25-35 Dolores (Image Source: MapJack.com)
The proposed development of 25-35 Dolores would demolish the two existing 25-foot-tall commercial garages tagged S&C Ford and construct a four-story, 40-foot-tall, residential building with 47 units and a one-level, below-grade parking garage with 40 spaces.

The proposed project’s approximately 51,130 gross sq.ft. of residential space, located on the first through fourth floors, would be a mix of 7 studios, 18 one-bedroom, 18 two-bedroom, and four three-bedroom units, ranging in size from approximately 488 to 1,306 sq.ft.

25-35 Dolores as Proposed

The proposed project would require Conditional Use Authorization from the Planning Commission for residential density greater than 1 unit per 600 sq.ft. of lot area; for providing parking in excess of three spaces for every four dwelling units; and for development on a lot greater than 10,000 sq.ft. in size. The proposed project would require a Variance from the Zoning Administrator for providing a yard less than 35 percent of lot depth (the project sponsor proposes a 25-percent rear yard).

In the name of preservation (objections to the development have included “the loss of an important historical architectural resource for the neighborhood”), alternative designs would preserve the exisiting facade.
25-35 Dolores Alternative Design
25-35 Dolores Street Draft EIR [sf-planning.org]

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Invented

    The garage is unworthy of being saved. Having a dull blocky building sitting on top of an unimportant, forgettable building is all the more curious. That the original proposed building is generally forgettable itself doesn’t really help my case, but not every new building needs to reach for higher standards I guess.

  2. Posted by zig

    Hideous preserving that facade

  3. Posted by PA Architect

    Funny. They obviously didn’t try very hard with the alternative design. Perhaps they thought it would just be a straw man. But for that very reason it is, to my eye, preferable to the the original design for the project.
    The windows are larger and will bring more light into the units and there is a nice relationship between the windows in the new construction and the windows in the existing buildings – though I’d probably increase the width of the windows on the far left.
    I happen to be a big fan of old industrial and commercial buildings like these with their fanciful cornices and their simple rhythms. I realize it is not everyone’s taste.

  4. Posted by Soma Soldier

    I’m a fan of repurposing buildings too, but in this case it almost seems like there are two different buildings painted the same blue and white colors. The windows, awnings, cornices are all different shapes. I agree, however, that the original design is too ordinary. A better case needs to be made for a new structure if there are objections to a teardown.

  5. Posted by redseca2

    So, 100 years from now, the next new building developed on this site would have to go 20 feet behind the second facade, so that the face of this current proposal was preserved too, and so on?
    What would we think if we were excavating Pompeii for example, and found that they had built 50BC Buildings slightly behind the preserved facades of 100BC buildings. Would that be a culture in development, decline, or just nuts?

  6. Posted by Poor in Pac Heights

    I’m sure the facade is considered a historic landmark, just like that library in North Beach.

  7. Posted by noearch

    This promises to become yet another fight for “historic preservation” at any cost.
    I don’t think these two existing facades have much merit, or historic “resource”. At best they are charming and simply reflect a modest design for some garages built may years ago. At worst, they are boring and dull.
    Let’s hope a new, fresh, modern building can be constructed in place of these facades.

  8. Posted by Dave

    I think you’re all getting worked up over nothing. I’ll be really surprised if there’s any significant push to save those buildings, or their façades, as historic resources. I just don’t see there being anything of sufficient historic importance to be worth preserving.

  9. Posted by noearch

    So, commenting is “getting worked up”?

  10. Posted by Jim

    And historic preservationists wonder why they don’t get no respect. I predict there will be a battle royale over this one by all the NIMBYS who don’t want nothin nowhere never. We have made it so easy to stop anything. SF

  11. Posted by Neighbor

    No one has mentioned the request for a reduction of the rear setback from 35% to 25%. A new building would make a better contribution to the neighborhood if it also respected and added to the green spaces inside residential blocks. Decreasing green space decreases public support.

  12. Posted by anon

    ^No one mentioned it because no one cares. An extra few feet of unused space in someone else’s backyard? I’m supposed to want to not support a project because of that? Yawn. Build it to 100% of the lot and put a roof deck on the whole thing.

  13. Posted by DzinerSF

    I actually wish they’d have tried harder to incorporate the existing fecade. At least then we could end up with a builidng with character. The “as proposed” is another unimaginative and completely pedestrian structure. Will SF ever have any truly inspired builidngs… oh wait, probably not with the current approval process. Is every board in this town peopled with stodgy “preservationist”.

  14. Posted by curly

    The reason there’s an option that preserves the facade is because this is an EIR, which has to include alternatives that reduce significant impacts. If the project has a significant impact on a historic resource then the EIR will include a version of the project that doesn’t eliminate the resource. It doesn’t mean that’s what’s going to be approved, or even that it’s what anyone is championing.

  15. Posted by spencer

    I wish they were making this at least 7-8 floors to allow for smart growth.

  16. Posted by Gabriel

    I actually walk down this street often. This building actually DOES have decent character — much better than the schlocky ‘new’ design offered.
    Don’t get me wrong — I’m a HUGE fan of Modern/Contemporary architecture. The really good stuff, mind you. Taking down something that has some character versus a concrete board piece of pulp architecture is NOT a good solution for this site. The new Whole Foods structure planned for the other side of the street is at least trying to be interesting. I, for one, will demand that this building be integrated into any new design; until the design is more intriguing.

  17. Posted by Kathleen

    I have nothing against good modern design.
    Where is it?
    It is not in the elevation drawing as shown.
    I would much rather walk past the old brick facade than (more MODERN) stucco…
    There just doesnt seem to be anything in San Francisco that is modern and inovative and interesting to look at it
    I love love love the low millenium building, the copper building is pretty, and not much else.
    The federal building does have a deep sinister feel that is apt, I guess. Is ther IRS there?
    I like it. At least it is interesting.
    Can we ban stucco? Or maybe a ten year moratorium?

  18. Posted by Neighbor

    I also walk by this building several times a week and the line as is is great. They should preserve this old brick building as much as possible. It is beautiful and open in a city that is attempting to build higher and with greater density. Ridiculous.

  19. Posted by sfrenegade

    “in a city that is attempting to build higher and with greater density. Ridiculous.”
    Well, there’s your NIMBY opposition. Build nothing. Ever.

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