A portrait of a man with a banana peel for a nose, and another of a man with twigs as hair are one of the many collages that uses objects to portray people in the exhibit “The Whimsical World of Hanoch Piven.” The work of the Israeli artist famous for these caricatures is currently on display at the Jewish Community Center until April 30.
Thousands of homes were built in San Francisco thanks to the abundance of coastal redwoods that contributed to the mass production of timber. These homes were built cheaper due to the local wood supply, but strong, as the redwood was ideal in resisting rot and termites and is an easy material to use. Following the 1906 earthquake, however, many homes were lost in the Great Fire except for the homes surrounding the Haight District – some of which include original homes dating back to the Victorian era (1825 – 1901).
During the reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria, many architectural styles were popularized in the United States. In turn, what evolved was an architectural style loosely based on medieval styles with multi-textured or multi-colored walls, steeply-pitched roofs and asymmetrical facades. The combination of several other architectural styles such as Stick-Eastlake and Queen Anne collectively make up what is now known as “Victorian.” The inspiration in building these beautiful homes came from nature, history, geometry, and of course, one’s personal preference. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that the style became more elaborate due to the influence of the Industrial
The Stick-Eastlake houses are known for the long, thin pieces of wood called ‘sticks’ placed on the surface of the home. These ‘sticks’ are meant to be decorative and expressive of the wood frame structure. The style was primarily ornamental and applied to the already well-established row house prototype. The façade is usually dominated with the two story rectilinear bay window with detailed rooflines that have truss work.
‘Painted Ladies’ & 1198 Fulton
The Queen Anne style was well-suited to large lots and was very popular in semi-rural areas, however, San Francisco took to the style quickly implementing it to the standard 25’ wide urban lot. The Queen Anne is principally about asymmetry, picturesque massing, variety of color, multi-textured façades, steeply pitched roofs with cutaway bay windows and stained glass. Despite the cramped conditions of San Francisco this style took over the corner lots that generally doubled in width.
710 Ashbury is home to the band the ‘Grateful Dead’ (1966-1968). During this time was the famous drug bust in 1967 and of course, the Summer of Love.
As the excitement around the opening of the Bay Bridge’s new east span abates, new concerns about safety are surfacing. As a rule, I am suspicious of heroes, but the Bay Bridge troll is an arresting figure. While the origins of the Bay Bridge troll are up for discussion, legend has it that the troll mysteriously appeared as a fixture on the bridge in the aftermath of the 1989 earthquake to keep travelers crossing the Bay Bridge safe.
Demure, the Bay Bridge troll didn’t seek the spotlight for his heroism. Instead, his 18 inch indomitable frame remained quietly esconded above pier E-9, with the fates of countless travelers and the weight of the entire bridge perched on his angular shoulders. That is, until recently.
The publicity surrounding the newly completed construction of the Bay Bridge has garnered the troll quite a bit of attention as concerned citizens wonder if their hero will be destroyed along with the old bridge.
According to recent reports, the Bay Bridge troll was removed from his position on the old bridge and is now in a secure, albeit undisclosed, location. While this news is comforting, it doesn’t assuage the concerns that many residents of San Francisco have voiced about venturing across the bridge without the mystical protection the troll provided.
Who will protect the countless motorists commuting in and out of the city? What will become of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Troll? Rumors are already circulating that, in the interest of public safety, a new troll will assume his role as the sole protector of the bridge. As for the old troll, his legacy will live on and his heroism will not be forgotten.
Orientation day brought about a great transformation to the USF campus, this year — and no, we aren’t talking about the freshmen! Ah yes, while the university welcomed new and first year students for orientation this past Saturday, August 17, the day also marked the opening of the John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation building, a five-story academic center in the heart of lower campus.
Lo Schiavo Science, as the building is officially known in shorthand, has been under construction since 2007 and cost a total of 54 million dollars to complete, according to Anne-Marie Devine, Senior President of Media Relations.
Geared towards science majors, the academic hub is approximately 60,000 gross square feet and includes 11 labs and six classrooms that “allow students to learn in an up-to-date science facility that serves as an educational tool both inside and outside,” said Kristy Vivas, project manager. According to Vivas, the average size of the classrooms ranges from a 16 seat wet lab — where chemicals, drugs, and other biological matter are handled — to a 47 seat lecture classroom on the main floor of the building.
With the potential to house nearly 500 students at any given time, Lo Schiavo Science is certain to play a role in campus life — even for non-science majors. Centrally located in between the University Center (UC), the Harney Science Center, and Gleeson Library, the new building is a “thoroughly student-centered facility,” said Rev. Stephen Privett, S.J., university president. “The facility is not just for science students — it will house core courses and provide outstanding ‘hang-out’ space throughout the building,” said Fr. Privett. Indeed, in addition to classrooms, Lo Schiavo Science also offers study spaces, a two-tiered plaza, and an indoor and outdoor fireplace.
