SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A former concert venue for some of the biggest rock stars of the 1960s could soon become condominiums in San Francisco.
The notice out front of 10 South Van Ness Avenue says the project will include “demolition of an historical resource.”
What it does not say is that the building’s second floor used to house the famed Fillmore West.
KPIX archival footage shows bands such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and Fleetwood Mac performing at the Fillmore West.
The Grateful Dead, Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, Carlos Santana, Ray Charles and many more famous musicians graced the venue which was run by the legendary concert promoter Bill Graham from 1968 until he shut it down in 1971.
“Led Zeppelin opened for us here,” said Barry “The Fish” Melton, of Country Joe and the Fish, who played Woodstock.
Melton says the Fillmore West was a haven for local musicians that helped sharpen the famous San Francisco sound of the bands of the late 60s.
“This is part of where my childhood is kept,” Melton said.
Real estate appraiser Larry Mansbach says he’s OK with building housing but he wants the concert venue where he used to watch his rock idols preserved within the property.
“We’re losing too much history to the wrecking ball,” Mansbach said.
Asked whether the building could just put a plaque outside, Mansbach said, “Unacceptable. Not good enough. That won’t do it. No one notices a plaque. And how can you have a plaque when you have this massive important ballroom with all these important historical events?”
KPIX 5 did not receive a call back from the developer.
San Francisco Planning Commission spokesperson Candace SooHoo said the commission is still reviewing an environmental impact report, then will later look over other issues such as whether the former Fillmore West should be preserved as a historic space.
More hearings are planned in the months ahead.