A Victory in the Fight to Save

the Earthquake Shacks!

(June 13, 2015):

The Planning Department has issued its response to the proposal by the developer to demolish the shacks, and has confirmed the designation of the shacks as an Historic Resource.


The Planning Department report states "369 Valley Street stands as one of the better examples of a compilation of Earthquake Shacks that retains a high degree of integrity and conveys the distinctive characteristics of these unique property types."


Thank you to our many supporters.  You made the difference.


This victory shows that people can win out over the real estate speculators when we demonstrate solidarity and are organized to win.


However, the fight to preserve the Earthquake Shacks is not over.  We will need to carefully analyze the legal ramifications of the Planning Department decision, and the next moves that the speculator who owns this property decides to make.


This is just one part of the bigger fight to preserve the San Francisco we all know and love, its diversity and its charm, and to stop the moneybags from driving the rest of us out.


Ozzie Rohm, cofounder of Protect Noe's Charm, has cited the Planning Department report for recognizing that "the relocation and subsequent alterations of these shacks provided the opportunity for poor families to become first time home owners and therefore, avoid the cycle of poverty.  Such significance is lost on most people as they only associate these shacks with the 1906 earthquake event but what followed was no less historic:  a novel program that... housed the earthquake refugees permanently..."


Thank you to Jane Cryan, founder of the Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of San Francisco Refugee Shacks, who first identified the shacks on Valley Street, and who continues to fight the good fight.


Thank you to our friends at San Francisco Tomorrow, the Victorian Alliance and Protect Noe's Charm for their ongoing support.


The Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods was set to consider supporting our fight when we learned that the Planning Department had retained their historic designation.


Thank you to the many neighbors who stood up to the real estate speculators, and thank you to the many supporters who signed our petition.


We will keep you informed of future developments.


You can read the full Planning Department decision here:

Planning Department decision.pdf
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