San Francisco apartment building unveiled after planner said windows screamed “class and privilege.”
The heavily glazed design of a San Francisco apartment building was changed after a planner said the windows screamed “class and privilege” — while living in a stunning $1.8 million home with a massive panoramic view.
The building at 1900 Mission Street in the heart of San Francisco was initially envisioned as seven-story apartments with floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
However, when the building was proposed in 2017, the San Francisco Planning Commission led by then-Commissioner Myrna Melgar pushed back the project with protests that its appearance would be a gentrification force in the neighborhood.
But Melgar — who said at a committee meeting at the time that the project windows were “a statement of class privilege” — lived all the while in a nearly $1.8 million three-bedroom home complete with massive panoramic windows in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood. .
Some San Franciscans have expressed anger at the hypocrisy of Melgar’s statements about the original design of the building as opposed to the house she lived in, while others have said that buildings should not be designed by committees or they will look bland and boring .
The original plan for the building at 1900 Mission Street in the heart of San Francisco
The new look of the 1900 Mission Street building after planners forced it to change
After Melgar’s comments were reported, a local resident pointed out the apparent irony of her comments, given the luxurious, light-filled environment she’s allowed to call home.
Shortly after her comments were first reported, a resident shared footage of her home and wrote of her statement, “I agree. Big windows in a $2 million home are definitely a statement of class and privilege.”
The building at 1900 Mission Street was first proposed around 2013, with developers proposing the demolition of an auto body and replacing it with shops on the ground floor and apartments above the street.
In 2017, community activists backtracked on the project fearing it would clash with the established community nearby, protesting the destruction of the coachbuilder that was still in operation at the time.
The case was referred to the San Francisco Planning Commission, then led by Melgar.
“This towering 23-meter high building would house just 12 large, luxurious units in the heart of a working-class neighborhood,” read a call from the project. “It would demolish a convenience store business — another auto store in a long list of those recently knocked down for luxury housing.”
Instead of focusing on how the project would drive the body builder out of the community, Melgar focused on what the building looked like, according to MissionLocal.org.
“I just have to say I hate the design, nothing against the architect,” said Melgar, “large windows to me are a statement of class and privilege.”
After repeating her statement, Melgar went on to say, “You know, poor people don’t do that, they don’t have everything on the street.”
“It really bothers me,” she added. “So I have to say, it’s a design issue.”
When the building was proposed in 2017, the San Francisco Planning Commission led by then Commissioner Myrna Melgar pushed back the project
Myrna Melgar’s nearly $1.8 million mansion in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood
Other committee members agreed with Melgar.
“The first thing I thought of was the Starship Enterprise,” Commissioner Kathryn Moore said at the hearing. “It really appeals to the new housing demographic, because of its unusual, very glassy look. It doesn’t integrate smoothly in the context of where it is.’
Ultimately, the architects were forced to redesign the building, providing a much more subdued façade intended to better blend into the neighborhood’s landscape.
The building is nearing completion, but some have raised eyebrows at the distinctly less interesting appearance it left behind.
“This is what design review does in San Francisco,” one Twitter user captioned a photo of the recently unveiled building. “If you don’t like the way new buildings look like this, maybe we should reform the government commission charged with design-by-committee.”
Melgar is now a member of the Board of Supervisors and, according to Zillow, still appears to be living in her 1,815-square-foot, three-bedroom home, which is worth about $1.8 million.
She was not available for comment when DailyMail.com contacted her.