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Finding Aid to the St. Francis Square Cooperative, Inc. Collection 1957-2010
SFH 62  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Related Materials
  • Processing Information:
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: St. Francis Square Cooperative, Inc. Collection
    Date (inclusive): 1957-2010
    Collection Identifier: SFH 62
    Creator: St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc.
    Physical Description: 4 cartons (4.0 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    Abstract: Cooperative records and publications that were distributed to shareholders by the Board of Directors, Manager, and committees, together with additional articles, clippings, and other materials collected by shareholder, archivist and donor Carol Cuénod.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], St. Francis Square Cooperative, Inc. Collection (SFH 62), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.


    This collection represents these distributed papers which several shareholders have donated. They were collected by the following members:
    Miriam Rothschild
    Shareholder form 1963-2000 (deceased)
    Jean Littlejohn
    Shareholder from 1963-2008 (deceased)
    Norman Young
    Shareholder from 1963-current
    Howard "Duke" Rideaux
    Shareholder from 1963-current
    Carol Cuénod
    Shareholder from 1963-current
    In addition, selected documents as well as newspaper clippings were copied from the Anne Rand Research Library at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) International Headquarters.

    Related Materials

    There are approximately 1.5 cubic feet of records held at the ILWU Archives at the Anne Rand Research Library that document the initial proposal; the process before the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, which approved and awarded the proposal of the ILWU-PMA Pension Fund; and ongoing documents and correspondence from the construction, sales period and early years of St. Francis Square Cooperative.

    Processing Information:

    Carol Cuénod completed the processing of this collection in 2010.

    Administrative History

    St. Francis Square Cooperative, Inc. is a moderate-income housing development completed in 1963 as part of San Francisco's Western Addition Redevelopment A-1 Program. The A-1 Redevelopment Program, which was funded by the Federal Housing Administration, began in the mid-1950s with families and businesses being removed by eminet domain and properties being bulldozed. The first action in the heart of the demolition area was to widen Geary Street to an eight lane expressway to move traffic through the Fillmore into the Richmond District, with tunnels under Fillmore St. and Presidio/Masonic. The dislocated families and businesses were scattered with no foreseeable ability to return, for the cleared land lay fallow for several years.
    As part of this program, three blocks were set aside for garden apartments that eventually became the St. Francis Square Cooperative. Construction of the co-op was sponsored by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)/Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) Pension Fund. The idea for the co-op was conceived and developed by Louis Goldblatt, who was the ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer at the time. The principal business of the Pacific Maritime Association is to negotiate and administer maritime labor agreements in conjunction with the ILWU. In the 1950s, they negotiated a pension plan supervised by trustees from the ILWU and the PMA.
    The ILWU-PMA Pension Fund Trustees created a separate corporate entity for purposes of efficient supervision over the building of St. Francis Square. It became the official sponsor of the project, with William Glazier as the first president and Louis Goldblatt the second. The entity, called the ILWU Longshoremen Redevelopment Corporation, put together proposals to the ILWU-PMA in May of 1960 and the Western Addition Redevelopment Project in June of 1960. Hal Dunleavy and Associates served as the coordinator for this project.
    Construction was financed under Section 221 (d) (3) of the U.S. Housing Code, which provided a 40-year mortgage at the subsidized rate of 3-1/8% and operated under a Regulatory Agreement of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA later changed to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)). Construction began in 1962 and was complete in 1963. The cooperative consists of 299 apartments in twelve three-story buildings, oriented around shared landscaped courtyards. Marquis & Stoller were the architects and Lawrence Halprin & Associates were landscape consultants.
    Ownership in the cooperative is achieved by purchasing a share of the Corporation from the seller, which, after signing an occupancy agreement, entitles the new shareholder(s) to occupy an apartment. Each year, St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc. elects a board of directors, which is responsible for staffing and operations. The Board holds open meetings each month and distributes its minutes to all shareholders. The Board also appoints many committees to help carry out the co-op's financial, social, and special activities. Communication to members from the Board, committees and management is by a weekly newsletter and flyers distributed to all members.
    Sources: Cuénod, C. "Redevelopment A-1 and Origin of St. Francis Square." Shaping San Francisco. Retrieved on 14 March 2012 from http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=Redevelopment_A-1_and_Origin_of_St._Francis_Square .
    "Western Addition A-1." Retrieved on 14 March 2012 from http://www.sfredevelopment.org/index.aspx?page=64 

    Scope and Contents

    Cooperative records and publications that were distributed to shareholders by the Board of Directors, Manager, and committees, together with additional articles, clippings, and other materials collected by shareholder, archivist, and donor Carol Cuénod. Cooperative records include bylaws, minutes, financial reports, and committee records. Publications include a complete run of the St. Francis Square Cooperative's official publication Circling the Square (1966-2009), issues of the Friday Flyer (1983-2005, 2007, and 2009-2010), and a member distributed flyer called The St. Francis Square Flyer (1965), which covers events related to a Board of Directors recall. Except for the run of the official newsletter, Circling the Square, most of the folders in this series hold "broken runs," i.e. a collection of similar documents, such as meeting minutes or reports, but with some issues missing.
    Of particular interest are background materials on the formation, construction, and development of the cooperative These include records relating to the Western Addition Redevelopment Project in 1964, which resulted in land being set aside for the development of the cooperative; and records concerning the Cooperative's original loan agreement with the Federal Housing Administration (later named the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD). Records detailing the Cooperative's transition to a market-rate cooperative leading up to and following its repayment of their HUD mortgage in 2004 are also included.


    This collection is arranged into 8 series; Series 1: Founding Documents; Series 2: Administration and Finance; Series 3: Committees; Series 4: Transition to Market-Rate Cooperative; Series 5: Members; Series 6: Communications, News Articles and Publications; Series 7: Awards and Studies; and Series 8: California Association of Housing Cooperatives and National Association of Housing Cooperatives. Series 3 is separated into two sub-series; Ongoing Committees and Historic Committees.
    Board minutes, originally found in St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc.'s Friday Flyer, have been removed and placed in Series 2.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Pacific Maritime Association.
    St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc. -- Archives
    Housing Development--California--San Francisco
    Housing, Cooperative
    International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union -- History.
    Japantown (San Francisco, Calif.)--History
    Redevelopment, Urban--San Francisco
    St. Francis Square Cooperative
    Urban renewal--California--San Francisco
    Western Addition (San Francisco, Calif.)--History