tv [untitled] April 1, 2013 8:00am-8:30am PDT
architectural historian who knows a whole lot of history about the waterfront. he and i drove some portions of it the other day and took some slides we're going to used to as our spring board for discussion. we invite you all just to share your questions. we'll give you the microphone and speak into the microphone. i thought what we could do is start by taking a look at a few pictures of what san francisco looked like historically so we have some reference to compare the waterfront over the years. san francisco started as a port city. that's why we're here. this was an ideal place for people to establish a footholdin the new california. and the ferry building has long come to be considered through the symbol of san francisco's waterfront. and it's still there. after a major renovation, and we're going to get to that in a minute. here is the ferry building from an old postcard. what do we get the date to be on here?
can we take a guess? when was the ferry building built, before the '06 earthquake? >> yes. >> '98. >> it was completed in '99. >> okay. and this was -- let's move along. fisherman's wharf. we have some current photos as well. we can see the tower which dates that. that was built in -- >> '32, '33. >> that big tank there arectiontion when was that tank? >> the city had storage -- >> fuel storage to fuel the boats. >> ain't there any more. >> this is still there. (speaker not understood). >> great fedore on that
gentlemen. >> we should have been dressed. here is loading freight. now, this is cargo loading. >> (speaker not understood) cargo loading. >> this is when ships were loaded, based on small quantities that could be handled by people, which doesn't happen any more. now they use giant cranes and containers. that is one gigantic ship. i can't even imagine how you get underway. the old ferry building and fern liz. -- ferries. and that was the main transportation system around the bay. are ferries making a come back? >> slowly. they definitely saw their hayday fade away. you have the racks going under the ferry building.
second to charring crossing, london was a major ferry passage way. and since then, yeah, ever since actually loma-prieta, there's been somewhat of a resurgence very small compared to what it was in its height. >> a fire boat. we still have a couple of fire boats. in fact, after loma-prieta earthquake, the phoenix which is the boat on the right, went and pumped water out of the bay into the portable water supply system, it's called. portable water supply system up into the marina. and that water was what was used to put out the fires in the marina. so based on that experience, instead of selling the phoenix, which was the intent of the city at that time, the city actually went out and they bought the guardian from surplus, i think it was from seattle, is that right? and they brought in the second fire boat. we now have two fire boat stations right near the ferry building. there are lots of long waterfront. lots of reminders of the
history of the city. and here is one of these old fog horns which is no longer in operation. i think they've all at this point all except the ones all on the golden gate bridge have been replaced with electronic calendar. and which i was telling one of my friends who is blind. he said the sound wave is very sharp and clear and it doesn't have all the over tone and old fog horn sinusoidal, so it's hard to pinpoint these new beacons and fog horns. this is one of the old ones and you sure wouldn't want to be in front of that when it went off. okay. so chris and i went down to the southern waterfront. and here i'm going to point to a map of san francisco and just give you an idea of what we're going to do here. the southern waterfront, here is the candlestick park down
here in hunters point. and we're going to work our way up below the waterfront and across from the ferry building which is right up here someplace, all the way along, we'll take a real quick tour. it's a lot to do in an hour. we'll take a real quick tour and talk about some of the things we all find interesting and answer your questions. so, here we can actually see candlestick park in the distance. we're up in this little hill in hunters point. and what do we see there? a lot of space. >> yeah. >> huge. >> it's interesting. i did a little research into the hunters point naval shipyard. it's one of the oldest shipyards in the bay area of course. the island is much older. it was originally started 18 67. it was a private shipyard. 1941, right before pearl harbor, the navy took it over and used it to retrofit damaged
ships, in particular, some of the battle ships damaged at pearl harbor were repaired here at these dry docks. >> this dry dock, this particular one, there are a series of them on either side, were at the time the largest dry docks in the western united states, the pacific fleet made this their port for repairs. and these things, i don't remember the length, 300 plus feet long. and they've had pump stations so that they float a ship in, chalk it up, pump it up, have the ship in dry dock to do repairs. there is a whole series. you can go out and drive around hunters point if you can get past the guards. i think they'll let people in. >> yes. >> and take a look around. did you have something else you wanted to say? >> yes. actually, the slide further north which is the original dry dock. >> the original pump house. in fact, it says pumping gate and pump house. >> this shows up, probably not
much later, showed up in the 1880s. they're old-timers. that dry dock is still there and reasonably intact. >> on our way up there we'll look at the waterfront along hunters point ru abouterctiontion ble and abandoned buildings is mostly what we saw up at hunters point. >> and the vast majority was filled after 1942, after the navy took it over. so most of this is pretty late fill as well as that crane. >> gigantic crane, gigantic. it is not operational. i didn't see any of the operational equipment. and as we leave the shipyard, the historic building, i hope you all had lunch there. torpino's, world famous -- >> very good manhattan's, too. >> as we look at this picture, we can see street sign in the back, and it says hudson. well, hudson is a street that goes off and goes across the
water. before we get there, we have one of the power plants down there, big issues about power plants and hunters point. >> big issues. this is hunters point power plant and it's just south of the main at southern end of the port's land. >> as chris and i were driving along in the southern waterfront area, it was very hard to take a picture that had a person in it because there are no people there. there's a little bit of industrial activity, we see sand and gravel, and we see concrete. and here is a place where we have some of these waterfront lots that have been abandoned. this is the old almond brothers boat yard now. but there are no small uses being made other than these interim commercial uses.
