It was 1999 when San Francisco's City Hall unveiled its controversial full-body makeover. All jeans were high-waisted, your cell phone had buttons, and the dot com bubble was busily expanding, as then-Mayor Willie Brown proudly unveiled the results of a three-year-long, $100 million over-budget renovation that included a seismic retrofit, gold leaf for the dome, and an $85 million revamp of the inside — paint, fixtures, new offices, and much much more. But nothing lasts forever, and now $4 million more will be spent to "spruce up" the building SF calls "The People's Palace" before its centennial celebration on June 19.
According to the Chron, $2 million of the City Hall freshen-up plan will come out of San Francisco's coffers. So what about the other $2 million? That's going to come from "private donors," the city's paper of record reports from a Presidio Terrace "cocktail confab" intended to raise dough for the rehab.
But before you think that $4 million seems like a lot to spend on fixing up a city building that was fcompletely made over 15 years ago, let SF's City Administrator, Naomi Kelly, set you straight.
“I was just telling Mayor Ed Lee that in 1915, it cost $8.8 million to build City Hall...And I’m just about to deliver him a 10-year, $32 billion budget. So I think I’ll remind him that, after the 1989 earthquake, refurbishing City Hall cost Willie Brown a $200 million bond,” she told the Chron.
When you look at it that way, $4 million isn't that much, Kelly appears to be saying? So far, private donors have kicked in $1 million. The other $1 million is expected to come from additional fundraisers, to which we appear not to have been invited. "The People's Palace," indeed!