Welcome to the online studio of Francisco Mattos, built w/ printed samples, design work, and personal projects. For a more formal setting, please see my online portfolio.
December 2016 ]-
STOCKTON STREET From atop the Stockton Tunnel, 2015.
THE CRUCIBLE OF SAINT FRANCIS
During the summer of 2015, Scott Weiner dusted off a grandfatherly plan and restated, in ecological terms, the city’s ongoing civic need for more mass-transit subways. From a city-wide transit-first policy, to a challenge to meet
on its own terms, the plan’s resolute reasoning to dampen auto enthusiasm made this idea golden again.
What Weiner, a San Frnacisco supervisor, had done was to reintroduce the Subway Master Plan to younger ears. In situ since the 1950s, this civic project envisioned the laying down of two rows of tracks, in a cruciform pattern, over a span of four phases. The original plan envisioned an all-underground rail system criss-crossing the city.
The first phase has already happened. Muni’s T-Third Street Light-rail line now runs on (surface) tracks, down Third Street to Geneva Avenue, on the city's edge.
Follow the dig alongside its crew on their Central Subway blog.
By doing so, the T already links the neighborhoods of
Visitation Valley and
Portola neighborhoods by light-rail.
This story is about the second phase, the Central Subway Project, slated to be completed in 2010. When it does it will add SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown to first north-to-south axis, according to the plan.
Phase-III will consist of a second north-to-south axis, and is planned for Van Ness Avenue (aka Highway 101 aka Highway 1). Phase-IV will run the length of Geary Boulevard, from Market to Ocean Beach along an east-to-west axis.
When fully online and operational, this Subway Master Plan promises to give San Francisco comprehensive mass transit, a dream feat of civic pride while providing a time capsule to Good Decisions.
Phase II: Central Subway Project
Removing the 30-Stockton, the densest inner-city bus line in the nation, off the streets by moving it underground.
San Francisco’s Central Subway, when ready, will replace the 30-Stockton bus, move it underground, morph it into the T-Third Street. The subway will cross under Market Street at Fourth, where BART and Muni tunnels already exist. The new tunnel will have to cross Market by going under BART’s tunnels, which are under Muni’s tunnels, down to a depth of 120 feet. It will meet up w/ existing tracks at 4th and King. In all, a tunnel some 8300 feet will have been built starting under South of Market and ending in Chinatown. This will create a mass transit route along the eastern corridor of San Francisco.
CENTRAL SUBWAY STATIONS:
Yerba Buena / Moscone
Digging on the station at Yerba Buena began in 2013. Where once a gas station and auto mechanic shop had been, on the northwest corner of 4th and Folsom, was demolished to make way for mass transit.
Almost immediately, midden was detected in the dig, archaeologists arrived, samples were collected.
The build created a traffic chock point, and roadside electronic signs in the vicinity were set up notifying drivers of upcoming bottlenecks, detour routes and delay times. It was not enough to stem traffic initially – 4th had always been a “straight shot” when leaving Union Square, say, or Chinatown, to get onto Highway 101 going south.
CULVERT 4th closed completely in 2015 for culvert work. The cavity at 4th and Folsom.
In the meantime, headwalls lining the dig were built on-site, and cranes were employed to hoist and lower each into place. Four lane roads oernight became two, one, or none.
A major consideration in this build was what to do w/ the CityMains, which crosses 4th. In 2015, a block was completely closed to traffic and upgrades to sewer and utilities implemented, including a culvert built to safely channel the sewer lines on its way to nearby water treatment plants at Mission Creek.
CENTRAL SUBWAY STATIONS:
For this build, the Union Square Garage underwent a demolition and then was rebuilt, downwards, to meet the tunnel.
To prepare, a large-scale side project was begun two years earlier to relocate all underground utility lines along Stockton. As a consequence Geary became one lane and cars eventually got the hint and began vacating the ribbon of road to left to buses. The first three blocks of Stockton were also closed off completely, starting in 2015. The corner where Stockton runs into Market will get an underground short-cut to the Central Subway. During the first Christmas, astroturf were unrolled and lined every inch Stockton roadwau, lights strung up and seating strewn about. Among the shoppers came balloon blowers, firework demonstrators, and an on-site photobooth operator.
