Historic Preservation & Demolition
The former uses on the 20-acre project site include the SPRR railyard and the Schlage Lock Factory facilities. Some of these buildings are associated with historically significant industrial activities and people, including Walter Schlage, inventor of the name-sake door locks. For these reasons, the Historic Resources Report identifies both the Schlage site and the Railyard as potentially significant sites according to the criteria of the California Register of Historical Resources and National Register of Historic Places.
While the Project involves the demolition of the majority of the existing buildings on the site, some buildings and building elements will be preserved One of the buildings, the Old Office Building on the Schlage Lock site, was constructed in 1926 and is also significant for its association with the prominent architect William P. Day. This building will be preserved and renovated as a part of the Project.
In order for the site to be properly remediated, all other former buildings involved in the manufacturing process are required to be demolished; this requirement is set forth by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The nine major connected buildings and another smaller building have been demolished as of 2009. A few other railyard sheds and building are slated for relocation and demolition in 2010.
Commemoration of the site is occurring in a number of ways: through a physical history collection of found and donated objects, web-accessible oral history created from interviews with employees and neighbors, and exhibits, public displays, and artwork that incorporate historic features and themes.
Together with the Visitacion Valley Citizens Advisory Committee (VVCAC), and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (SFRA), the VDLLC is conducting outreach to receive community input on implementation of mitigation measures included in the Environmental Impact Report. A team of respected historians, photographers, and preservation architects from Page & Turnbull prepared a Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) Report, which includes architectural drawings, photographs and written history that document the demolished buildings.
The Historic Resources report in Environmental Impact Report identifies several other potential mitigation measures, which have been built upon and augmented by the Visitacion Valley CAC Historic Resources Sub-committee, as well as through input by the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board. In addition to the HABS Report, mitigation measures include relocation and salvage of significant historic features such as building components or machinery, in future buildings, streetscape and/or parks, if determined feasible. Because site design is currently conceptual and would be modified based on future design review by VVCAC and SFRA, the feasibility and desirability of retaining these features on the project site have not been determined.
The proposed project includes the retention of the Old Office Building. It will be rehabilitated for earthquake safety and renovated for reuse as office space for community organizations and others tenants. VDLLC will work with building engineers, designers and city staff to rehabilitate the Old Office Building to the highest feasible standard of historic preservation. Modifications to the interior shall be balanced between the interest to provide a usable and flexible use in the building and the preservation of noteworthy elements of the interior design.
Renderings Courtesy CCSF & VMWP