940 Battery Site

San Francisco’s Museo Italo Americano, the first museum in the United States devoted exclusively to Italian and Italian-American art and culture, is working on plans to move from its space in Fort Mason to the edge of North Beach, with designs to renovate and expand the former Designer’s Choice Furniture warehouse at 940 Battery having been drawn.

As proposed, a fourth floor would be added within the existing envelope of the warehouse and a partial fifth floor would be added atop. The first two floors and rooftop would house a new 29,000-square-foot Museo, while the third and fourth floors of the building would become 11,500 square feet of office space.

Plans to convert the Battery Street building into twelve live/work lofts were proposed back in 1991 but were appealed and never completed. Plans to convert the adjacent Busvan for Bargains building at 900 Battery into office space was proposed in 2013 but then withdrawn.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Schaetzer

    That’s not North Beach. That’s the North Waterfront. Very different.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Yeah, I don’t think something on the east side of Telegraph Hill can claim any association with North Beach… from the headline I was excited about the move and the potential to reinforce Italian heritage in North Beach (and no, I don’t have a drop of Italian blood). But this seems like a negative move for them – from a place with tourist foot traffic and a collection of arts non-profits, to an area with virtually no tourist foot traffic (or, for that matter, local foot traffic).

    • Posted by c_q

      I found this old map and this area is referred to as ‘sydney town’, i’ve never heard of that. But indeed north beach is a bit further north as you would expect.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        Actually North Beach is west. (And definitely no idea why it’s referred to as “Beach”, given its inland location.)

        As for Sydney Town – from Wikipedia:
        By the end of 1849, several ships from Australia brought former members of Great Britain’s penal colony – including ex-convicts, ticket-of-leave men, and criminals – to San Francisco, where they would become known as the Sydney Ducks. These Australian immigrants had become so numerous that they dominated the neighborhood. They opened boarding houses and various types of groggeries which had prostitutes affiliated with their businesses. People who entered these groggeries and brothels were frequently later beaten and robbed.

        • Posted by Orland

          Love this town.

        • Posted by Jake

          North Beach had a beach of sorts, until it was filled in in the 19th century. It was the natural place for sand to collect between Russian and Telegraph Hills in the little cove protected by the headland at Ft Mason (1856 photo at namelink). The old shoreline is around Francisco between Taylor and Powell.

    • Posted by Serge

      First thing I was thinking before I even clicked here. Although, I believe it’s Northeast Waterfront.

  2. Posted by Invented

    “first museum in the United States devoted exclusively to Italian and Italian-American art and culture”

    Seems like a very necessary museum. Scandinavian, Russian, others next. (Perhaps with a 60 story tower on it, time will tell)

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