From the Curbed inbox:
The hibernia bank's been tagged. I know the building is really old so I assume its facade is protected. What kind of red tape would the owner(s) have to go through to get this removed? Last week the central dome on the Hibernia Bank was tagged, and the act was even caught on video. The building is indeed historic—it's San Francisco Landmark #130. It's also been sitting vacant for a while, so who's responsible for dealing with it? Even though the Hibernia Bank is vacant, its new(ish) owners have grand plans. Last year a proposed new project was approved by the Historic Preservation Commission to make seismic, fire, and accessibility upgrades for a new "assembly" use of the building (whatever that means). A bunch of stuff like doors and windows are set to be restored, with a little rooftop addition. The project will bring the long-vacant building into code compliance, but no use or tenant has been identified yet.
That project approval was back in December, and so far nothing really has happened. Since there's no work going on, does the owner have to immediately remove the graffiti just because the building is historic? Well, basically yes. When a property owner has a landmark building, whether they were the owner when it was landmarked or bought it after, they agree to "preserve from deliberate or inadvertent neglect the exterior portions of such landmark or structure" (you can read the legalese in the Planning Code). If the owner fails to comply, they are subject to enforcement and penalties. Take this with a grain of salt, because the Hibernia Bank has been a landmark since 1981 and we all know what condition it's been in. The owners pretty much won't be fined until code enforcement follows up, and that usually takes a formal complaint or maybe a request from the HPC.
· Watch The Hibernia Bank Get Graffiti Bombed [SFist]
· Article 10, C. 1008. Compliance with Maintenance Requirements [SF Planning Code]
· Previous Coverage of the Hibernia Bank [Curbed SF]