For the Market Street annex to happen, Apple has given up its first San Francisco store (the second in the world) to relocate two blocks up Stockton on a corner facing Union Square. This annex, which also connects w/ Muni trains and BART, will get a distinctive archway w/ illuminated wall signs, be clad in terra cotta, and pair up w/ a storefront.
CENTRAL SUBWAY STATION:
From Union Square, the tunnel will continue up Stockton to Chinatown, and become the current terminus of the subway. This phase of the build will end up displacing a chunk of the granite that is Nob Hill,
which sits atop the Stockton Tunnel.
VICTORIAN VEXATION Tossing a monkey wrench into plans to route the T Line on down to Fishermans Wharf, are national historic tracks running down some three blocks along Columbus Avenue.
It would seemingly make sense to extend the Central Subway past its terminus of Chinatown and continue on to Fisherman’s Wharf as a street level light-rail, where the user-friendly Embarcadero tracks are but a stone’s throw away.
A route using Columbus to achieve this would be the least disruptive — to homeowners and to traffic — if not for cable cars: a national monument is standing smack in the path of this neat solution. Victorian-era tracks already exist along a stretch of Columbus, using a system of cables and grips that have been functioning superbly and nearing its centennial of continuous operation since it was built, the first funicular system in the world. A decision was then made whereby, seeing as how the bore had to find an egress, it came to pass that the Palace Theatre was sacrificed and in its ruins the exit portal came through at Columbus and Powell. The bores resurfaced after two years underground, and were then taken off-site.
| CENTRAL SUBWAY FOOTNOTES
LANDMARK + WAYFINDING ART — The Central Subway Public Art Program has been charged w/ finding and mounting public art.
• SoMa •
For this staton, which is a street level boarding platform, sculptor MOTO OHTAKE
will be sending over a 40-ft marquee pole w/ 31 rotating points, MICROCOSMIC, callibrated to interact w/ local windy patterns into (sometimes) discernible (or not) patterns in physics.
TEMPORARY BARRICADES ARTWORK Kota Ezawa (detail) in Chinatown, Randy Colosky on Folsom at Fourth.
• YERBA BUENA / MOSCONE •
ROXY PAINE may or may not bring a 110-foot tapering tree branch, NODE, to the plaza.+
:: COUPLET ::
In the past, cross the ocean, to find a gold mine. At present, open up the grounds, to cast a silver dragon.
-- CARIN MUI
LESLIE SHOWS for sure will hang a mega-size pix, FACE C/Z, of a speck of “fool’s gold” by the ticketing area. +CATHERINE WAGNER’s
1970s photographs documenting the building of Moscone Center will be rendered as “sculptural reliefs” and sandblased or laser etched onto stone and metal walls, on the concourse level.
• UNION SQUARE •
Sculptors JIM CAMPBELL & WERNER KOLTZ will ribbon the overhead spaces w/ an elongated piece known as the ILLUMINATED SCROLL. +
Duo artsits who go by the handle HUGHEN STARKWEATHER will integrate CONVERGENCE: COMMUTE PATTERNS onto glass surfaces around the entryway. +ERWIN RADL’s LUCY IN THE SKY descends from the ceiling of the main concourse and lights up.
• CHINATOWN •
Storyteller TOMIE ARAI sets down an "exploded" piece, URBAN ARCHEOLOGY, promising a station journey through history. +
Paper cut artist YUMEI HOU will install two large-scale wall pieces in the mezzanine and ticketing area, depicting the spontaneous SPROUT DANCE of Chinese folklore. +
Poet CARIN MUI’s winning couplet will be found in the plaza, having been rendered by calligrapher TERRY LUK in glass. +CLARE ROJAS’s nameless piece fills a cavern wall on the concourse level w/ textile samples patterned in the style of cathedral quilting.
