Monthly Archives: February 2011

Dirty Harry Hospital Undergoing Renovation

Renovations have begun on the old Park Emergency Hospital building at 811 Stanyan Street. The building, featured in the 1971 film Dirty Harry, was indeed a functioning hospital from 1902 until 1978, and an ambulance station until 1991. It’s currently home to the SF Recreation & Park Department’s Natural Areas & Volunteer Programs, which have been relocated to McLaren Lodge and the basement of Kezar Pavilion during construction.

Horse Drawn Ambulance in front of Park Emergency Hospital c. 1902-1910. Photo: San Francisco Recreation & Park Department

According to RPD Project Manager Rick Thall, the majority of the work will be done inside the building in order to bring it up to code. There will also be some exterior work done to restore the facade and improve ADA access with the addition of a ramp on the North side of the building. The work should be completed by the end of summer.

Park Emergency Hospital following the 1906 earthquake. Photo: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley


Filed under General, History

Haight Street Market Expansion Underway

Construction for the Haight Street Market expansion is in full swing. Although it appears there’s still much to be done, an employee at the market says they’re hoping to have the work completed within the next few weeks.


Filed under Local Business

Second House To The Right, And Straight On ‘Till Morning

Captain “Neighborhood Watch” Kirk was spotted peering out of a Stanyan Street home this afternoon, keeping a watchful eye on the street below.

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Filed under General, People

Park Branch Library Celebrates Grand Reopening

After a year of renovations, the Park Branch Library at 1833 Page Street celebrated its Grand Reopening today. Many dignitaries were on hand to mark the event, including City Librarian Luis Herrera, Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi & Scott Wiener, State Senators Mark Leno & Leland Yee, State Assemblywoman & Speaker pro Tem Fiona Ma, Department of Puplic Works Director Edward D. Reiskin, SF Public Library Commision President Jewelle Gomez, and Friends of the SF Public Library Executive Director Donna Bero.

The Jugtown Pirates, the Monkey Butts, and performers from nearby Circus Center & Acrosports were on hand to provide entertainment.

The Jugtown Pirates greet the attendees.

The $2.9 million renovation was completed using funds from a $105.9 million bond measure passed by voters in November 2000, as well as $500,000 in private funds raised by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. It’s the 16th completed renovation out of 24 total projects.

The branch, originally opened in 1909 at a cost of $34,000, has been upgraded to meet silver LEED certification standards, including energy-efficient lighting, improved electrical and ventilation systems, sustainable linoleum flooring, and an energy-efficient heating system. It’s also been made fully ADA accessible with the addition of two restrooms downstairs and a power assist lower level entrance.

Park Branch Library in 1916

I ran into Peter Warfield of the Library Users Association, who said his group was instrumental in making sure the library preserved many of the historical aspects of the building. Although he’s happy to see the branch open again, he wishes they had done even more to preserve the original character of the library, such as restore the original wood floors and skylights, and keep the original wood surfaces of the 100-year old tables intact (the wood was replaced with linoleum).

The interior of the Park Branch Library as it appeared in 1916.

If you’d like to check out the newly re-minted branch, the hours are:

Monday: 10 AM – 6 PM, Tuesday: 10 AM – 9 PM, Wednesday: 1 PM – 9 PM, Thursday: 10 AM – 6 PM, Friday: 1 PM – 6 PM, Saturday: 10 AM – 6 PM, Sunday: Closed

Mayor Ed Lee arrives.

City Librarian Luis Herrera welcomes the crowd.

City Librarian Luis Herrera, flanked by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi & Mayor Ed Lee.

Mayor Lee talks about the importance of our libraries.

Mayor Lee announces Park Branch Library Day and presents proclamation to City Librarian Luis Herrera & Branch Manager Cathy Delneo.

State Senator Mark Leno presents proclamation to Branch Manager Cathy Delneo.

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma & State Senator Leland Yee present proclamation to Branch Manager Cathy Delneo & City Librarian Luis Herrera.

A hoarse Ross Mirkarimi addresses the crowd.

