Shitshow. For once, the situation at hand begs for literal use of this, our most
overused cherished of all pejoratives. Behold the Pagoda Theater, in all its bombed-out, faded, pigeon dung-encrusted glory; the theater-cum-bunker is one of a battalion of buildings at the center of North Beach neighbors' ongoing skirmish over building, zoning, and preservation (not to mention Fro-Yo). Following a very special invitation, Curbed SF dispatched an operative over to 1701 Powell Street in order to document a site whose ruins, as you see here, may not inspire the sort of romantic vision wistful preservationists tend to cling to. A couple of phone calls and a few IMversations with our operative garnered the following intel:
· The building has been gutted entirely— no furniture, fixtures, or remnants of any kind, save an obscene coating of pigeon doo. Following an impassioned tirade on the doings of North Beach's infamous nabe groups, our informant insisted "there's nothing here to preserve! No columns, no arches...!" Rant roll call: Supe Aaron Peskin, wife and Telegraph Hill Dwellers prez Nancy Shanahan, and NB Chamber of Commerce prez Marsha Garland, natch. Not-so-incidentally, if all systems remain at a "go," 17-20 residential units, parking, and restaurant space will eventually occupy the site.
· The $2K per day our insider claims it takes the building's owner to maintain the site sounds like a rather, shall we say, hyperbolic estimate. Of course, when it comes to real estate, we all know that one's gotta pay to play. (Or, in other words, we don't do math.)
· EXTRA BONUS WILDLIFE SIGHTING: Just before our op arrived on the scene, our tipster reported that a red-tailed hawk swooped into the space, laying waste to a few unsuspecting pigeons in no short order. Blood, feathers— total National Geographic material. Metaphor! Take a gander at the photo gallery for more pigeon shiz, spectacular rooftop views, and an impressive heap of industrial ruin.
· North Beach Says: "Enough With the Plywood" [Curbed SF]
· Theater of Absurdity: North Beach Wars Over Pagoda Development [Curbed SF]
· (Pre) Development Watch: Reincarnation at Columbus and Powell [Curbed SF]
· Ask Curbed SF: Graf Can't Mask North Beach Eyesore [Curbed SF]