• TEMPORARY MURALS •
RANDY COLOSKY covered the Folsom side of a construction barricade w/ ELLIPSES IN THE KEY OF BLUE, marking a formal moment in the construction project, according to the artist’s statement. +KOTA EZAWA covered an overhead 150-ft long stretch of walkway w/ a series of clever paintings, PANORAMA, featuring diverse landscapes all w/ a common horizon.
PHASE I: THE T–THIRD STREET LIGHT-RAIL — Seeing the need to reestablish rail service in a soon-to-be congested corridor, construction of a 5.1 mile track system along the Third Street corridor was undertaken and the first segment of the Third Street Light-rail became operational in April 2007. For the first time in 50 years, tracks ran up the east coast through, or skirting by, the neighborhoods of Little Hollywood, Visitacion Valley, Hunters Point, Bayview, Dogpatch, Pier 70, Mission Rock, Mission Bay, UCSF Hospital, and SoMa.
PHASE III: VAN NESS AVENUE BUS RAPID TRANSIT — Physically separated transit-only lanes will run both ways along the center of the road, and both Muni and Golden Gate Transit get to use them. Street lighting will get an upgrade w/ an eye for the safety of pedestrians. To achieve all this, the overhead contact system that powers buses will be replaced. Not least is an overhaul of the emergency firefighting water system, the one hydrants rely on.
SUBWAY MASTER PLAN
PHASE I — The rebuilt Third Street Bridge on Opening Day of the T-Third Street Light-rail, 2006.
PHASE II — Central Subway
PHASE III — Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit
PHASE IV — Geary Bus Rapid Transit
The sewer system too. In all, the project will replace an 1800s-era water main system that’s been in continuous operation since it was built into a better managed eco-system. Bus stops are slated to be at Market, McAllister, Eddy, Geary-O‘Farrell, Sutter, Sacramento, Jackson, Vallejo, and Union.
PHASE IV: GEARY BUS RAPID TRANSIT — This project has changed course and is now planned not as a subway (yet), but one w/ dedicated transit lanes in both directions, w/lanners promising to shave 15 minutes of a regular commute. There is talk of some form of lane reduction at the crosstown station at Geary and Fillmore.
MULTIMODAL – A transportation network will be the culimination of these plans. The network is coalescing where Mission Bay and the UCSF’s biotech hospital are. The Central Subway benefits Muni’s overall system here at 4th and King, where the Caltrain terminal is currently found, but is readying to be extended to the new Transbay Terminal and the not-ready high speed rail. One side project involves a looped track which will be built at 18th, for a much-sought-after turnout, allowing trains to return to where they just came from. Furthermore, the infrastructure rearrangement brought on by Central Subway is looking at leveling the playing field. The King Street ramps to Interstate 280 are being studied so as to be able to move them back four blocks, to 16th. By doing so, missing segments of two streets can be reclaimed such that connections can come about for the benefit of pedestrians as well as bicyclists.
SAN FRANCISCO METRO RAIL EXPANSION – The Central Subway dig is just one of several transit projects in the city, currently ranked by tiers.
• TIER ONE already in the pipeline:
(1. A surface-&-subway light-rail on Geary.
(2. Light-rail on Geneva from Balboa Park Station over to Bayshore. (3. The North Beach / Fishermans Wharf extension project, w/ a possible line branching off to the Marina.
(4. The four-car M-line subway project, along 19th Avenue. Total of 12.3 miles of new tracks.
• TIER TWO ties up loose ends w/ capacity building:
(1. West Portal and Forest Hill will become 4-car train friendly.
(2. N-Judah to be 3-car operational, and underground beginning on 9th Avenue.
(3. The 22-Fillmore transit priority project will give 16th Street dedicated transit lanes.
Total of 4.3 miles of new tracks.
• TIER THREE takes place around 2050:
(1. T-line gets a spur at Evans Avenue over to the Shipyard district.
(2. Fort Mason Historic Streetcar extension project.
(3. A new streetcar at 2nd and Sansome, perhaps up to Broadway and then over to Fillmore.
(4. Linking the N-Judah and T-Taraval lines.
(5. A light-rail along Fillmore for the 22-Fillmore, from the Marina to Upper Market.
Total of 13.8 miles of new tracks.
