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As Residential Project Moves Forward, Some Want Fillmore West Concert Venue Preserved

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Rendering of how one of the proposals for 10 South Van Ness (to the right of the road with green roofs) would fit into San Francisco's changing skyline
Rendering of how one of the proposals for 10 South Van Ness (to the right of the road with green roofs) would fit into San Francisco's changing skyline

A San Francisco building that once hosted rock legends is set to become a mixed-use residential project, and some in the community are pushing to save the historic venue on the site.

The San Francisco Planning Commission received the draft Environmental Impact Report for the project at its meeting on Dec. 6. Plans include the demolition of the two-story, 91K SF building at 10 South Van Ness, which was built in 1927, once housed the Fillmore West concert venue and was most recently a Honda dealership.

The proposed project to replace the building could bring in 984 residential units across two towers on a single base with about 30K SF of cafés, restaurants and active social spaces near transit, according to Crescent Heights, the developer behind plans for the site. A second, single-tower option has been offered as an alternative. The hope is to create a more pedestrian-focused block with local retail and public art. Handel Architects is designing the project.

But those who want to protect the history of the Fillmore West venue want the concert hall preserved. A 78-page city report states the Fillmore West is eligible for the California Register of Historic Resources, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A photo of the Fillmore West from its heyday in front of the site today at 10 South Van Ness in San Francisco
A photo of the Fillmore West from its heyday in front of the site today at 10 South Van Ness in San Francisco

The Fillmore West once occupied the second floor of the building and hosted top acts from 1968 until 1971, including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fleetwood Mac, The Grateful Dead, Aretha Franklin, Carlos Santana and Ray Charles, KPIX 5 reports.

In 2014, Crescent Heights took over the site, which had become a Honda dealership in the 1970s.

Jim Abrams, an attorney for Crescent Heights, told the Chronicle the developer plans to honor the historic value of the site. The Historic Preservation Commission has recommended an interpretive program, which could be a plaque or a website commemorating the concert venue. Incorporating the site into the new towers as some supporters would like to see is not a viable option, the developer told the Chronicle.

The venue is currently being run and rented out as an event space by NPU Inc.