Finding Aid to the St. Francis Square Cooperative, Inc. Collection 1957-2010

Finding aid prepared by Carol Cuénod, with editing and encoding by Melissa Stone.
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA, 94102
(415) 557-4567

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 .
"Western Addition A-1." Retrieved on 14 March 2012 from 

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


Series 1 Founding Documents, 1957-1979

Physical Description: 10.0 folders

Scope and Contents

In this series will be found the original proposal to the ILWU-PMA Trustees and to the Redevelopment Agency, minutes of Agency's meeting when the proposal was presented, and documents of its acceptance. A 1964 report summarizing the work of the St. Francis Square Sales Office by Ruth Maguire, Sales Director, is a compilation of demographic statistics with sociological data, the sum of which fulfilled the sponsor's objective "to build an interracial community for families of moderate income." The original Articles of Incorporation from 1963 were given to each shareholder and contain the regulations under which St. Francis Square operated during its first 40 years. Several amendments were made; some, but not all have been included. Here also is the ILWU-PMA Longshore Redevelopment Corporation document for "Relocation in Redevelopment Area A-2," 1964 and the Agency's response to it. Also included is the opposition to Redevelopment's plans for A-2 by Warehouse Union Local 6, ILWU and others.
Box 1, Folder 1

J. Paul St. Sure Oral History 1957

General note

For Information relating to St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc., see pages 639-642. These pages are an excerpt from the oral history about Louis Goldblatt, who was the second president of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union(ILWU)'s Longshoremen Redevelopment Corporation.
Box 1, Folder 1

Louis Goldblatt Oral History 1979

General note

For information relating to St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc., see pages 790-801.
Box 1, Folder 2

ILWU Proposals for Western Addition Affordable Housing: to ILWU-PMA Trustees, Western Addition Redevelopment Project, including minutes, ownership documents, 1960-1962

Box 1, Folder 3

Construction Phase, land price negotiations, financial accounting of project, 1961-1963

Box 1, Folder 4

Naming the sidewalks within SFSQ, 1963 and 1967

Box 1, Folder 5

Report summarizing Sales of all Apartments/Shares by Ruth Maguire, 1963

Box 1, Folder 6

Louis Goldblatt's speech when SFSQ became an independent, incorporated cooperative, 1964

Box 1, Folder 7

Western Addition Redevelopment Relocation Reports A-1 & A-2, 1964


Western Addition Redevelopment A-2

Box 1, Folder 8

Western Addition Redevelopment A-2 ILWU Proposal for Relocation, 1964

Box 1, Folder 9

Western Addition Redevelopment A-2 Opposition to Redevelopment Agency's Relcoation Play by ILWU Local 6, SFSQ, NAACP, 1964

Box 1, Folder 10

Newspaper Articles on Redevelopment, 1960-1964


Series 2 Administration and Finance, 1963-2010

Physical Description: 27.0 folders

Scope and Contents

Articles of incorporation, bylaws, board of directors minutes of open board meetings, financial records and regulatory documents. Includes a loose-leaf handbook compiled in 1989 and updated as needed, which gathers together the cooperative's history, a list of policies voted by various Boards of Directors, and updates of governing documents. This handbook was used until 2004, when St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc. repaid its mortgage to the HUD and became a market-rate cooperative. During arrangement of this collection, the Board Minutes were removed from The Friday Flyer, a weekly publication from the administrative office of St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc., and placed in this series. Financial records includes a run of annual reports and budgets. Other documents describe specific issues, such as excess income charges, allocation of carrying charges, and a reserve study.
Box 1, Folder 11

Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of St. Francis Square Apartments, Inc., 1963

