SF Board Landmarks UC Laguna Extension Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday April 20, 2007

The Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board (LPAB) in San Francisco voted 6-1 in favor of the local landmark designation of the UC Berkeley Extension Laguna Street Campus Wednesday.  

UC Berkeley’s plan to convert its historic six-acre Laguna Street Extension campus in San Francisco into a private rental-housing development has met with some controversy from residents and community groups who want to retain the site for public use. 

“The LPAB will meet again on May 16 to vote on the specific details of what is considered contributory,” said Cynthia Servetnick of Save the UC Berkeley Extension (UCBE) Laguna Street Campus. “The Planning Commission must act on the LPAB’s recommendation within the next 60 days.”  

First used as a city orphanage from 1854 until the San Francisco State Normal School was established in the 1920s to accommodate public school teachers, the campus has also served as the original home of San Francisco State University (SFSU). 

SFSU will be screening fimmaker Eliza Hemingway’s Uncommon Knowledge: Closing the Books at UC Berkeley Extension, which documents the closure, on May 10 to raise awareness about preservation efforts for the campus. 

Citing prohibitive maintenance costs to bring the campus up to current seismic and disability codes, the UC Regents closed the UC Extension building in 2004, and it has been sitting empty since then. 

A public comment period for the draft environmental impact report of the proposed project at the UCBE campus took place Thursday at the Planning Commission meeting at the SF City Hall Thursday. 

Members of the public can also send in their written comments to Paul Maltzer, environmental review officer at the Planning Department, until Monday.