>> every city needs a place for that, if you store sand and gravel when you're recycling and all that. >> you need to have these kinds of sort of low value land use things. not everything gets high value developed. >> yeah, it's an interesting dichotomy. because for these kind of traditional -- what we still consider traditional maritime uses, shipping to come in, those are from an economic perspective, they're not high revenue generating kinds of uses. and yet the port commission, that is really one of their fundamental mandates, is to make sure that there is a place in san francisco for that to happen. and notwithstanding the fact that the whole city has changed so that you don't have the working waterfront, like it used to be, there are still discrete areas where it makes sense to have some of that. but the port operates as a trustee to the state, and the state has oversight on what the port is doing on the land.
and have on occasion, look over our shoulder to make sure they kind of concur that the lands are being managed according to certain public trust principles which are basically water related gets first dibs on what gets to happen. >> there was a vote of the people, what was it, ten years ago or something, when we were talking about what should happen on san francisco's waterfront for development. and the citizens of san francisco voted to make sure that only maritime related uses occurred. >> that was proposition h. i was loaned from the planning department to the port to develop the port's waterfront land use plan. in terms of getting back to the question, shouldn't the low -- some of these low revenue uses locate here. this shrinking industrial base within the southeast section of the city is making it more difficult.
there's more eyes looking to the port's property to absorb as much of that. and for certain things like a concrete batch plant and aggregate where you can make that maritime connection where it's related to using the water to transport things, that works. but if we want to put an auto repair shop on port property, those kinds of lower revenue, but still needed, the pdr use, the production distribution and repair uses, not all of them as a category can be allowed on port property. >> right. this photograph is interesting. this is an area just before you get to the hunters point naval shipyard, gate. and i intended to put it there because i wanted to talk about the conflict that occurred, not just at this site, but all along the weighter front. we have an old maritime use which is pretty much fading out now, almond brothers marina.
there is some excitement about visitors visiting the building. subsidized low-income housing here. there is market rate housing here. right up the street just off the screen to the right is a big new sort of like live/work style market rate housing project. and all of these things are now coming into conflict all along the waterfront. i just wanted to ask the question, the discussion on the governmental oversight and under which jurisdiction the port is. for the tenants that are already leasing from the port, do they have to comply with the city planning and building regulations? >> that is a really good question. the question was do people doing construction and planning development along the port have to comply with the regular building planning and zoning requirements of the city. do they? >> do they? >> yes. the short answer is yes. anything that happens on port property has to comply with the
city's zoning requirements. the port's plan policies and land use restrictions which generally kind of restrict land uses more than the zoning would allow. and then if you have a building -- if you want it make an alteration to a building on port property, the port has its own d-b-i essentially, it has its own permit application process. you submit the application proand he is we sign off on it just like d-b-i. it doesn't come here, it goes to the port, their building department. >> there is quite a lot of work going on, we found, as we drove along. as i went along the waterfront, there is quite a lot of infrastructure development happening, slowly, slowly, but it's happening. this is a bridge under construction way down there. >> called the illinois street bridge. it's a port project. >> port project, okay. >> it's actually for freight rail as well as vehicle.
