THE INDEPENDENT - July 13, 1999

Despite grant, $2 million needed

by Sonia Mansfield

The San Francisco Community Center Project recently received $1 million in state funding to help cover the costs of renovating the historic Fallon Building, which will house a new center to serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

However, even with the additional state funding the Community Center Project still needs to raise another $2 million to complete the $11.5 million project. According to project manager, Scott Walton, an aggressive fundraising compaign is underway.

We appreciate the state funding, but we still need more," said Walton. "We hope to raise the rest of the money in individual and corporate donations, and foundation grants."

The Fallon Building, a Victorian structure at 1800 Market Street, will be fully renovated and integrated with an adjoining new building. Construction is scheduled to begin in October, and the doors are set to open in January 2001.

"This funding will not only save and restore a historic building, but will also help create a vital, dynamic facility to meet the needs of our diverse community," said Pat Martel, president of the Community Center Project board of directors.

The Fallon Building was immersed in controversy a year ago when the Community Center Project purchased it, with plans to demolish the 105-year-old structure. Several preservationist groups, including the San Francisco Architectural Heritage Foundation, the Victorian Alliance, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Friends of 1800 Market, protested the demolition plan.

According to the Heritage Foundation, the building was built in 1894 and occupied by Carmel Fallon, the daughter of General Joaquin Castro - the former governor of Mexican California. The building - which survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes - also housed apartments, offices and artist studios at one point, but sat empty for several years before the Community Center Project moved to demolish it.

copyright 1999, The Independent

Back to Index of Fallon Building Press Coverage

Home Events Advocacy Viewpoint Preservation Links - Resources Contact us.