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What's Going On at the Russian Hill Reservoir?

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[The newly naked Francisco Reservoir]
From the Curbed inbox:

I noticed that recently the planks of wood that cover the Russian HIll Reservoir have been removed. Is something actually going to be done with the site?A few months ago the wooden roof of Russian Hill's Francisco Reservoir was razed. Unused and declared "surplus," there have been rumblings of development on the site since 1958. The Francisco Reservoir had been used back in San Francisco's earliest days, showing up on maps from the 1860s. It closed in 1940 when the Lombard Reservoir was built a few blocks away. Back in 1955, an acre of the reservoir between Hyde and Larkin was transferred to the Park Commission for park purposes. The city got master landscape starchitect Lawrence Halprin to design a plan for the new View Park in 1957, but within a year the SF Public Utilities Commision declared the site surplus. There were a few plans for development of apartments towers on the site, but the city wasn't having it.


Lawrence Halprin's plan for View Park, 1957 [Photo: Francisco Reservoir]

The PUC lifted its "surplus" status in 1958, leaving the site as is for recreation. Fast forward 48 years, and history repeated itself when the PUC stated their intention to declare the property surplus to prepare for sale. It's been a back-and-forth ever since, with the PUC wanting to sell the site to developers (to the tune of $50M) or another agency, and the neighbors and BOS wanting it to stay an open space. The neighborhood groups even hired landscape architects to come up with a cost-effective plan (meaning, how to move the least amount of dirt) to create a terraced park.


Neighborhood plans for terraced park, 2008 [Photo: Francisco Reservoir]

The PUC still owns the property, but now has a Citizens Advisory Committee to help hammer out any future plans. In June 2012, the CAC passed a resolution that basically reiterated the desire to keep it open space. Despite the appearance of movement with the removal of the wooden roof, there have been no further developments for the site. Some think it was just to remove the potential hazard of rotting wood.
· Razing The Roof Over The Old Francisco Street Reservoir [Socket Site]
· Resolution regarding: Policy Regarding Francisco Reservoir [SF PUC]
· Francisco Reservoir [Francisco Reservoir]
· San Francisco: Francisco Reservoir's fate debated [SF Gate]