THE NOE REVIEW - June - July 1998


by Vicky Graham

The champagne was symbolic as Friends of 1800 Market christened the Fallon Building at a celebration Thursday morning, June 11th, in front of the beloved building, before hearing off for work. The party was attended by supervisor[s] Tom Ammiano, [Leland Yee and Mark Leno], David Bahlman of the S.F. Heritage Foundation and the Fallon's last legal resident, artist John Wullbrandt, to name only a few. They were toasting the decision made on June 3rd, by the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board who voted unanimously to landmark the Fallon Building.

Final approvals by the board of supervisors and Mayor Willie Brown are still pending, but The Gay & Lesbian Board, Friends of 1800 Market Street, the San Francisco Heritage Foundation and other historic preservationists have come to a meeting of the minds and will be working together to raise the extra funds necessary for restoration.

Recently, Kate Black, Vice President of the Noe Valley Democratic Club and a historic preservation activist, officiated as Tim Kelley, Gary Goad, Tom Mayer, and Arnie Lerner from Friends of 1800 Market were awarded certificates of appreciation from NVDC for the fine work they've done in bringing about the preservation of the Fallon Building.

Stay tuned. This September, preliminary drawings of the Gay & Lesbian Community Center project, including plans for restoration and renovation of the Fallon Building, as well as design plans for the new building will be available for public input. Sometime after November 1998 the Environmental Impact Report will be completed and official public comment period for the whole project will be under way. Restoration work on the Fallon Building, including a seismic retrofit, will be completed at the same time construction is under way on the adjacent building.

Friends of 1800 market will remain actively involved with the Fallon Building throughout the restoration process which isn't due to being until September 1999.

While the Fallon Building controversy has come to a happy closure, many other historically significant and/or architecturally unique buildings in San Francisco are, or will likely become, threatened by the wrecking ball in the future.

If a developer threatens a beloved building in your neighborhood and you're not sure how to go about saving the building, contact Friends of 1800 Market. They're run a fabulously positive campaign and could offer expert information. Call 643-1236 or check out their web site at

The struggle to save the charm and beauty of San Francisco is never ending. Two attractive buildings currently threatened with demolition are 3817 24th Street and San Francisco's oldest day care center at 299 Dolores Street. Neighborhood coalitions forming to save these buildings should feel free to contact us for coverage in The Noe Review.

Courtesy of The Noe Review, June - July 1998

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