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Church moves to block Alamo Square housing

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Third Baptist congregation says nearby 1924 apartment building is too historic to alter

1100 Fulton.
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In 2017, the owners of a circa-1924 apartment building at 1100 Fulton, adjacent from the Painted Ladies, applied to convert the structure’s 11 garage spaces into six new in-law apartments, a proposal to which the San Francisco Planning Department gave its blessing.

But now nearby Third Baptist Church, located down the block at 1399 McAllister, says hell no.

The congregation has filed a challenge to the development, claiming it will hurt neighborhood integrity and present parking woes for churchgoers.

According to a June 2018 Planning Department assessment:

1100 Fulton is [...] three-story over basement, twelve-unit residential building completed in 1924 from a design by Edward E. Young. It features a subdued tripartite composition and is clad with polychromatic brick and stucco. The property is contributory to the Alamo Square Landmark District, which was designated in 1984, and has period of significance “from the 1870s to the 1920s.”

The proposed project is to modify ground level garage door openings at the south (Fulton Street) and east (Pierce Street) facades to accommodate six new accessory dwelling units, in addition to related interior alterations.

Planners noted that the proposed alterations “would retain the existing residential use of the building and would cause minimal changes to the form of the building without removing any character-defining features or materials.”

At a June 20 hearing, the city’s Historic Preservation Commission issued a Certificate of Appropriateness for the site. But on July 24, the city received paperwork challenging that certificate, listing “Amos Brown, Third Baptist Church of San Francisco” as the appellant.

Brown’s objection.

Brown’s challenge alleges that the new apartment plan “would change aesthetics of the historical structure and profile to the building on Fulton and have adverse effects to the historical Third Baptist Church.”

The adverse effects in question relate to parking and traffic worries. Brown also highlights the building’s designation as a historic resource and a contributor to the neighborhood aesthetic.

Speaking to the San Francisco Examiner, Serina Calhoun, architect for the 1100 Fulton in-law additions, said, “We are not impacting the church and not touching their building or parking area,” calling the objection “a mystery.”

There’s no date set yet for a hearing on the challenge.