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Curbed SF Reports: Transbay Terminal Plan Public Meeting Redux

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Please extend a warm welcome to Andy Wang, our newest man on the ground here at Curbed H.Q. We dispatched Operative Andy to last night's redux of last week's public meeting on the Transit Center District Plan; his eye witness report follows. Curbed SF: On the scene so you don't have to be

Operative Andy says:

After a bit of background color, the presenter, Joshua Switzky of the planning department, pulled out the porn: a dizzying barrage of downtown skyline simulations, including skylines restricted to a maximum height of 550 feet by current zoning (yawn), and horizons defined by a peak Tranny height of 850, 1,000, and 1,200 feet.

The envisioned downtown skyline will be defined by a graceful "mound" consisting of a peak (Transbay Tower) and a gentle taper. High rise haters, take notice: friendly presenter Josh says they want to keep surrounding buildings about 200 feet away from each other — so as to avoid an overly dense clusterfuck of buildings.

But what about the shadows, for God's sake?! Says the city: more study needed (read: no simulated shadow porn ... yet). We did learn that with a 1,000-foot Transbay Tower, most shadows would sweep through key open spaces within 15 to 45 minutes, and only at "certain times of the year," at "certain times of the day." The plan will also add more than six acres of new open space, so there. Cue collective sigh of relief. Or not.

Also: did we hear that the project's defining tower resembles a "blandly derivative dildo"? Don't be despondent; current sketches leave out potential ornamentation at the top of the building — meaning more stimulating architectural elements may eventually cap the Tranny Tower. One proposal has a wind turbine gracing the top ... or we could just get a giant antenna. That would be cool, too. Right.

Say your piece! The Planning Department's Mr. Switzky says "I read the blogs" (gasp — a shout out?) and stresses that "clunky buildings" in skyline simulations aren't actual buildings, just placeholders to illustrate height. The actual buildings may — just may — in the end be "thinner" or otherwise more attractive.

But, quoth one participant from the Citizens Advisory Committee, "It's San Francisco so it won't be anything really interesting." Touché.

[Rendering courtesy the San Francisco Planning Department with special guest Photoshoppage by our very own Jimmy Stamp.]