Box 1, Folders 12-13

Bylaw Amendments, 1987-1993 and 2003

Box 1, Folder 14

St. Francis Square Cooperative Inc. Handbook, 1993

Box 1, Folder 15

Preparation for St. Francis Square Handbook, 1989-1993

Box 1, Folder 16

Board of Directors Minutes of Open Board Meetings, 1970-1971

Box 1, Folder 17

Board of Directors Minutes of Open Board Meetings, 1972-1973 and 1976

Box 1, Folders 18-31

Board of Directors Minutes of Open Board Meetings, 1980-2005

Box 1, Folder 32

Board of Directors Minutes of Open Board Meetings, 2007-2010

Box 1, Folder 33-34

Recall of Board of Directors, 1965 and 1973

Box 1, Folder 35

Special Membership Meetings called by petition, 1964 and 1998

Box 1, Folder 36

Policies, 1996-1990

Box 1, Folder 37

Rules and Regulations, 1966 and 1969 and 2007

Box 2, Folders 1-3

Annual Reports, 1968-2006 and 2008

Box 2, Folder 4

Annual Budgets 1979-1995 and 1999-2001

Box 2, Folder 5

Amortization Schedule of HUD-Insured Mortgage, 1964

Box 2, Folder 6

Finance: Tax Assessment Plan, 1965

Box 2, Folder 7

Excess Income Plan, 1963 and 1986

Box 2, Folder 8

Allocation of Carrying Charges-Square Footage vs Par Value, 1980 and 2007

Box 2, Folder 9

Replacement Reserve Study, 2004

Box 2, Folder 10

Forecasted Statement of Revenues, 2007

Box 2, Folder 11

Management/Administration, 1963 and 1964 and 1979-1990 and 2003

Box 2, Folder 12

Management: Building and Grounds Maintenance and Repair


Series 3 Committees, 1964-2005

Physical Description: 26.0 folders

Scope and Contents

This series is arranged in two subseries: Ongoing Committees, which conduct activities on a continuing basis each year; and Historic Committees, which functioned until their assignments were completed. Some committees did not create written reports and therefore have limited representation here. One example is the Security Committee, which conducted regular walking patrols for many years, but their work was only recorded by verbal reports at Board of Directors meetings.
Since the Finance Committee's work included ongoing reports to shareholders, it is well-documented in this collection; however, only a few of their records are included in this series-- most of the Finance Committee's work, including preparation of the annual budget, is documented in Series 2: Administration and Finance. Preparation for paying-off the HUD-insured mortgage in 2004 began in 1998 when the "2004" Committee was appointed. This Committee's assignment was to gather information on condo conversion, market-rate cooperatives and limited-equity cooperatives and report this information to shareholders.
Other items of particular interest are the information guides put out by the Publicity Committee for prospective cooperative members, as well as the crime notices and neighborhood WATCH member lists put out by the Security Committee.
To get a fuller scope of the shareholders' participation in co-op activities, reports can be found in the Board of Directors minutes, the newsletters Circling the Square and Friday Flyer.

Subseries 3.1 Ongoing Committees, 1964-2005

Box 2, Folder 13

Committees and Members, Committee Procedures, 1986 and undated


Activities Committee

Box 2, Folder 14

1968-1994 and undated

Box 2, Folder 15

10th & 15th Anniversaries, 1973 and 1978

Box 2, Folder 16

20th Anniversary, 1983

Box 2, Folder 17

25th, 30th, 40th Anniversaries, 1988 and 1993 and 2004

Box 2, Folder 18

Dramatic Scripts, Song, 1988 and undated

Box 2, Folder 19

Picnics, 1965-1996


Building and Grounds

Box 2, Folder 20


Box 2, Folder 21

Building and Grounds - Yardbirds, 1965-1984

Box 2, Folder 22

Building and Grounds - Turner Square Task Force, 2001 and 2004-2005

Box 2, Folder 23

Conservation Committee, 1979-1984

Box 2, Folder 24

Election Committee, 1964-2000

Box 2, Folder 27

Security Committee, 1978-1996 and undated

Box 2, Folder 25

Finance Committee, 1970-1992

See also:

Box 2/ Folder 1 Annual Reports
Box 2, Folder 26

Publicity Committee, 1987

See also:

Series 6: Circling the Square
Box 2, Folder 28

Welcoming Committee, 1984-1989


Subseries 3.2 Historic Committees, 1968-1995

Box 2, Folder 29

Cooperators Council, 1968-1969

Box 2, Folder 30

Housing Committee: Loren Miller Homes Management, 1970

Box 2, Folder 31

Housing Committee: Sponsor Regal Pale Site Co-op, 1971

Box 2, Folders 32-34

Share-Loan Program, 1974 and 1987 and 1990-1993

Box 2, Folder 35

Solar Committee, 1981-1995

Box 2, Folder 36

Turner Square Trees, 1993-1994

Box 2, Folder 37

Turner Square Trees - Arborists ReportsTurner Square Trees - Arborists Reports, 1993-1994

Box 2, Folder 38

Western Addition Tenants of Cooperative Housing (WATCH), 1978


Series 4 Transition to Market-Rate Cooperative, 1990-2005

Physical Description: 10 folders

Scope and Contents

The Board of Directors directed St. Francis Square's conversion to a market-rate cooperative in 2004. With the final payment of the SFSQ mortgage, HUD regulation ended and new governing documents had to be written, approved, and enacted by shareholders. Materials include board reports, committee records from the 2004 Committee and other committees that were created as part of the transition, and records relating to the revision of the St. Francis Square Cooperative's occupancy agreement.

