The ups and downs of a Mission corner


Ever wonder what used to sit in the old dirt beneath your Mission District apartment building? Well this week Curbed SF uncovered some interesting history behind one such corner at 15th and Dolores.

In this never-ending saga, 200 Dolores Street has definitely seen better days. And though it’s an eyesore now, it looks to be starting its transformational makeover as we speak.

In 1903 this prime spot was occupied by the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Ebenezer Church and the building next door where the pastor lived, called the parsonage. Miraculously, both buildings survived the 1906 earthquake.

Over most of the next century, the church was handed off to different congregations, pastors and denominations. In 1993 the First Southern Baptist Church — well-known for accepting LGBT members — occupied the building.

According to MrEricSir, someone was not very happy about this:

“in 1993, the church received an angry letter from a member of the Aryan Brotherhood who disagreed with the church’s views. The next day, the church was burned to the ground by an arsonist.”

Though no one was ever arrested for causing the fire, which also partially damaged the parsonage next door, there were obvious suspicions.

The next ten years included endless complaints from neighbors ranging from structural instability, a homeless shelter in the basement, and even reports of an “iron business” operating from the basement.

While the property was warranting complaints, developers were working behind the scenes on a proposed project that would demolish the parsonage and construct a 13-unit building on the lot.

Because what else do you build on a blighted lot occupied by a former church?

However, after meeting with the Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association and the Planning Department, they determined that the parsonage deserved historic status after surviving the 1906 earthquake.

Not wanting to give up on the dumpy lot, developers changed the plans to renovate the parsonage into three two-bedroom units, and construct a 10-unit new building next door where the church used to be. These plans were approved in 2010.

And it seems like developers are making headway. In February the house was lifted high off its foundation and hauled over to the corner of the lot so workers could begin excavating the site in order to build the underground parking lot that’s part of the project.

Michael Mamone, a principal of The Pinnacle Group, was present today at the construction site. He told SFBay:

“We expect the project to be finished in the fourth quarter of this year. There will be 13 units total. 10 will be condominiums and the original Victorian property will be renovated to a three-story unit with a penthouse.”

The Pinnacle Group is known for “architectural design, construction management, landscape architecture and interior design.” Their website includes a testimonial from none other than Jerry West, the legendary basketball icon and Warriors’ Executive Board Member.

Miles Aquino contributed to this story.

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