How to put this tactfully . . . “I would like to see a little bit more fine-tuning of the architecture,” said commissioner Kathrin Moore of the new design for the Chinatown YMCA, whose renovation plans were approved yesterday by the City Planning Commission. The building, a refuge for Chinese immigrants since its opening in 1926, will undergo a $19.6 million overhaul, which includes two additions— one three-story 19,350-square foot space, and another at four-stories and 3,500 square feet. Naturally, the plans were put through the ringer; an initial design allowed for a height in excess of 40 feet, thus subjecting it to city's rules that restrict shadows on parks and open spaces. (Yes, we actually have a rule against shadows in this town. Go figure.) That plan also called for the demolition of the old building, and we know how historical preservationists felt about that. It's not over yet; Moore was also quoted as calling the massive, illuminated YMCA logo proposed for the new facade "unnecessary." How polite. Now why don't we try "menacing" instead?
· Chinatown YMCA takes step toward facelift, expansion [SF Examiner]
[Image courtesy SF Examiner, SF Planning Commission]