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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Iconic "Defenestration" Artwork to Come Down with Hugo Hotel

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM

click to enlarge The furniture will have to find a new home.
  • The furniture will have to find a new home.

The chairs, sofas, and lamps crawling up the walls of the defunct Hugo Hotel on Sixth Street might be destroyed when the building is demolished next year. The developer of the affordable housing complex that will replace the Hugo's footprint has no plans to reinstall the quirky furniture.

San Francisco artist Brian Goggin installed the iconic public art known as Defenestration in the 1990s to liven up the abandoned building in the Tenderloin. Goggin told SF Weekly last year that he planned for the art to come down with the building, but then he raised enough money to restore the pieces so they could possibly be moved to another location.

And now it seems the need for a new home is imminent, unless there is mass opposition to the new building plans. The Historic Preservation Committee will be looking at Mercy's plan at today's meeting, according to news reports.

Mercy claims there will be art -- just not dancing furniture art. According to developer Sharon Christen, once it has identified the areas of the building where there would be space for artwork, they'll ask for proposals from the community.

The SOMA Leadership Council chairman Jim Meko says he wants to make sure public art will be part of Mercy's plan. "I'm skeptical about flimsy promises," Meko says. "I'll work with the arts community to make sure they get a bulletproof agreement." 

The Leadership Council met with a Mercy Housing rep last night, Meko says, who revealed that the new building will be named after San Francisco native Bill Sorro, the legendary Filipino activist, who passed away in 1997.

Photo: wallyg on Flickr

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