While an attempt to landmark the decaying remains of the Garibaldi family’s old University Mound Nursery (a.k.a The Rose Factory) at 770 Woolsey Street in order to stymie the proposed redevelopment of the Portola District block was denied, a Historic Resource Evaluation (HRE) of the site has determined that the site is eligible to be registered as a Historical Resource.
From the Historic Resource Summary for the site:
[T]he subject property at 770 Woolsey, University Mound Nursery, is individually eligible for listing in the California Register of Historical Resources (CRHR) under Criterion 1 as a significant cultural landscape associated with the agricultural settlement of the Portola neighborhood by the Italian American community in the early twentieth century. 770 Woolsey is also eligible under Criterion 3 as a rare vernacular cultural landscape of San Francisco.
As a small scale family-operated nursery 770 Woolsey represents an extremely rare property type for San Francisco and even the Bay Area. The period of significance spans from 1921-1990 and encompasses the time from when the Garibaldi family purchased the subject property and began operation of the University Mound Nursery, up until 1990 with the death of Steve Garibaldi, as the nursery operation closed shortly thereafter and remained vacant.
The site as it exists today remains largely unaltered since the Garibaldi family stopped cultivating roses there in 1990 and while a number of greenhouses may have collapsed and the buildings may be in poor condition, the site itself still retains a high degree of integrity.
While such a determination doesn’t prohibit the redevelopment of the site, Planning has outlined four Mitigation Measures which will be required to reduce the impact on the historic resource:
Mitigation Measure 1: Documentation of the Historical Resource
Mitigation Measure 2: Development of an on-site Interpretive Program
Mitigation Measure 3: Implementation of a Salvage Plan
Mitigation Measure 4: Retention of existing roses on the site
And with that in mind, L37 Partners has refined their proposed plans for the block as newly rendered by Iwamoto Scott Architecture below:
From Planning with respect to L37’s refined plans for the site, which would yield 62 dwelling units, configured as 31 duplexes, with a total of 62 off-street parking spaces and a 0.38-acre public park/community garden on the southwest corner of the block with two repurposed greenhouse structures and the extant boiler house which would be refurbished:
While the majority of the character-defining site features on the site will be removed as part of the proposed project, there are a few that will be retained. The topography that slopes gently from the northwest to the southeast corner will not be removed as part of the proposed project. Additionally, the axial circulation pattern through the site will be partially maintained through the location of the duplexes around a landscaped center portion of the site, although this landscaped portion will not be the same width of the existing axial circulation, nor is it the same length.
Additionally, there is an intention to protect the existing rose plants on the site so that they could be replanted or incorporated within the landscape plan in some way. However, all other character defining site features will be removed as part of the proposed project.
The Planning Department has also determined that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will need to be prepared for the proposed project. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.