St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc.

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Administrative History

St. Francis Square Cooperative, Inc. is a moderate-income housing development completed in 1963 as part of the Western Addition Redevelopment A-1 Program. The A-1 Redevelopment Program, which was funded by the Federal Housing Administration, began in the mid-1950s with families and businesses being removed by eminet domain and properties being bulldozed. The first action in the heart of the demolition area was to widen Geary Street to an eight lane expressway to move traffic through the Fillmore into the Richmond District, with tunnels under Fillmore St. and Presidio/Masonic. The dislocated families and businesses were scattered with no foreseeable ability to return, for the cleared land lay fallow for several years.

As part of this program, three blocks were set aside for garden apartments that eventually became the St. Francis Square Cooperative. Construction of the co-op was sponsored by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)/Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) Pension Fund. The idea for the co-op was conceived and developed by Louis Goldblatt, who was the ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer at the time. The principal business of the Pacific Maritime Association is to negotiate and administer maritime labor agreements in conjunction with the ILWU. In the 1950s, they negotiated a pension plan supervised by trustees from the ILWU and the PMA.

The ILWU-PMA Pension Fund Trustees created a separate corporate entity for purposes of efficient supervision over the building of St. Francis Square. It became the official sponsor of the project, with William Glazier as the first president and Louis Goldblatt the second. The entity, called the ILWU Longshoremen Redevelopment Corporation, put together proposals to the ILWU-PMA in May of 1960 and the Western Addition Redevelopment Project in June of 1960. Hal Dunleavy and Associates served as the coordinator for this project.

Construction was financed under Section 221 (d) (3) of the U.S. Housing Code, which provided a 40-year mortgage at the subsidized rate of 3-1/8% and operated under a Regulatory Agreement of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA later changed to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)). Construction began in 1962 and was complete in 1963. The cooperative consists of 299 apartments in twelve three-story buildings, oriented around shared landscaped courtyards. Marquis & Stoller were the architects and Lawrence Halprin & Associates were landscape consultants.

Ownership in the cooperative is achieved by purchasing a share of the Corporation from the seller, which, after signing an occupancy agreement, entitles the new shareholder(s) to occupy an apartment. Each year, St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc. elects a board of directors, which is responsible for staffing and operations. The Board holds open meetings each month and distributes its minutes to all shareholders. The Board also appoints many committees to help carry out the co-op's financial, social, and special activities. Communication to members from the Board, committees and management is by a weekly newsletter and flyers distributed to all members.

Sources: Cuénod, C. "Redevelopment A-1 and Origin of St. Francis Square." Shaping San Francisco . Retrieved on 14 March 2012 from .

"Western Addition A-1." Retrieved on 14 March 2012 from

From the guide to the St. Francis Square Cooperative, Inc. Collection, 1957-2010, (San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf St. Francis Square Cooperative, Inc. Collection, 1957-2010 San Francisco History Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Pacific Maritime Association. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Housing Development--California--San Francisco

Corporate Body

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Ark ID: w6nq482p

SNAC ID: 74259893