Saturday, April 4, 2009

Philanthropy Intersecting Transit

I just had a wild and crazy idea. Much of the capital fundraising for philanthropy seems geared towards building new museums and other major pieces of infrastructure. In particular I was thinking about how Gap money man Don "More Parking" Fischer is looking to spend millions of dollars to build a new museum in the Presidio. The approximate $100 million could also be used to build a subway station along a Geary subway line.

But I wouldn't say that we shouldn't build the museum. I think the Museum should be attached to or at least part of the Subway station. In this way, new subway lines would be strings of culture funded in part by the philanthropic minded of the city while also providing a public good in transportation.

While we are always saying that we need to keep land use and transportation in one mindset, it seems that we could be thinking of better ideas of how to keep the large amount of donations that come from philanthropic interests moving towards not only the public good of increasing culture, but the public good of reducing emissions and improving movement and air quality for all citizens of the city. I would donate money to these causes and I believe others would as well for the double benefit that comes from it. I know I'm crazy but sometimes you just gotta throw ideas out there.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like your idea of combining the Geary subway with a sculpture collection.

And the big parking garage in Golden Gate Park should have been an under-park toll road/drive-through art museum, with a copper-clad parking lot above.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

That's a great idea. Just like posting anonymously.

Jonlin said...

Yeah up here in Seattle we've got Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and a few other billionaires... I always wished they would put maybe a billion towards extending Link Light Rail. Not sure how donations to public entities could work.

John said...

I've never understood why transit agencies don't ask for philanthropic donations. Didn't the Wayne family build a rapid transit line in Gotham City according to Batman Begins?

Steve said...

Detroit is trying to build a streetcar line with most of it paid for with station naming rights and donations. I believe they've almost reached their goal and are hoping to start construction soon.

Alon Levy said...

John: the Wayne family also fought crime using superhero tactics. Are you proposing that for San Francisco, too?

Cap'n Transit said...

You mean like Mark Gorton?

Cap'n Transit said...

Or like the Louvre-Rivoli station on the Paris Metro?

Cap'n Transit said...

"Opponents of the project say the glass-walled modern design for the Contemporary Arts Museum of the Presidio would be incompatible with the existing Victorian and early-20th-century red-brick structures already in the Presidio’s Main Post area."

Hey, I know! How about designing the contemporary art museum in a contemporary update of the Victorian red-brick style? Glass-walled is a very limited idea of "contemporary." I'd go so far as to say moronically limited. Boggles the mind. You gotta wonder how creative the art would be if the museum's patrons can't think beyond Frank Gehry.

Ben in SF said...

Oops! I chose Anonymous because Pantograph Trolleypole was already taken. :-) A fine nom de plume - actually I was confused by all the different "chose an identity" options - not keen on signing up for a Google ID, or a Wordpress ID, and didn't realize there was a name/URL option in addition to Anonymous. I love that there are several ways ID oneself.
Back on topic, I noticed that Portland Streetcar stops all have ads for local sponsors. Chump change compared to what Fisher could do.

Pedestrianist said...

I see you filing papers in the near future:

"The underground wire, 503(c)3"

njh said...

I really don't understand the current fad for giant empty spaces made of glass and steel. They have no attraction to people and are mostly a waste of space and heating/cooling. Give me some nice solid brick or stone buildings we can admire (and reuse) for a few hundred years. (c.v. Brand)

And yes, I'd like some batman style crime prevention in the bay area, rather than cops shooting riders and drivers shooting cops. Some proper caped crusaders and leaving from building to building sounds great.

Matt Fisher said...

Holy philanthropy in a subway station, Batman!