Rhetoric professor Rick Roberts highlights the importance of this extra space in recalling the volume
war that occurred between the two main television areas of UC 1st floor, last October 22, when both the final 2012 presidential debate between Obama and Romney and the World Series deciding Giants game aired at the same time. “It will be great to have quieter spots to hang out in between classes,” said senior communications major Maude Ballinger. Ballinger said she is particularly excited to welcome the new building, since she has been affected by its construction her entire time on campus. Though construction did take around six years, Roberts thinks that Lo Schiavo Science was worth the wait: “There are generations of students who had to put up with constant construction without reaping any of the benefits, but this — this is good for the whole campus.”
It’s especially good for science. Roberts, who graduated from USF in 1986, spent two years studying biology down in Harney. “The bio labs there look exactly like they did in the 80’s, so the new facilities are really exciting for science teachers and students,” he said. Especially impressive are the fume hoods, installed in the labs, said Roberts. The glass-protected “hoods” allow students to work with toxic chemicals by filtering the fumes through negative pressure — a technology that Roberts experienced in organic chemistry class in Harney, years ago, though, there were only two per classroom. In just one lab room in Lo Schiavo Science, there are 11.
But don’t get too antsy, science majors; according to biology professor Jennifer Dever, there will be no organic chemistry in the Lo Schiavo labs this fall, due to a functional error with the fume hoods. “The only thing wrong with the building is the hoods,” said Dever, who attributes the error to misplaced sinks within the hoods. The successes seem to outweigh the failures, however, as Dever points out the perks of her new conservational biology class in room 303. “Many lecture rooms in Harney had the projector screens come down over the whiteboards so that you could only write on one at a time, but here you can do both at the same time and it’s fabulous,” she said. This particular classroom on the third floor has two computer screens on either side of the whiteboard. Teacher perks extend to students, as well, as Dever will now be able to make video recordings of her lectures, as opposed to just audio, something senior bio major Staci Hoell thinks could have really helped her prepare for organic chemistry exams her sophomore year.
Despite the mishap, there is still a new microbiology, general biology and molecular biology lab that are ready for use. “New labs and lecture halls are critical to the success of the sciences,” said Dever. “There are some functional issues, but nothing major, and as a science teacher, I am very happy with the building. And you know, whenever you build something new, you gotta break it in.”
Breaking it in is precisely what students and faculty appear to be doing. Days before the official start to the academic semester, the Lo Schiavo building was already brimming with life. On Friday afternoon, several students and their families explored the new building, as construction workers continued to put on the finishing touches. Out on the plaza, there was a student-run freshman orientation for the St. Ignatius Institute, a distinctively Jesuit campus learning community, and on Saturday, move-in day, a lively performance from the members of Voices, a university choir group.
The curiosity surrounding the building might be due to the dramatic change it has created on campus, at least visually, since students last saw construction at the end of spring semester. “Since May, we have completed the site work, landscape installation, installation of two fireplaces and all finishes in the building,” said Vivas. This includes placing artwork, classroom technology, and furniture, as well, she said. Most notably, however, is the lack of cranes, noise, and of course, the big, green wall — an endearingly bizarre construction divider in the middle of lower campus commonly known to play music from its speakers at early hours of the morning and house a vertical garden of various potted plants. Senior communications major JT Talarman remembers the wall fondly: “The green wall was very cultured when it came to playing tunes — one moment it could be playing the Star Wars Anthem and the next, Backstreet Boys. It kept me on my toes.” Other soundtracks of the big, green wall included classical music, instrumental Beatles, and birds chirping. The music and potted plants have since been replaced with the distinct glass walls of Lo Schiavo Science, which have sparked another area of interest. “It’s such futuristic architecture; It’s inspiring!” said senior Wesley Baker, a business administration student. “Have you seen the building? It dips underground!” said Baker, referring to the exposed two-story lower level of the building. “That’ll be the main spot on campus,” he added, assuredly.
Father Privett seems to think so, as well: “The two-tiered plaza provides students social space that is environmentally responsible and conducive to the gatherings and conversations that are central to a college education. I strongly [urge] every student to “come and see” — you are going to love this incredible new facility, not matter your major.”
To learn more about the John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation, visit the official USF website at: http://www.usfca.edu/loschiavo/
Students at the University of San Francisco are constantly on the move. Whether it be the hustle between classes or a two-wheeled ride to campus, Dons of the latter variety will soon experience more accommodations for bikers at USF.
In the works is a roofed, secure bike storage structure to be built in the upcoming years. While the final design and location have not yet been determined, USF Facilities Management will be working with junior architecture student Bryce Costley to develop the bike shelter.
“As biking has become a more popular mode of transportation to the USF campus, the amount of secure bike parking must increase…a covered shelter offers more security and will also keep bikes out of the rain,” said Robin Kuehn, the transportation sub-chair of the sustainability committee and a senior history student.
Costley’s model recently won an architecture and design student competition hosted by facilities management, USFpedals, and the ASUSF Sustainability Committee. His design can house up to 72 bikes on a two-level locking fixture, and includes lockers and a changing space, all of which can only be accessed with a USF ID. The outside of the structure features an open area for educational sessions and meetings. According to Liz Miles of facilities management, the final design components will implement a roofed structure with secure racks in a space of 600 square feet, which is about the size of a large living room.