THE TUNNEL — The dig commenced in 2013 when a stretch of 4th where it crosses Bryant was closed off. A launch box was then constructed on-site, a bore put into place, and a portal opened up. The two-bore system consisted of double rotating cutterheads, each within its own cylindrical steel shell, which are pushed forward along the axis of the tunnel all the while excavating the ground through the cutterheads.
TWIN BORES – "Big Alma" and "Mom Chung", nicknames given by the workmen. Each is 22 feet in diameter. LAUNCH BOX set up to open a portal, Fourth at Bryant, Summer 2013.
It is propelled using hydraulic jacks thrusting against the tunnel path. A modern method of tunneling, called Sequential Excavation (the cut-and-cover method), was used in this build. During trench excavation, and after the bore has passed by, a box frame structure is immediately put into place, and fortification of the backfill then begun. This is slow progress. Exposed earth is shored up and support introduced to maintain structural integrity. Steel shields are erected to support the excavated ground until the proper tunnel lining can be built. This cut-and-cover method of tunneling employs a “top-down” or “bottoms-up” approach.
30-STOCKTON BUS — In November 2014, changes came to the 30-Stockton bus route, as it begins the phase-out to retirement. Manned by staff standing in front of blowups of architectural renderings, and armed w/ printed literature, the beginning of the end of the running of the surface route began. Fittingly, no formal presentation took place that evening. Visitors learned about upcoming changes to the route in a 90-minute session filled w/ questions and answers. The pool of interested citizens was enlarged by inclusive text in Cambodian, Tagalog, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Russian, Spanish and Chinese. The case was made for the most difficult route for inner-city bus drivers west of the Mississippi.
BASED ON reports from, among others,
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez,
and Internet searches.
| CENTRAL SUBWAY APPENDIX
HISTORIC HUB — The area around Market between Van Ness Boulevard and Octavia Street was called "The Hub" going on many years, and local shops had names like the Hub Pharmacy, housed in that pie-shaped corner on Market at Haight. The Hub neighborhood district was likely given the name because it was a key transportation artery through the heart of the City. The Municipal Railway had a strong presence, with major rail lines that ran from Market out Haight, Valencia and Gough streets. By the 1950s Muni’s practise of using this spot as a transportation hub began its decline as car-friendlier street reconfigurations came into play and streetcar lines began to be replaced with the City’s first electric buses. Text and illustration by John Horn.
Finally, a bedside companion to Brian Eno‘s arias to airports.
HOVE, U.K. —
Soon after Music for Airports was released in 1978, Brian Eno speculated in an interview about Music for Hospitals,
The Quiet Room, Montefiore Hospital
based on his notion that both places were high stress environments where notions of coming and going are ever tinged w/ metaphysical conditions. And now, the Montefiore Hospital has commissioned two similar pieces in a quest to aid in the treatment of patients, and as it turns out, their visitors too.
The first of these sound-&-vision commissions was unveiled in opening ceremonies in March 2013, and known as “The Quiet Room for Montefiore.” It is a space inside the hospital where ambient music plays over three panels of subtly changing colors. The hospital’s head receptionist, Ann-Marie James, mentioned that the artwork and the music really help take people’s minds off, which may or may not be a blessing if you really get to think about it.
77 Million Paintings
Matron at Montefiore Hospital Lynette Awdry adds, “The relatives can come and have time out for themselves for exactly the same reasons as the patients need it.”
The second piece is near the entrance and consists of eight plasma screens, “77 Million Paintings for Montefiore,” a continuous nonrepeating display of morphing colors and shapes.
The juxtapositioning of the 8 screens harken back to Eno’s 1980s video installation, where recordings of clouds outside his NYC window are played back on a TV monitor turned on its side, in portrait view. Still from
Mistaken Memories from Mediaeval Manhattan.
As Mr Eno explains, “A piece of software selects a random image and combines it with another random image and combines them to create ever-new combinations.”
Head receptionist James: “In the evening [77 Million Paintings] comes into its own when the lights go down.” Comments in the visitors' book include:
“Absolutely stunningly beautiful, calm, distracting in a very positive way. Wonderful concept. Congratulations on a beautiful waiting area.” “You can feel your blood pressure calming by the minute. It made me think of cells and change and the beauty of life.”
