CFAH

Drew School: Broderick Elevation
The context and massing for the Drew School’s Broderick Street elevation at the corner of California in Lower Pacific Heights as it currently exists:
Drew School Context and Massing: Current
Its expanded massing and context as is proposed:

The [Drew School] proposes to demolish an existing 45-foot-tall, three-story-overbasement residential building at 1831-1835 Broderick Street (Assessors Block 1029, Lot 3), and construct a three-story-over-basement, 40-foot-tall addition to the existing Drew School building at 2901 California.

Drew School Massing: As Proposed

The proposed addition would incorporate a green “living wall” facing Broderick Street, covered with vegetation to enhance the habitat value of the site. The project would include a roof design that utilizes vegetation and surfaces with high solar reflectance to reduce urban heat island effects.

And a couple of potential alternatives in the name of “preservation”:
Drew School Massing: Alternatives
UPDATE (7/24): A rendering of the proposed project.
Drew School Addition Environmental Impact Report [SFGov]
The Drew School Addition Rendering Scoop: Its Living Wall And All [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Is there something special about the cookie cutter 3 flat next door that needs to be preserved?

  2. Posted by Conifer

    Is that a wall with grass on the front? What is the point? Less attractive than a minor Victorian facade. Is there anything special about the interiors of the flats?

  3. Posted by Usually Named

    Of course not. You’re actually asking for valid, rational reasons for why anything needs to be preserved in this city. Stop that.

  4. Posted by Drew

    Because you can’t make Victorians anymore, obviously! Plus, they’re really beautiful and one of the few charming things left in this town.
    Maybe they can move the house instead of demolishing it. What a concept! Cake and eating it, too…
    I think integrating it would look silly, but at least it wouldn’t be destroyed in the name of rich children.

  5. Posted by Drew

    The building is gorgeous. See page 44 of the PDF (e-page 49).
    I hope she is saved in some fashion. Not hoping for a Frankenstein facade, though…

  6. Posted by Chad

    Is that a school for “Preppies” ? I always wondered.
    I drive by it all the time…

  7. Posted by lyqwyd

    I used to live across the street from the Drew school and the building in question. There’s nothing special about it. It’s too bad they arent’ expanding one more lot to the left, because the next building is truly horrendous and should be wiped from the face of the earth.

  8. Posted by Conifer

    What really needs replacement is the building just south of the Victorian, the plainest corruption of modernist ideas that could be imagined.
    The facade of the Victorian is a pretty good example of its type.
    How about demolishing the ugly building, moving the Victorian just one lot south and letting the Drew School build its new building?
    Drew School is for preppies but not the brightest ones. You can look at their college acceptances: no Ivy League schools, and no non-Ivy Ivys (Stanford, Duke, Hopkins, Chicago, etc). They do get people into most of the UCs and some of the Big 10. Most of the colleges are second string.

  9. Posted by flaneur

    Alternative C – partial preservation – is somewhat perfunctory. The Auditorium occupies an unnessarily large portion of the yard. Moving the music rooms from the basement to the preserved front 15′ of the Victorian would allow to partially bury the Auditorium.

  10. Posted by matt

    As a property owner I respect property rights. However, I really object to the school removing three housing units in a city that has a significant housing shortage. I also think it’s incredibly short sighted of all parties involved to send this building to the landfill when it obviously has another century of use left in it.

  11. Posted by Shza

    V. interesting, conifer. So it’s essentially a school where parents with lucky money and bad genes send their kids out of some misplaced sense of projected pedigree. My public school in a far less expensive east coast locale had comparatively excellent placement. I can’t imagine actually paying money (over and above taxes) to achieve such mediocrity; but Ivy alums clearly aren’t their target audience.

  12. Posted by Conifer

    Matt wrote: “However, I really object to the school removing three housing units in a city that has a significant housing shortage.”
    This is silly. Three housings units is insignificant, and the school will never rent them again, but surely use them for offices or storage or classrooms if they are not allowed to demolish the building. The idea that every unit is precious is a precious ultra-liberal notion. What is possibly valuable here is the building as an architectural achievement, but even that is debatable compared to the school’s need for more space.
    If the politicians really believed there is a shortage of housing, the policies limiting and penalizing development would be revised.

