The San Anselmo Planning Commission will consider allowing the demolition of the building George Lucas donated to the San Ansemo Chamber of Commerce and Lucas' proposal to turn the downtown property into a community park.
The commission, which meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7 at the San Anselmo Council Chambers, will review a permit to demolish the 6,500-square-foot building and plans for an 8,700-square-foot community park.
Last summer, the Star Wars’ creator announced he was donating the building, at 535 San Anselmo Avenue, with plans to create a park complete with statues of Indiana Jones and Yoda.
The statues will be placed at the top of a basin in a fountain in the park. The top of the Indiana Jones statue will be more than 10 feet off the ground, according to Blasen Landscape Architecture drawings (which are attached at the right).
The park will include a curved concrete walkway, a lawn area, several shade trees, at least six benches, bike racks, energy efficient lights with timers, a “pet waste station” with a bag dispenser and can, and at least one drinking fountain, according to plans submitted to the town.
San Anselmo-based Blasen Landscape Architecture designed the park, which also includes lighting design by Fairfax-based Anna Kondolf Lighting Design and civil engineering and surveying work by the Novato-based Oberkamper & Associates.
ONLY THE MURAL IS CONSIDERED SIGNIFICANTLY HISTORICAL
The structure at 535 San Anselmo Avenue is divided into three storefronts. Part of the building was built as a one-story brick structure with four stores in 1916, according to a historical analysis conducted by Michael Corbett (see it attached at the right).
The largest unit in the building was long occupied by the Rossi Brothers Pharmacy from 1931 until it closed in 1989.
The structure was remodeled in 1948, which included a rear addition, façade remodeling and upgrades to the pharmacy space. The other small stores were remodeled after 1999.
San Anselmo Historic Commission Chair Judy Coy told town officials in an e-mail that the most distinctive historical feature of the building is the mural “History of Pharmacy” by Jose Moya del Pina. She said the current plans to relocate the large painting and donate it to the Spain-USA Foundation for display at the Spanish consulate in San Francisco “seems to accomplish” the preservation of the artwork, “albeit not in a local setting.”
She added that she would like to see the door handles of 535 San Anselmo Avenue donated to the town’s historical museum.
LUCAS HAS DONATED MUCH TO MARIN
Community members have expressed extensive gratitude toward Lucas for his donation.
Lucas has agreed to donate the statues and pay for the demolition of the building, but he is anticipating community outreach and donations to help build the bulk of the town center project, according to San Anselmo Chamber President Connie Rodgers.
Lucas, who was one of the finalists for the San Anselmo – Fairfax Patch 2012 Person of the Year, made national headlines at the end of last week when it was announced that he is engaged to Mellody Hobson.
Lucas garnered national attention in 2012 for his decision to pull the plug on his plans for Grady Ranch and, more recently, when he sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion.
Lucas has paid for the under-grounding of power lines on Miracle Mile, near the San Rafael border, and reconstructed the building that houses Amazing Grace Music.
Also last summer, Lucas donated a Skywalker Ranch fire engine to the Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department.
Do you think the planning commission should approve the demolition permit and park plans? Tell us in the comments!
Check out what else is on San Anselmo - Fairfax Patch:
- Officials Urge Caution in Wake of Three Deaths Along Marin’s Coastline
- Brazen Bike Theft Worries Fairfax Family
- Community Raises Funds for 14-year-old’s Leukemia Fight
- Best of the Police Blotter: 2012
- PHOTOS: Marin Students’ Photography Featured in Bank of Marin 2013 Calendar