Defenestration’s days are numbered


A hearing at the Planning Commission is set for August 1, 2013 to clear the way forward for a 9-story housing project that contains 67 permanently affordable units at the corner of 6th and Howard Streets. The site is currently home to Brian Goggin’s multi-disciplinary sculptural mural titled “Defenestration.” 

According to Goggin, “The concept of “defenestration”, a word literally meaning “to throw out of a window,” is embodied by both the site and staging of this installation. Located at the corner of Sixth and Howard Streets in San Francisco in an abandoned four-story tenement building, the site is part of a neighborhood that historically has faced economic challenges and has often endured the stigma of skid row status.

Goggin has been creating sculpture, public artwork, and museum and gallery installations utilizing non-traditional locations and varied materials. He first attracted national attention in 1997 with Defenestration, an NEA funded site-specific sculptural mural on a dilapidated building in San Francisco. “Defenestration”, with its grandfather clock, tables, chairs and couches suspended in flight from the building’s windows, has become an unofficial San Francisco landmark.

The Planning Commission will consider (1) approval of the environmental findings, (2) conditional use authorization to demolish the existing building and construct the replacement structure, and (3) variances and exceptions that would allow scaled back open space and exposure requirements and lower ceiling heights on the ground floor than the code calls for.

Challenges to the project, in the form of “Discretionary Review,” must be appealed before August 1, 2013. Corey Teague is the planner assigned to the case. He can be contacted at (415) 575-9081 or



Filed under art

2 responses to “Defenestration’s days are numbered

  1. Jane Weil

    Will you let us know when the actual demolition starts so we can come by and watch? What a pity that the flying furniture could not have been integrated into the new building..too expensive I was told when I asked. SO, we will lose a treasure and get a bland box building in its place. No question that we need the housing, but we also need art.

  2. john Dunlap

    Scaled back open space – go back to the drawing board! Likewise, figure out a way to incorporate the art.

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