Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Pagoda Palace finally comes down & another gallery closes

The Pagoda Theater sits boarded up at the intersection of Powell and Columbus in San Francisco, Calif., Sunday, December 2, 2012. Photo: Sarah Rice, Special To The Chronicle

From SF Gate:  Like the walls of Jerico, but without Joshua's horn, the walls of the Pagoda Palace Theater came down yesterday. The tentative plan is that the famous "blade" sign will be torn down on Wednesday.

The Pagoda, a political symbol and a North Beach eyesore, has been vacant for 20 years. Proposals to develop the property have come and gone, and activists have battled the demolition, even staging mock funerals recently. But eventually, it just made too much sense to tear down the aging, empty bird sanctuary.

"The library is going up and the Pagoda is coming down," crowed North Beach activist Julie Christensen, who supported the demolition of the old theater and the building of the new North Beach Library.

Once the skeleton of the theater is removed, the site will be used to remove the boring machines that will dig the Central Subway.

And then it will be time for the next controversy.

Marx & Zavattero closes (from their announcement).

Marx & Zavattero Co-Directors Heather Marx and Steve Zavattero formally announced today that they are permanently closing their contemporary art gallery after operating for nearly 12 years. The pair mounted close to 100 exhibitions in their San Francisco space and organized a significant number of outside exhibitions for their artists during the gallery’s existence.

“It’s been a great run, and we are extremely proud of all we have accomplished with our provocative program in a very tough art market,” says Zavattero. “This was a very painful decision as we built our lives around our love and support for our artists, both as great talents and as people. However, it has become startlingly clear that the brick-and-mortar gallery model is no longer a sustainable endeavor for us.”

Not willing to compromise their vision by shifting to a more market-driven business, the pair decided to close the gallery now, “on a high note when our artists and our own contributions will be remembered in the strongest light,” says Marx.

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