The fear of theft and weather damage are the top factors deterring USF community members from biking to campus, said Steve Zavestoski, an environmental professor behind the Bicycle Transportation Plan. “The promise of covered and secure bicycle parking would attract people who otherwise do not bring a bike to campus. When people feel respected for their choice to use a bicycle for transportation, they are more likely to continue making that choice,” he said.
Of 127 bike rack spaces available throughout campus, only 73 of them are being used, according to the USF Bicycle Transportation Plan headed by USFpedals. The plan hopes to create more amenities for USF’s cyclists in order to better adapt to San Francisco’s prevalent bike culture. One of these amenities includes doubling the number of campus bike racks to 20, and including covered and secure parking options for 250 bikes before 2016.
Bikes are often improperly parked in areas like the bottom of the Lone Mountain stairs or at the entrance to the Kalmanovitz amphitheater because most of the current racks are in inconvenient areas located away from where riders can keep watch of their bike, as stated in the plan. In a 2011 USFpedals survey, nearly 500 of the 620 students, faculty, staff, and USF community members said that a free, covered, secure bike parking area would persuade them to ride a bicycle to campus.
Kuehn said, “Hopefully the new bike shelter will be a place where cyclists and non-cyclists intersect to form new friendships, share stories, exchange biking tips, and brainstorm ways to make USF a more sustainable campus.”
For more information on the USF Bicycle Transportation Plan, visit www.usfpedals.org.
Sonia-Lynn Abenojar has a lot on her plate, so to speak. As an architecture and community design major, she is working to complete her final portfolio. As a senior, she is preparing for graduation in May, and as a future alumna, she is already working toward the next step: a master’s degree in urban planning.
Abenojar’s Sunday afternoon is spent applying to graduate schools and working late in the FX Arts studios. She is miles away (both geographically and culturally) from the 115 degree Sunday afternoons she spent working for a non-governmental organization in India this past summer.
From May through August, Abenojar lived in Rajasthan, India where she helped design a water conservation system for farmers living in a village located outside the city, as part of the Sarlo Scholars program. The program is a full-immersion, volunteer-based trip sponsored by the University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy
Center for Public Service and the Common Good.
The program, she said, tries to match foreign organizations to a student’s major or future interests. Abenojar was assigned to work for Prayatna Samiti, a small sustainability development NGO that focuses on bettering the livelihood of nearby farmers through water and resource management. Water storage, for irrigation and home use, is vital to farmers in the desert-like climate surrounding Udaipur, the district in which she lived.
Abenojar designed a roof rain water harvesting structure for the traditional mud and stone homes of the farmers in the Bambura village. Her design consists of two light-weight, grooved metal sheets that are placed on top of the mud tiles to form an upside-down ‘V’ structure. When heavy rains come during monsoon season, the water runs off the metal sheets, into the gutters, and then through PCB pipes that enter into an underground storage tank.
“It was pretty simple,” she said. “The company had already been creating a similar design for concrete homes of wealthier households,” she continued, “so they just needed me to find out if it was possible to use water run-off from mud tiles.”
Triple language translation, labor-intense research, sustainability design, and heat rashes do not sound like the common definition of simple. But many aspects of Indian life, explained Abenojar, are exactly that.
“I learned that you don’t need much to live —in a good way! The language barrier was tough. I had to conduct interviews with the farmers to see what was going on, but I needed one, sometimes two, translators with me,” she explained. “First, they’d translate my questions into Hindi, and then, a second person would translate that into the local dialect of the farmers. It was crazy,” she recalled.
One of the ways Abenojar could be said to have had a little less on her plate is pretty literal. There wasn’t a surplus of food. Families in the communities lived off only chic peas, lentils, and a homemade wheat dough, she said, “but they aren’t yearning for something more, they aren’t yearning for something greater than what they have.”
According to Abenojar, however, her host family fed her well. “There’s lots of of cumin, coriander, and red chili powder,” she said. “It’s really delicious.” Regardless, the cuisine did take some getting used to. “My host family was Hindi,” said Abenojar, “so I went veg[etarian] for three months which was unusual for me.” In accordance to religious practice, most Hindi do not eat meat. She said she now cooks with more fruits and vegetables.
Abenojar experienced another culture shock, albeit a playful one, when women in her host family or in the village poked fun at her for having her nose ring pierced ‘on the wrong side.’ Nose piercings, which are in abundance in female Indian culture, are typically worn on the left nostril. “They’d all be laughing at me and asking why my nose piercing was on the wroside, and I would say I didn’t know!” she recalled.
Although she’s back in America, Abenojar has not left her experience in Udaipur behind.
“It is what I love about traveling; everything is brand new to each of the five senses. I’ve come back with a deeper understanding that I’m a global citizen,” she said. “It sounds cheesy, but when you’re over in a foreign country where you think the people are living so differently than you, and then you realize that you can relate to all of these people—it really makes an impression.”
She said the Sarlos scholarship instills in its students the reality that they are not in India to try to save the world. “It’s easy to go overboard. You’re there and you’re excited, and you want to do everything you can and meet everybody around, but you just have to take a step back,” she said. “Take a step back, and look at what these organizations have done for their communities already, and appreciate the opportunity to help as an outsider.”