Delancey Street, San Francisco - Ground floor retail and housing above (overall about 370,000 square feet).
In 1991 we completed construction of an expanded and centralized home on the waterfront in San Francisco. This 370,000 square foot complex was primarily built and supervised by Delancey residents. Mimi Silbert was the developer, and Delancey was its own general contractor for this unique development called a “masterpiece of social design” by Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Allan Temko. Covering an entire city block, this four- story complex contains street level retail stores, a popular public restaurant and highly reviewed outdoor espresso café and bookstore, and several other vocational schools and housing units for 500 people that overlook a Mediterranean-style courtyard, which also holds a vast array of educational and recreational facilities for Delancey residents. This was also an unprecedented vocational training program providing 300 formerly unemployable drug addicts, homeless people, and ex-felons now in Delancey Street every skill in the building trades with the support of the unions, as well as training in purchasing, contracting, computer and accounting services. There is nothing else in the country like this self-built, self-managed, self-help complex.
This new home has received numerous commendations including awards from the American Architects Association, Urban Land Institute and the Gold Nugget Building Award. It allowed Delancey Street to expand its population, as well as its services, recreational and vocational opportunities. But more than that, it is a tangible representation of the Delancey Street principle that ordinary people can transform extraordinary – even impossible – dreams into reality by pooling their resources, supporting one another, and living lives of purpose and integrity.
Click here to tour of Delancey Street, San Francisco (Quicktime)
"Napa's go-to architect for understated drama" (SF Chronicle, 09/10)
Ellis F. Lawrence Medal, A&AA Honors Howard Backen, FAIA, in 2006
"Only In California " (Nob Hill Gazette 07/01)
"The Delancey Street Foundation" (Urban Land 12/92)
"'Delancey Street' wins development award" (San Francisco Business Times 11/92)
The Urban Land Institute Project Reference File (Jul-Sep 92)
"Social Housing - Building Delancey" (Architectural Record 04/92)
"The Embarcadero Triangle Delancey Street Project: 'a touch of excellence' " (San Francisco Examiner 8/91)
"New Delancey Street building is dedicated" (San Francisco Examiner 7/90)
"Mimi Silbert Stays Tough for Delancey" San Francisco Chronicle (03/90)
"Italian Look for Delancey Street Complex" (San Francisco Chronicle 12/89)
"Once Convicts, They Now Build for a Better Life" (LA Times 6/88)
"The Lady of the House" (complete), pp 1-3, pp 4-6 (San Francisco Examiner Image Magazine 7/88)
"Bank Saves Delancey Street Triangle" (San Francisco Examiner 6/88)
Groundbreaking Ceremony Invitation
Grand Opening Celebration Invitation
20/20 "The Power of Mimi" (ABC) Quicktime
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