Cor-Ten No More

I just realized the Jim Jennings Architecture's Howard Street Residence in San Francisco -- completed in 2001 and published in Record Houses in 2002 -- no longer has its distinctive Cor-ten steel facade.

Ryan Associates - New Homes - SOMA Townhouse modern exterior

As this Google Street View illustrates, the facade is now stainless steel, albeit the exact same design in terms of composition, perforations, and panel sizes.

[967 Howard Street | image source]

As the architect asserts on his web page (the project is labeled Soma House), "the heightened grittiness of the [South of Market] neighborhood -- ceaseless graffiti -- has necessitated a complete material transformation of the facade of the 4,500 sf courtyard house. A screen of stainless-steel panels is replacing the Cor-ten steel in a move to adapt to the new urban condition rather than fight it." According to his web page, this iteration was completed in 2008.

Update 04.13: Here's a photo I found on flickr that shows the intermediate condition, when the lower portion of the Cor-ten steel facade was painted to cover the graffiti.



  1. Noooo!!!! Embrace the graffiti! Graff is beautiful!

  2. I liked the previous facade better - it's more elegant.

  3. I agree, I like the previous facade better. I even like the painted facade better, the stainless steel make the building look more conventional for some reason.

  4. What?! No. Why would they pick the Stainless steel over the colored facade. Who cares about graffiti. They clearly haven't gone to Rome. If they made this change in Rome all the historical churches and monuments would be steel clad instead of marble. They should keep the old facade regardless.

    Seattle Architects Coates Design specializes in green building and sustainable design.

    1. What is your address? I will ask the bad boys from Oakland who were caught recently in the neighborhood vandalizing property with their bad graffiti to go to your house and do their art. LOL!

  5. I love the new stainless facade. It looks cleaner and more minimalist. The neighborhood needs something clean to deter more bad graffiti. It is a pleasure to see it clean everytime I walk by.


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