During that summer, when Jane and John drove cross country to San Francisco, a riot of sorts broke out in a drinking establishment by Ocean Beach. They happend to be driving by when news crew arrived and so ended up becoming part of local history on their first night in town. Spectators were interviewed and Jane is in the broadcast: Leather skirt and sci-fi hairdo, wearing boots that she finally lost down in the Salinas Valley where John’s band played and she had taken them off for only “ ... a new york minute I swear,” but all this happened much later. A song was penned to commemorate that first night. John: “ ... by coincidence Jane and I were driving by and saw the whole thing. She even got interviewed for the local news. I forget what her answer was but it became the punchline. Anyway, I wrote this song the next day. It’s our second song, never performed it live.” From a newspaper clipping dated July 17, 1973: “A melee broke out inside a tavern by the beach, a known hangout spot for musicians. It started around 1:30 a.m. just when last call was announced. Four squad cars converged within five minutes due to the seriousness of the situation; the police spokesperson would not elaborate further.” In all 19 were taken into custody, including four females; no conventional weapon was found on anyone. The account in next day's paper managed to get every name spelled wrong but had an accurate head count. Fourteen were booked and released the next morning, the others to be arraigned over unspecified charges.
DREAMTIME | BOWIETIME | YOU&ME —
you and i were stepping into an elevator after seeing a new film starring bowie. he was the only one in the elevator and sorta hiding in a corner ... he was obviously trying to escape the main crowd, but he was friendly to us. i told him i thought it was the best film since A Clockwork Orange. he lit up at that, and the three of us got out together and went to a shadowy area where we could talk in private, although his hair, long coat and scarves all glowed dully, his age was 67 and at times he looked more like 32. suddenly he said he had to rush off for a plane (does he fly these days?) and that we'd catch up again. i remember too, other individuals sort of looking around for him, but he was an expert in stealth.
– JOHNNY STRIKE 2015
Within a week the reporter was quietly let go. He went on to write a novel, Fact Into Fiction, eventually moved and was glimpsed late in life living next to the Straits of Hercules. According to the bartender’s subsequent testimony, the riot appears to have been started over a misunderstanding: a special walking cane supposedly stolen from the person of W.S. Burroughs the day before (he was in town for a reading and his cane did go missing) was displayed prominently behind the bar.
| GREAT HIGHWAY FOOTNOTES  Hand-tinted postcard depicting the Great Highway down the middle w/ the Pacific Ocean on the right and Playland By the Beach on the left, circa 1950s.
The protagonist of H.G. Wells’s novel, Tongo-Bungay, has come up from the provinces to work in London, and here gives an account of his train journey into the city:
“The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.”
LONDON 1908 —
“ … I got London at last with an exceptional freshness of effect, as the sudden revelation of a whole unsuspected other side of life. I came to [that human wilderness] on a dull and smoky day by the South Eastern Railway, and our train was half an hour late, stopping and going on and stopping again. I marked beyond Chilselhurst the growing multitude of villas, and so came stage by stage through multiplying houses and diminishing interspaces of market garden and dingy grass to regions of interlacing railway lines, big factories, gasometers and wide reeking swamps of dingy little houses, more of them and more and more. The number of these and their dinginess and poverty increased, and here rose a great public house and here a Board School and here a gaunt factory; and away to the east there loomed for a time a queer, incongruous forest of masts and spars. The congestion of houses intensified and piled up presently into tenements; I marvelled more and more at this boundless world of dingy people; whiffs of industrial smells, of leather, of brewing, drifted into the carriage; the sky darkened, I rumbled thunderously over bridges, van-crowded streets, peered down on and crossed the Thames with an abrupt eclat of sound. I got an effect of tall warehouses, of grey water, barge crowded, of broad banks of indescribable mud, and then I was in Cannon Street Station – a monstrous dirty cavern with trains packed across its vast floor and more porters standing along the platform than I have ever seen in my life before. I alighted with my portmanteau and struggled along, realising for the first time just how small and weak I could still upon occasion feel.”
