City starts demolition of Fleishhacker Pool House
Contractors started demolition on the fire-damaged Fleishhacker Pool House Monday, knocking down much of the the roof, interior walls and the entire western-facing wall of the upper floor.
The Fleishhacker Pool House was so badly burned in a Dec. 1 fire that it’s too dangerous to let stand and must be demolished, the City says. The wrecked building once was a part of one of San Francisco’s grandest structures, the massive Fleishhacker Pool.
The fire destroyed the roof of the main building, leaving the walls of the upper story vulnerable to collapsing, according to a letter from Department of Public works engineers to the head of the Recreation and Park Department, which owns the pool house and some surrounding land.
“Because collapse of these walls presents an imminent danger to pedestrians in the vicinity and potential squatters within the building, we recommend complete demolition of the building as soon as possible,” the Dec. 4 letter reads.
In a document issued Dec. 5 and posted on the gate of a fence around the pool house, the Department of Building Inspection ordered the building to be torn down.
“It’s clearly ready to fall down,” said DBI spokesman William Strawn, who said he had examined the building along with other DBI personnel and other City departments.
He said that although inspectors recommended that no one go inside the building, “you could definitely see there were parts … where there were big holes” in the roof.
Strawn said he believed that some of the building’s distinctive features, such as its green terracotta roof tiles or decorative embellishments, might be removed before the demolition and stored.
The City has contracted with a photographer to take pictures of the building before it’s torn down. And Monday afternoon, amid the tinkle of breaking glass and crunch of falling masonry as heavy equipment tore down the western facade of the building, two workers piled roof tiles onto a pallet that later was removed.
Read the Fleishhacker Pool House inspection letter and demolition order:
Emer Order Pool Zoo Dec 2012