Proposed 555 Washington Street Project: Comments And ResponsesJanuary 11, 2010
A collection of official Comments and Responses to the previously published Draft Environmental Report for the 555 Washington Street Project is now online.
Our comment: Yes please (and not the “office variant”). Feel free to respond if you wish.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
This has an odd resemblance to a nuclear power plant, although I assume that is unintentional. By the time this goes thru developer value engineering it may be very difficult to make the (presumably) intended som/richard rogers – esqe architectural statement.
who is the developer and architect?
Architect: Heller Manus
Developer: AEGON/Lowe Enterprises/Liberty Hill
For what it is worth, the cooling tower shape is not unique to nuclear power plants. These hyperbolic shapes are found in steam driven power plants in general whether they are fired by fossils or newly minted uranium fuel rods.
I hope the final product is faithful to this rendering.
I think the building would look even better if it were twice as wide and twice as tall. It makes a nice complement to the pyramid.
love it – build it exactly like the rendering please!
and condos – not office space — the fin district needs more life after 5pm!
A beautiful sculptural shape – that makes a great neighbor to the pyramid. Build it!
I seriously dislike Sue Hestor, Aaron Peskin, and the Telegraph hill dwellers.
Reading through this DEIR, it really is death by a thousand paper cuts. There is nothing which cannot be discussed, from migratory birds to pine needle moisture. How does anything get built in this town? Developers should just give up and go build somewhere which is less obsessed with its own inflated sense of history and less profoundly provincial
Hear hear Joe! – couldn’t agree more.
Incidentally this is by far the best thing to ever come out of this architecture office (it just should be 2 times taller).
looks very similar to the design of “the Spire” in Chicago. Granted it is probably 1/5th the height, but the spiral shape is not the first of its kind.
This building should be built. I hope this building gets built. There is NO WAY that this building gets built. I worked in the Transamerica Pyramid from 1998 to 2005. There have been rumblings about ‘Transamerica III’ since the early 1980s (505 Sansome is Transamerica II).
I’m really dumbfounded that the project sponsors are required to prove economic theories as part of the EIR:
From a telegraph hill dweller:
how can you prove that building housing in dense constrained sites in SF will reduce sprawl in the valley
Its paraphrased – but the idea is ridiculous. Is there anything AT ALL which is out of scope for the EIR? No wonder everything is so incredibly expensive.
Ouch, why does it have to be heller manus? Such a bad firm. I do agree with others that this is better than most of their crap, but it makes me a lot more suspicious of the final product (with developer “value engineering”) as a result.
It’s beautiful, please build it. I predict that these kinds of projects will kick off SF’s renaissance, much like NYC and Chicago is going through about now. The old ones must step down and let new people with new ideas take over.
It might get built.
Of course, it won’t have a spiral like that, windows like that, and a top like that. Other than that, it will turn out just like the rendering.
jlasf, Even your prediction of a dumbed down project would be a blessing … but it won’t happen … nada. The only ones that will make money on this deal will be the lawyers and the architects. No contractor will make a dime on this redevelopment project.
Like the scale and massing compared to its neighbors, but I wish the texture of the skin would distinguish itself more from the pyramid.
Perhaps it wouldn’t be as controversial if it complied with existing zoning?
Hate to say this, but the most attractive and humanist building in the rendering is the one on the far right.
Yeah, the 555 design is pretty good by comparison with the slab’o’glass school, and better than the metal mesh-clad grunge movement. But when did we become so poor that we cannot afford detail in our contemporary architecture?
Still, I’d like to see it built. Without crapifying it, whether due to cost reduction or bland compromise needed to parry nimby meddling.
Maybe the zoning on the site would be more relevant if the DT plan had been updated in the last 30 years.
Most laws that haven’t been updated in over 30 years and yet most citizens do not consider them irrelevant.
Why dont you just come out and say you dont support any new construction in SF?
And planning code =law = thou shall not kill, or steal, or …..
The planning code needs to be amended. Lots of circumstances have changed since it was adopted, and it no longer reflects SF’s climate.
I recognize that some of you were there to block highways, and commit hary kary over the thought of blocked light and air and tall buildings, but life goes on. SF’s inability to grow has directly translated to sprawl around the bay area
Joe why don’t YOU just come out and say don’t support any zoning in SF?
Bob, the proper way to address this is not on an exemption by exemption basis. Furthermore, there is still a lot of vacant land in SF.
There is still a lot of vacant land?
On what planet is this SF that has “lots of vacant land”
Just as I suspected – a micro view of planning tailored to match your own views on development.
Who cares what the city’s needs will be in 50 years
Mission Bay, Rincon Hill – and even Treasure Island.
Buildings like this one are not intended for mere mortals who want to live in San Francisco. This is yet another speculative venture to extract money from the idle rich who want a place to spend the weekend. If plain, common folks want to sit in the park and enjoy a little sunshine, too bad. There’s money to be made, and the all-powerful, elitist real estate interests backing these kinds of projects have no interest in the concerns of regular folks who work, live, and pay taxes here.
Well guess what, Joe? If “regular folks” stopped electing “progressive” morons like Chris Daly then maybe the powers that be would make it easier and more affordable for developers to build housing for “regular folks”. As it is now, the only way for a development to pencil out and make sense for a developer is for the developer to build and sell “luxury” condominiums.
Maybe when the “regular folks” wake up and realize what the end result of their elected leadership is doing to SF, things might change.
I just realized: A greedy developer built the unit I currently reside in.
This is a beautiful building and I agree with the comment above, that it would look even better if it was twice as tall. I think the Pyramid is such a frightened hypocrite to oppose it — it is afraid of competition because it is not as attractive. I hope this project succeeds and is not stymied by reactionary pols like Aaron Peskin.
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