02|19|14 – A Solitary World
| H G WELLS FOOTNOTES
1908 map of London Underground.
excerpt, Tongo-Bungay by H.G. Wells, 1908.
John Updike excerpt, The New Yorker 10|5|2015.
A Solitary World – Dir: James W. Griffiths – Published on Feb 19, 2014 – Narration adapted from the works of H.G. Wells. Excerpted from the following:
The Time Machine (1895) –
The Island of Dr Moreau (1896) –
The First Men in the Moon (1901) –
In The Days of the Comet (1906) –
The World Set Free (1914).
Director, Producer, VFX Artist & Colourist: James W. Griffiths – Director of Photography: Christopher Moon – Editor: Marianne Kuopanportti – Sound Design & Mix: Mauricio D'Orey – Composer: Lennert Busch –
Narrator: Terry Burns – PBS Digital Studios Original Shorts Series Producer: Matt Vree.
JOHN UPDIKE (1932-2009) GAVE AN ACCOUNT OF A TRAIN TRIP DOWN TO NEW YORK:
… After Providence, Connecticut –
the green defiant landscape, unrelieved except by ordered cities, smart and smug, in spirit villages, too full of life to be so called, too small to seem sincere. And then like Death it comes upon us: the plain of steaming trash, the tinge of brown that colors now the trees and grass as though exposed to rays sent from the core of heat – these are the signs we see in retrospect. But we look up amazed and wonder that the green is gone out of our window, that horizon on all sides is segmented into so many tiny lines that we mistake it for the profile of a wooded hill against the sky, or that as far as mind can go are buildings, paving, streets. The tall ones rise into the mist like gods serene and watchful, yet we fear, for we have witnessed from this train the struggle to complexity: the leaf has turned to stone.
Layouts for Sabrina Alonso's feature documentary “Grizzly Road: the Last Days of the California Grizzly”, available at the
San Francisco Public Library. The cover artwork features a black-&-white photo of Monarch, a grizzly captured by William Randolph Hearst, and in captivity for 22 years.
♦ CLATTER & CLANG
The cable car was invented in San Francisco to relieve the burden of climbing hills. Its story, though, involves more than one stop, wending this way and that, passing landmarks of wealth and waste.
SHERIFF OF SIXTH STREET By noon, as a small crowd gathered outside the new police substation, an unassuming Mayor Ed Lee strolled down the sidewalk, shaking hands until reaching the podium and announcing the arrival of a police presence on the first stretch of Sixth Street, the most San Franciscan block in the South of Market in all its Dickensian duds. After a speech, the mayor handed the mic to District Attorney George Gascon, Police Chief Greg Suhr, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, a local resident, and finally to Zack Stender, co-owner of nearby Huckleberry Bicycles, a new business which had moved into a neighborhood renowned for its flatness among the surrounding topography. Within the first week, surveillance footage was released showing a wrestle-to-the-ground arrest on the block by law enforcement, with broadcast and favorable commentary on the evening news.
Art dealer’s website features this Tibetan deity in gilt bronze (18th c.). His name is Vajrabhairava.
THE BLACK PANTHER —
“And so the dark night passed. My heart was filled w/ deep suspicions and black forebodings.” … the first time in the night-dark garb of the Black Panther, only son and true heir of the greatest chieftain of all.
Peacocks hover over the entrance of this apartment building and guard a plaque marking this site as the birthplace of the inventor of modern dance.
May 27, 1979
1876 - 1921
Daughter of California Pioneers, America's Genius of the Dance was born on this site. She created a new art form liberating the dance as an expression of life. She believed and taught that "no education is complete without the dance" since "movements are as eloquent as words - the dance of the suture shall dance the freedom of women - the highest intelligence in the freest body - the dance will not belong to a nation but to all humanity."
MODEL BEHAVIOR — A Botta biscuit holds up one side of Snøhetta’s silver sliver, rising ten storeys above Howard Street and, lacking a second biscuit, starts a slump towards Minna, resembling the baked alaska it is from the Natoma side.