To build or not to build

The burning question of whether or not to build a modern art museum in the Presidio has been bothering San Franciscans for months. Through a series of public meetings, speakers for an against the project have had their say. Many Pacific Heights residents who enjoy the proximity of a quiet Presidio have spoken out against the plan. To appease those who believe a museum building would interfere with the historical ambiance of the location, architects have come up with a modified plan for a smaller building, much of it underground. What’s troubling to many in the city, though, is that what should be a citywide discussion about the value of a new museum (with a guaranteed budget and the promise of many construction jobs) has turned into a question of traffic problems in the neighborhood. Public meetings are difficult for many working people to attend. When the crowd is large, the number of speakers is necessarily limited. In these days of quick and easy communication, why isn’t this discussion being carried on electronically rather than face to face? Why not set up a website or blog where individuals can express their opinions easily and at a time and place convenient to them? The Presidio board welcomes public comment, why not make that comment more accessible to more people?

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