on 6th and Howard with the furniture hanging off the wall (removed for new housing coming soon). For his latest project in SOMA, Brian was selected to install Caruso's Dream, 13 suspended glass illuminated pianos, at AVA at 55 Ninth through an RFP organized by Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF). Carouso's Dream was inspired by the moment opera star Enrico Caruso was awakened by the 1906 earthquake while staying at the Palace Hotel. Unveiled in February 2014. Check out the Creators Project video for more details on the installation. 

Caruso's Dream

Artwork: Global Garden
Address: 474 Natoma Street
Speakers: Smith Seshadri, BRIDGE Housing and Richard Stacy, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
Local artist Catherine Wagner's long, vertical mural on 474 Natoma St spans eight stories and runs along the exterior of the building's elevator shaft. This installation is a rare case because 474 Natoma, a 100% affordable housing project, would normally be exempt from the 1% for the Arts requirement because it was built under the Redevelopment Plan Area. However, part of the project sits on private land requiring BRIDGE Housing to provide public art. Lucky for us!  

global garden

Artwork: Systems Mural
Address: 420 Berry Street
Speaker: Brian Barneclo, Artist
Unlike the other three projects we visited on our tour, Systems Mural was not funded by the 1% for the Arts program. Rather, Brian Barneclo, a local artist, independently raised the funds to create the largest mural in San Francisco at 600 x 40 feet. The wall is the back side of David Baker Architects and Chinatown Community Development Center's Crescent Cove, the largest affordable housing development in Mission Bay. It took Brian 3-years to raise the funds and get permission. Amazingly enough, it only took him and an associate two weeks to paint the entire wall.  


Artwork: Mission Marsh Bears
Address: EQR Potrero
Speaker: Kevin Wilcock, David Baker Architects
Kevin Wilcock asked us to peek inside the crystal ball to see the future art-to-be on what is now the construction zone for a 468-home development at the intersection of 7th & 16th Streets, to be complete in 2016.  Developer Equity Residential will use their 1% for the Arts project to provide a park with three large grizzly bear sculptures (13 feet to be exact), known as the Mission Marsh Bears. The name comes from the project's location, which is on the shores and marshland of what was formerly Mission Bay. Adriane Colburn is the local artist behind the Mission Marsh Bears. 

EQR Potrero copy

Stay tuned for more tours and events to provide an inside scoop on ways new housing makes San Francisco neighborhoods more vibrant.  If you have suggestions for tours or events you'd like the SF Housing Action Coalition to lead, leave your ideas in the comments section below. Future tours will be listed on our calendar.
More photos from the tour can be found on our Flickr page.

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Housing Action Coalition

The Housing Action Coalition is a member-supported nonprofit that advocates for building more housing at all levels of affordability to help alleviate the Bay Area's housing shortage, displacement, and affordability crises.

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