Downtown Plan Showing Wear

A battle over the height of a proposed skyscraper in San Francisco emphasizes the need for an update to the city's 25-yr old plan, says critic John King.
May 27, 2009, 6am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"To put the age of San Francisco's once-vaunted Downtown Plan in context, consider this: The year it was approved, budding community activist Barack Obama rented his first apartment in Chicago.

It was 1985, and San Francisco approved an ambitious plan to strike a balance downtown between old and new. Major growth was steered away from Union Square and the Financial District. Height limits were lowered. Historic preservation gained clout.

But one era's innovation is the next generation's dated rulebook. That's why San Francisco needs to mark the plan's 25th anniversary next year by crafting fresh guidelines for the commercial core - ones that take into account how the city around it has changed."

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Published on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 in San Francisco Chronicle
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