>> okay, freight rail. okay. and here, these are cranes for unloading containers from vessels. and, you know, we don't see many vessels there unloading. >> not container vessels. >> and the short reason that we don't see container vessels is? >> oakland has the gig. >> why doesn't san francisco do container? and here is what i think and you can tell me if i'm right or wrong. most containers are double stacked on railway cars and we have a tunnel that limits the height of trains coming into san francisco and therefore they cannot double stack the containers, and therefore it's not profitable or reasonable to ship containers in and out of san francisco. is that -- >> actually -- i mean, that's partly true, but the bigger issue is geography. and san francisco being at the end of the peninsula, if you go -- if you're a container ship, you can go to oakland and get it on a rail that immediately
can go east to wherever its market street are, or south. if you're in san francisco, you have to either truck all of your boxes, or you can put it on rail, but it has to go down the peninsula, down to santa fe and come back up on the east side of the bay. and the rail traffic service along that, it doesn't have the frequencies and the extra time added is a cost that most operators are unwilling to deal with. >> the consequence of the fact that people don't really believe it is necessary to ship into san francisco is because they can ship to oakland and other places more quickly. and because san francisco is really no longer anticipated to be a major working port for receiving shipping -- >> i mean, i think for containers, if you're in the maritime industry, you've got containers, there's bulk, there's rocks which is called bulk, aggregates. and what's happened is oakland
-- most of the big ports along the west coast have all gone container because that's the most profitable shipping commodity. but all of the other things, you get steel for the bay bridge or big construction, it doesn't go -- whatever doesn't go into a container doesn't have a place to ship in very much any more. and within the bay area, san francisco is the only place where it can take those noncontainer car goes, and that is exactly what is happening at pier 80. so these cranes are not in use for containers, but for steel, for newsprint, for aggregate, for lumber, things that have not been containerized for whatever reason, san francisco is the place where it goes. it used to go to richmond and it used to go to oakland. oakland is completely out of that business. richmond is completely out of that business. and (speaker not understood) at the port has been monumental in bringing that. >> here they were unloading
giant spools of cable down here. sort of an unusual noncontainerized cargo. >> samtrans and caltrans is looking at reopening with the port. take that as an opportunity to reexamine in the future. not this week, but some time in the future. >> absolutely. we're trying to keep up to speed with the jpb on the peninsula rail line because that is supposed to be a shared rail line for both freight rail and passenger rail. if that dunbarton can be connected across the bay so you don't have to send trains to san jose, that would be great and we're definitely into that. >> this is an interesting pair of ships that is tide up along the waterfront. and these are roll on, roll off. these are ships where you can drive on and drive off and unload your containers without using cranes. these are often used where deliveries are made to ports
where they don't have cranes to unload them, particularly military lich -- deliveries and supplies. the paint on the funnel indicates it is at least military use. they're tide up here. -- tied up here. you can drive your truck right on and park your container. >> these are actually ready reserve ships that are -- that go to iraq. this is federal defense, still a military use. >> i'd ask the clerk to call the roll, roll on, roll off. >> they're gigantic. >> there are still some of these other uses we see. >> grain silos. when they used to ship grains from the delta, the sacramento valley, in and out through san francisco, this is where it would be stored. they are no longer used. they were actually extensively damaged in the loma-prieta and we have tried in various ways to try and find some other uses
that could use that storage, plastic pellets for recycling even. those kinds of things. but it's so damaged now that the cost of repairing them to bring them into function -- this is a left over technology, a competing technology with containers that didn't make it in the end. but the shed is where the recycling central (speaker not understood) is located. >> and then there is also just the general utility and storage stuff that we see when we drive around down there. the crane company has their big yard down there, store their heavy equipment. >> you have to have it someplace. it has to be convenient. and san francisco is lucky to have places, sheet companies like that here. okay, a fascinating building. a fascinating building. chris, tell bus this building. >> this is the machine shop at union iron works. and it was built in the 1880s by mr. donahue, the president
of union iron works. and what is particularly interesting about this building, among other things, is it's one of two buildings i know of that actually bears evidence of the 1906 earthquake. you can see in the cable a section of sheet metal that was patched in when the brick portion of the cable collapsed in '06. you actually see that on the other side of the building as well. there are like two buildings of foundry and a machine shop that were later linked during first world war. the shipyard, this is only part of a much larger shipyard that was undoubtedly one of the most important on the west coast, one of the earliest as well. they built prominent ships like the u.s. olympia and others. >> this is the potrero area, what we call the central waterfront (speaker not understood). just south of mission bay at 20th and illinois. >> and as we look, i find it fascinating that there are still remnants of 1906 earthquake, 100 years later in
san francisco. another building that we can look at that shows that damage is the geneva, what they call the geneva car barn, but the geneva office building, now fiely sort of temporarily repaired after further damage in the loma-prieta earthquake in 1989. -- finally sort of temporarily repaired. you can see closely in the corner of the parapet cracks, cracks that were repaired, 80, 90, 100 years ago. some were cracks from the loma-prieta earthquake. >> this is reinforcement in the building also. >> we can look inside, here is a peek inside. giant gigantic spaces, the 30-ton crane. >> it was used until about a year ago, used by the san francisco dry dock company. they had huge lathes, gigantic cranes that climbed ceiling
high of the building to carry large machinery. a couple guys sitting there in one of those old beautiful buildings. >> very hard to maintain these buildings. even a house, once it's abandoned, not heated and warmed and maintained and ventilated, they deteriorate very quickly. >> that's the old safety sign. it says safety stories. of course during the height of world war ii there were thousands of people who worked here round the clock. of course, a lot didn't get a whole lot of sleep. they had these notices here that would exhort caution on your job when you're operating your lathe or the crane or whatever it is that you don't hurt yourself or somebody else. >> so safety stories and pictures. stop, look, listen, and profit. what is the bottom line? [laughter] >> it's interesting, because at the ship dry dock, there is a
ship repair industry that is still in san francisco. and if you walk through the dry dock area, all of the signs, safety signs and procedures, it's really quite amazing. >> here is a big old sheet metal, corrugated metal building. steele frame, i presume. >> i believe so, or wood. there are quite a few of these down here. this one is world war 1. it's been used for a lot of different purposes. i think most recently used as an artist's shop. >> keep off room. >> good advice. >> and of course, you need a place to store stuff. [laughter] >> what better to store. >> and showing the deterioration of many of these docks.
