950 Gough Site

The designs for the proposed eight-story building to rise on the southeast corner of Gough and Eddy, now with 87 condos over a 10,000-square-foot church, have been refined and newly rendered.

And as a plugged-in tipster reports, the City’s Recreation and Park Commission has determined that the development’s future shadows on Jefferson Square across Gough would not have a significant nor adverse impact on the use of the park, moving the project one step closer to reality.

A fire destroyed the ornate St. Paulus Evangelical Lutheran Church which had stood upon the 950 Gough Street site until 1995 and Maracor Development has been shepherding the plans for the parcel, which the Church quietly placed on the market last year, through Planning over the past few years.

In addition to the new Saint Paulus Church and condos, the proposed development include a two-level parking garage for 61 cars, which is 26 fewer than the minimum of one space per dwelling unit as is required for the site by San Francisco’s Planning Code and for which a variance will need to be approved.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by seriously

    shouldn’t this new project be held to the same “shadow standards” that the old church used to cast? old photos show it was a mighty big cathedral.

    how awful- that terrible steeple and cross casting deadly shadows on our children! how did we survive? good thing we know so much better now to prevent catastrophes like that cathedral from being built again. we will never have to worry about anything tall and magnificent being built again.

    • Posted by BTinSF

      The park is west and mostly south of the building site. I doubt the steeple of the old church, which I well remember, ever fell on the park as it was narrow and if any shaddow from the new building would, regardless of its height, it would be only in early morning and on a small corner of the park. If you observed for weeks now, I doubt you’d ever find anyone using that bit of grass at those hours.

  2. Posted by Michael Ellis

    This site is always dripping with sarcasm. I for one am happy to see this development vs. the overgrown lot currently. Yes, we would all love that the original church was still there, but that won’t bring it back.

    • Posted by Brad

      +1. A veritable circus of professional critics around here.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        I think you’re both missing the point of the sarcasm – it wasn’t a critique of the building, it’s a critique of the stupid shadow ordinance.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          As I think about it more, it could have been interesting to have a “religious freedom restoration act” challenge to the shadow ordinance…

        • Posted by bananas

          Maybe sarcasm isn’t the best way to have a serious discussion about development – I think protecting solar access is important – these sarcastic, arrogant comments have not persuaded me at all.

  3. Posted by sf

    This architecture is sacrilegious.

    • Posted by Mark

      The design does nothing for me, but it may for someone else. I doubt the condos will last long on the market, though.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      I think the design is a solid B, and better than a lot of other new construction. i do think it would look better if 4-5 floors higher. These builds look even more bulky when short and squat like this

      • Posted by Serge

        If that design is a “B” I cannot imagine what a lower grade looks like.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        One of the worst renderings I’ve ever seen – did they get the City Hall background as a screen grab from Sim City?

        I’m really surprised there’s not one single aspect of this that says “church here” – not even one uniquely framed entrance, or grand window, etc. It’s like a suburban strip mall church, right here in the city… a very sad successor to what was there before.

        • Posted by Mark

          I guess when you try to incorporate a place of worship into housing this is what you end up with.

  4. Posted by sassyboyfrisco

    Very nice…much better than homeless encampments, litter, and drug debris–go look, it is like that 24/7!!!

  5. Posted by Emo

    Will the church goers get to park in the middle of Gough every Sunday, ala Dolores?

  6. Posted by Conifer

    It was not a cathedral. It was a Lutheran Church, and a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (the predominant liberal version of Lutheranism in America.) Hence it is liturgical and subject to the supervision of a bishop, preserving the historic order of bishops, presbyters and deacons. Since this church was not the seat of a bishop, it was not a cathedral. ELCA is in full communion with the Episcopal Church, which does have a rather magnificent cathedral on Nob Hill.

    But this sad proposal, ignoring the grandeur of the old church, within a new building of no architectural distinction whatsoever, does not do much for the glory of God. A lost opportunity for a contemporary beautiful church. For an example of what church architecture can be in our time, see the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

    • Posted by gribble

      I think housing [is] probably more important than a place of worship. Looks great to me!

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        I’m not the slightest bit religious, but find churches can add remarkable beauty to the urban fabric. And regardless, since this *is* going to include a church, it seems as though it could have done so in a far better fashion.

        • Posted by Brian M

          dittos. To both Sierrajeff and, Conifer even though if there IS a “god” he is completely malevolent, the Oakland cathedral is a lovely addition to the Lake Merritt skyline!

    • Posted by Elitist Pig

      That’s real nice, but this project isn’t a church… it’s housing with a secondary church function. Building housing that looks like a church (whatever that may be) would be a huge mistake.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        All they had to do was some kind of corner ornamentation, such as a pilaster-ish “tower” rising up to a point – or do some big grand, tiled entrance (tiling harkening back to stained glass) for the church portion. (I assume and hope that the churchgoers on Sunday don’t simply enter through the residential entrance and have to traipse through the residential lobby!)

        • Posted by Elitist Pig

          That is hardly worthy of the glory of God!

    • Posted by BTinSF

      While your viewpoint would be my own if I were a member of the church, it doesn’t seem to be theirs’. The old church was burned by homeless people being housed in its basement. The congregation has since been unusually sensitive to the housing needs of the city and unsympathetic to a desire of others for a grand new traditional church. So they will apparently feel better about their relationship to God by worshipping in a building where people live and it’s their right.

  7. Posted by taco

    Would be nice to activate this block in some way. Pretty dead in this area, which is right next to a park.

    • Posted by Orland

      Well, actually it’s across a street which can take on characteristics of a freeway on a quite steep grade along the Gough elevation. It’ll be nice just to have the site finally built upon again though the loss of the beautiful former structure will always hurt.

  8. Posted by DM

    Ah, condos for Christ. The Rev. Jimmy Jeeter’s (Mary Hartman…Mary Hartman) vision comes to the City of St. Francis.

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