Supervisor Scott Wiener

San Francisco Public Library Commission President Jewelle Gomez

Official ribbon cutting. From left to right: Branch Manager Cathy Delneo, Department of Public Works Director Edward D. Reiskin, San Francisco Public Library Commission President Jewelle Gomez, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, Supervisor Scott Wiener, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Executive Director Donna Bero, City Librarian Luis Herrera, State Senator Mark Leno, Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

Musicians from the Jing Mo Athletic Association play the crowd into the Library.

Lion Dancers from the Jing Mo Athletic Association lead the procession into the library.

Lion Dancers from the Jing Mo Athletic Association lead the procession into the library.

The crown funnels in to get a look at the renovated library.

The skylights, plastered over in a 1990s renovation, have been re-painted with a sky mural & birds.

New teen area.

Patrons wait in line to use the new self-checkout machines.

Internet workstations.

The new table lamps feature power outlets for your laptop.

A patron checks out the offerings in the DVD section.

Staircase to lower staff/meeting areas.

The Jugtown Pirates perform in the downstairs meeting space.

Circus Center Performers

Circus Center Performers


Filed under Events, History

Mirkarimi Breaks Bread With Whole Foods

New Haight Street Whole Foods

After a surprise soft launch on Monday, the new Haight & Stanyan Whole Foods had their official grand opening this morning with the breaking of the bread (an eight-foot sourdough loaf), speeches from Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, Haight Ashbury Improvement Association President Ted Lowenberg and others, and the presentation of a $50,000 loan check to Marin’s Rustic Bakery.

Supervisor Mirkarimi talked about how the new store will be an anchor for the community, but made clear that it shouldn’t be here to put the other local natural food grocers out of business. I asked if he plans to make an appearance at Haight Street Market to celebrate the completion of their expansion once construction is complete. “Absolutely!” he said, adding that he had meant to mention them in his speech.

I also asked about his rumored mayoral ambitions and he said that as of right now, rumors are all they are, as he has yet to make any formal announcement. He’s still weighing his options, including a possible run for Sheriff in which he could put his law enforcement background to use.

Some photos from the opening below.

The breaking of the bread, a Whole Foods tradition for new locations.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi enjoys some sourdough.

Presentation of loan check to Rustic Bakery.

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Filed under Events, Local Business

Community Garden Meeting Tonight

Despite the BoS Committee Hearing held this morning to discuss the eviction of the HANC Recycling Center (more on that soon), plans continue moving forward for the Community Garden set to take its place. There will be a community meeting tonight to discuss the preparations for the new garden (construction, bed building, etc.). The meeting is being held at McLaren Lodge (Fell & Stanyan) from 5:30 PM – 7 PM.

If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even make a Valentine’s connection with a fellow community garden aficionado and go from plant beds to your bed… or just head out back.

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Filed under Events, Gardens, Local Business

Get Your LOVE On!

Photo by Keoki Seu

Happy Valentines Day from Cole Valley Alley!

If, like us, you still haven’t figured out what to do, here are some local (and semi-local) options:

– Stay out of the rain by cuddling up at home with a romantic dinner and sensual massage.
– Grab some gourmet chocolates from Coco-luxe Confections (1673 Haight Street, @ Cole, open ’till 8 PM).
– Pick up some cheese, chocolate and/or wine from Say Cheese (856 Cole Street, open ’till 7 PM).
– Find a nice bottle of vino at Val De Cole Wines & Spirits (906 Cole Street).
– Check out Sunny Country (1101 Stanyan Street) for some lovely bouquets.
– As it’ll be near impossible to get a reservation anywhere at this point, try snagging a table at Cha Cha Cha. They don’t take reservations, so as long as you get there early (they open at 5 PM) you should be able to get a table pretty quickly. If there is a wait, hang out in the bar with a pitcher of their delicious sangria.
– If you’re sick of all this love crap, and want to get covered in wet feathers, head down to the annual PILLOW FIGHT starting at 6 PM at Justin Herman Plaza.

Check out SF Station and SFist for several other VD Events.

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Filed under Events, Local Business