  13. Posted by anon

    However, I really object to the school removing three housing units in a city that has a significant housing shortage.
    This is beyond silly. If we really want to add more housing to city, it’s quite easy to adjust the citywide height limit to say, 50′, over the current 40′. In a few years, that would generate hundreds, if not thousands more units than demolishing three units to serve a school. We need schools too, and there are FAR fewer locations to build or expand schools than there are locations to build or expand housing.

  14. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Because you can’t make Victorians anymore, obviously! Plus, they’re really beautiful and one of the few charming things left in this town.

    They may not be making anymore Victorians but that does not mean ALL Victorians need to be preserved.
    Unless there is something special to this building, other then it is one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of Victorians scattered around the city, I don’t really see the compelling reason to preserve it in favor of expanding a school.

  15. Posted by sparky-b

    Conifer,
    I don’t think your list of schools bases acceptance on the preppyness of kids or parents.

  16. Posted by kthnxybe

    Drew is known as “the school that kids who couldn’t get into University HS go to.”
    I’m sure there had to be one or two of them at one point who got into an Ivy somewhere in their history.
    At any rate, the Drew kids always look really happy whenever I pass by there.
    It’s such a nondescript block that taking down the Victorians is probably okay – but why not move the buildings somewhere else?

  17. Posted by whatever

    The newsletter from the PHRA (Pac Hts Residents Assoc) describes some glaring omissions and irregularities with the EIR. They are appealing to the Board of Supes. Also says tenants got bought out.

  18. Posted by Conifer

    “I don’t think your list of schools bases acceptance on the preppyness of kids or parents.
    Posted by: sparky-b”
    I did not say any school does any such thing, although there is something known as “legacy.” I only used the school acceptance list for 2008, off the Drew School website. If you are interested in the best universities and colleges, the US News list is quite accurate.
    And “Whatever”, why does it matter if the tenants got bought out? Those units will never be rented again.

  19. Posted by Matt

    “Silly”, “beyond silly”, liberal… I mean, “ultra liberal” -if that’s what comes to your minds Shza, Conifer, when someone brings up taking housing stock into consideration in a debate over a land use change…
    Anyway, I think you two need to work on your ability to convey a counter point in a respectful manor.

  20. Posted by whatever

    The relevancy of tenants being bought out is that there is a criteria for approving demolitions. One of the questions is “were tenants displaced?”. I think PHRA would argue that buying out tenants is displacing them.
    Further, even if all the tenants left by attrition, the school needs to get a permit for a change of use to non-residential use.

  21. Posted by sparky-b

    Conifer,
    I’ve seen Animal House, so I know what a “legacy” is.

  22. Posted by Conifer

    “Anyway, I think you two need to work on your ability to convey a counter point in a respectful manor. Posted by: Matt”
    And with all due respect you should look up the word homonym.

  23. Posted by hugh

    I live right behind the Drew School. I think it would be sad to tear down that building… It’s lovely. It’s true, the building adjacent (far side) is dreadful!
    The Drew School (which does have a lovely modern building) also appears to own a large paved adjacent lot facing Pine street, where two or three Victorian row houses once stood. It would be much better to see them develop that instead… maybe that’s in the plans as well. I hate to see Victorians torn down.

  24. Posted by Rillion

    Legacy at the Ivy’s isn’t what it used to be. It is a factor that is considered but you still have to have the academic track record. It might land you on the “waiting list” so as not to piss off your alum parent quite as much, but it is no longer the golden ticket to automatic admission it once was.

  25. Posted by Matt

    High Sparky-b,
    What’s you’re take on the project?
    PS Thank you four introducing me two homonyms! Now I can spell the same word in different ways with out all the red squiggly lines. XOXO

  26. Posted by sparky-b

    What are u saying? I wasn’t the person who told u two look up homonym.

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