2004 Committee

Box 3, Folder 1

Minutes and Board Reports, 1995-2002

Box 3, Folder 2

Manual "Planning the Future of St. Francis Square," 2000

Box 3, Folder 3

Meeting with K. Tiedemann, 2002

Box 3, Folder 4

Reference Material, 1990-1999

Box 3, Folder 5

Balloting Committee for "Vote for Preference," 2002

Box 3, Folder 6

Various Committees, 1966-1987


Building Representative Council (1980 - 1981), Educational (1967-1968), Excess/Low-Fixed Income Committee (1987), Laundry Committee (1988), Legislative Committee (1966), Manager’s Screening Committee (1970), Operations Committee (1985)
Box 3, Folder 7

Transition to Market-Rate Cooperative, 2003-2005

Box 3, Folder 8

Revision of Occupancy Agreement, 2003

Box 3, Folder 9

Research Materials, Draft for Planning for the Marketplace, 2003 and undated

Box 3, Folder 10

Planning for the Marketplace, 2004


Series 5 Members, 1966-2010

Physical Description: 4 folders

Scope and Contents

This series includes materials that document how members reached out to other members on several political activities, such as support to the farm workers and opposition to the Vietnam War. This series also holds material by or about individual members. Also included here is Carol Cuénod's presentation to the Bay Area Labor History Workshop titled "SFSQ, ILWU & Affordable Housing in Western Addition Redevelopment A-2." One folder holds obituary notices.
Box 3, Folder 11

Political Activities outside St. Francis Square, 1966-1970

Box 3, Folder 12

Material from or about individual members, 1980-1986

Box 3, Folder 13

Carol Cuénod: Presentation to Bay Area Labor History Workshop "SFSQ, ILWU and Affordable Housing in Western Addition Redevelopment," 2010

Box 3, Folder 14

Obituaries, 1979-2008


Series 6 Communications, News Articles and Publications, 1960-2010

Physical Description: 49 folders

Scope and Contents

Two official publications are here: Circling the Square is edited by the Publicity Committee and funded by order of the Board of Directors. It first began in 1966 as a monthly mimeographed sheet and has continued with various formats and frequency of publication. Currently it is published approximately four times a year. This collection holds a complete run and documents a great deal of the Square's history. Almost every activity since 1966 has been reported. The Friday Flyer is printed and distributed every week. It is from the administrative office and gives notice of current information from the Manager, a calendar of events for committee and board meetings, and information from the Board (including its minutes, which have been removed and placed in Series 2). One small file holds three copies of the St. Francis Square Flyer, which was published independently by a group of cooperators in 1965. It is notable in its coverage of events when a Board of Directors was recalled. It was a tumultuous time, but unfortunately only a few documents were retained which can be found in Series II in the folder titled "Recall of Board of Directors, 1965." Also included are several newspaper articles from various outside publications, such as The ILWU Dispatcher.
Box 3, Folder 15

Occasional material from Boards of Directors, Managers & Members, 1960s-1980s

Box 3, Folder 16

Newspaper clippings from The ILWU Dispatcher, 1960-1985

Box 3, Folder 17

Newspaper clippings, various publications, 1963-1964 and 1993

Box 3, Folder 18

St. Francis Square Home News (published by Sales Office), 1963-1964

Box 3, Folder 19

The St. Francis Square Flyer (Independent, published by SFSQ Members), 1964-1965

Box 3, Folders 20-36

Circling the Square (Official publication of SFSQ), 1966-2009

Box 3, Folder 37

Weekly Flyer (on Circling the Square letterhead), 1977-1979

Box 3, Folder 38

Weekly Flyer (no letterhead), 1980

Box 3, Folders 39-40

Weekly Flyer, 1981-1982

Box 4, Folders 1-23

Friday Flyer, 1983-2005 and 2007 and 2009-2010


Series 7 Awards and Studies, 1971-1993

Physical Description: 2 folders

Scope and Contents

Correspondence and news articles reporting awards and statements of praise. The booklet, Sustaining Urban Excellence: Learning from the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, 1987 - 1993, pp.119 - 123, reports a study over a 23-year period. Clare Cooper's article, "St. Francis Square: Attitudes of Its Residents," AIA Journal, December 1971, focuses on how the physical design affected the interaction of the residents. The article also contains a response from Robert Marquis, the architect. A draft of Cooper's entire paper (78 + pages) is at the ILWU Anne Rand Research Library.
Box 4, Folder 24

Rudy Breuner Award for Urban Excellence, 1987-1993

Box 4, Folder 25

Article: "St. Francis Square: Attitudes of its Residents," 1971

Article Citation:

Cooper, Clare. "St. Francis Square: Attitudes of its Residents," AIA Journal, December 1971

Series 8 California Association of Housing Cooperative and National Association of Housing Cooperatives, 1992-2006

Physical Description: 5 folders

Scope and Contents

Documents from annual conferences including the California Association of Housing Cooperatives and the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, attended by St. Francis Square Cooperative member Jean Littlejohn.
Box 4, Folder 26

California Association of Housing Cooperatives, 2001-2004

Box 4, Folder 27

Annual Conference, Arlington, Virginia, 1992

Box 4, Folder 28

Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 1993

Box 4, Folder 29

Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2003

Box 4, Folder 30

Workshop, "Roles, Risks and Rewards: 3 Rs for Co-Op Boards," 2006