regarding the fisher museum in the presidio,

louis says:

In John King’s 1 March 2009 article on the proposed art museum in the Presidio, John Jarvis, director of the National Park Service Western Region is quoted. “They’ve come a long way improving the design and the way it sits within our historic landmark.”

The Presidio deserves more than something sitting comfortably in our historic landmark. The Presidio is a unique place defined by history, geography, climate, demographics and culture found nowhere else. A new building in this environment has an obligation to honor place, and to provide a legacy for future generations to enjoy.

The Bay Area is known for the bold and controversial actions of our forefathers. The Alcatraz we know was formed in the 1850’s by blasting the rocky shoreline to create steep prisonlike walls. The Golden Gate Bridge harnessed the best of 1930’s engineering to span the strait thereby treating 1,825 million cars to one of the most beautiful views in the world. Innovative thinking has formed the Presidio too. In 1996, Congress created a unique management and funding model designed to preserve the Presidio and make it financially self-sufficient.

As 21st century citizens we are obligated to leave examples of our creativity, technology and optimism. Are the Xerox-enlarged barracks of the Letterman site the best we can do? An art museum in the Presidio is an opportunity not to be squandered demurely emulating the past, but asserting confidence in our own abilities to address the future. The WRNS proposal for the Fisher museum is a thoughtful response to a difficult set of parameters. It sits firmly in contemporary design AND is sensitive to its physical, historical, and cultural context. It deserves more enthusiastic support.

San Francisco is a thought leader. We can be design leaders too.

he’s right.    i’d add that not only should  good design be our legacy, but a beautifully-designed fisher museum makes sense for the current economic development of our city.    think about this:   in 2008, the guggenheim bilbao contributed 231,788,989 euros to the economy of the basque region.

san francisco is beginning to have some really noteworthy contemporary architecture – the de young, the academy of sciences, the new federal building.    the fisher museum should be equally forward-looking.    every time i cross the bay bridge i become apoplectic at the lost opportunity of cal trans designing the  bay bridge rather calatrava…