Last week’s post about that new, modern house at 3407 Folsom generated a lot of spicy commentary and armchair architectural criticism. Some folks love the design of the new house, and others just don’t really dig this whole “modernism” thing. Among the latter group, there was plenty of concern about the overall look of the neighborhood, while some expressed pity for the residents of 3401 Folsom — the traditional-style house that’s right next door.
Happily, however, the residents of 3401 don’t need any pity, because they’re quite pleased with the new house next door, and they’re looking forward to welcoming their new neighbors. We know this because Mark, who lives in 3401, added his voice to the comment thread, where he wrote:
We are the neighbors next door, and naturally have followed the discussions and on-again/off-again planning around this site for many years. Around four years ago the previous owners presented construction plans to the East Bernal Design Review Board, a voluntary neighborhood group that I was a member of at the time. This was for a two-unit building that neighbors found pretty objectionable. Planning stalled for awhile, and new plans for a single family home were presented at a public meeting of the Board some two years later. Feedback was provided and incorporated into the current design.
We and a number of others in the neighborhood would have loved for the site to be made part of Bernal Hill Park, and made initial headway with a non-profit interested in helping the Rec and Parks Dept acquire it. For complicated reasons having to do with the fact that the Dept of Public Works and not Rec and Parks owns the public land to the left of the sidewalk going up the hill, this was not to be. The site was sold to a small construction company who built the house and sold it to our new neighbors.
There are a few things worth mentioning about this whole process. The original owners and developers of the land went out of their way to take into account our perspectives and those of others in the neighborhood. Larry and the crew who bought the project from them and actually built the house over the last eight months worked hard to get the construction over with quickly and with minimal disruption. It’s never easy having a building like this go up over your back fence, but really, everything went much more smoothly than we could have expected, and Larry and his crew (who agreed to make use of our house’s water and electricity so a loud and obnoxious generator wouldn’t be needed) were accommodating and friendly thoughout.
As for our new neighbors Scott and his family? They want to be part of the chicken raising project we’ve had going for two years now with the other neighbors adjoining our properties. They want to do us all one better (and thrill our kids) with the idea of bringing goats into the mix. They have a young child who is age-perfect for my 14 year old daughter-with-baby-sitting-certificate to take care of while all readers of this excellent blog join them on their heli-deck for cocktails every Friday evening (I think that’s what Scott wrote). And we now have yet another enthusiastic Bernal family joining this great community of ours, in the best neighborhood in San Francisco
I love that in so many ways, but not least because it is a pitch-perfect expression of neighborly warmth, patient adaptability, and YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) open-mindedness. Bravo to Mark for the sentiment, and thanks for weighing in.
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