once they deteriorate to a certain point -- ccdc development commission addresses the use of the bay and the fill of the bay. will they let you rebuild these things after they fall apart? >> well, if there is a viable use. you know, if we have an illinois bridge, for example, that's a pile supported structure over water and so we were able to get a permit for that. but in general, lawrence is right that there are incredible constraints on allowance for fill. so in fact, this is the situation where the port would be looking at fill credits. if degraded it should be taken out. but it is not going to be taken out before there is a need for it because what you want to be able to do is, whatever. if there is another illinois bridge modification that needs to be done and it requires some fill, there is a fill mitigation requirement that the bcdc will typically look at and
you will want to be able to take credit for taking out areas like this that are no longer serviceable. >> a couple other things i want to mention about this. first of all, you see a concrete slab there that is sloping and curved. people don't usually think of concrete as being able to do that. everything is fluid in some way, its own way. here we have concrete kind of sloping and running downhill. the other this is bcdc has generally ruled that marinas where you've got boats at the docks and marinas, the boats constitute fill. >> well, if they're operable, they acknowledge that there is some basis for them being on fill. if you are living in a boat or it's a house boat, then you're fill. >> okay. here is the backside of some of these buildings we were just looking at at the shipyard.
here is one of the wonders of san francisco, a working shipyard. right? filled with vessels. >> these cranes are mostly of world war ii vintage. they're still trucking along. >> actually, the dry dock is enjoying kind of a mini resurgence in business because it's related to the cruise industry that we are getting more cruise ships that are wanting to call on san francisco once they're here in town, they can take advantage of being here already to get maintenance done. >> they are on a fast track. i was talking to somebody over therethv they bring them in, and they are on a 24-hour turn around on those cruise ships. they'll go to work at 7:00 and be done at 6:00 p.m. it's real tight schedule. those things are scheduled years in advance. i don't know whether hope or mercy, one of the hospital ships which were converted tankers, i understand.
come here as well and i've seen them dry dock there as well. not that many people get out in little rowboats. this is an unusual people. >> we're going to see if we can speed up a little bit. it's tough to do. okay. this is mission rock. it used to be a rock out in the middle of the bay over here. they recently rebuilt it. and this is an example of the kind of conflicts that are currently facing us in san francisco where there is this night club, late night entertainment permit. you'd think nobody is around therethv the nearest neighbor is a boat yard. and yet they are recently had a hearing about the revocation or suspension of their late night entertainment permit because the new residential building that was built across 3rd street as the third street light rail gets developed, that's all developing. complained that it's too much noise for residential use in the neighborhood. so we're starting to see lots and lots of conflicts between industrial and commercial uses and new residential. this is right next to it is the
san francisco boat works which is like the only place where you can get your yacht repaired here in san francisco. or you'd have to go to alameda or somewhere. lovely vessel there. and then directly across the street, we have mission bay, wow, the epicenter for neuroscience research. that's unbelievable, right. it is unbelievable how much is happening there. we have the new giants ballpark and this is mc covy cove. and there are boats out there waiting for barry. this was taken the other day, just hit one into the cove. i said pier 40, somebody said you row out of pier 40. somebody else said they sale out of pier 40. pier 40 undergoing some major renovations. and the ballpark is right next to it and there is almost no
impact on pier 40 when there is a ball game. almost no impact other than muni is crowded. it's amazing. we all thought oh, my god this is it, hot dog wrappers all over the place. enthuse a new handicapped ramp and a new dock, commercial dock on the north side of pier 40. on the south side of pier 40 is an historic (speaker not understood) if you really want some, that's the place to get it. >> they get in at 6:30 in the morning. >> there are boats behind. we can go down on the pier and take a look. good grief, registered in reno, nevada. there is the sea berg, end high at the end of the dock, giant thing. and here coming up, my all-time favorite boat name. never again ii. [laughter]