A New Home for History


1617 Balboa Street, soon to be the new public home of Western Neighborhoods Project. -

November 27, 2017

Dear friend of WNP,

Western Neighborhoods Project will soon have a new home for history.

Over the past month we have pulled together a plan to lease a handsome, Giants-orange storefront on Balboa Street near 17th Avenue in the Richmond District. Last week, the landlord accepted our application.

Our work preserving and sharing local history accelerated this year. We doubled our appearances from 2016, partnering with more than twenty community groups and organizations to share history with thousands of people. We put out quarterly magazines, monthly Frank Dunnigan Streetwise columns and articles, weekly podcasts, and daily posts on social media. We are cataloging and preserving a collection of 100,000 historical images of the city with our OpenSFHistory program. We have scanned and shared 24,000 of these images online, with another 30,000 to go up in the next two years. We have dozens of dedicated volunteers, staff, and board members who put in many, many hours to accomplish it all.

We need a larger and more public space because of all of this growth. Our full-house events show the desire and need for more talks, exhibitions, presentations, and community conversations on local history.

To have an open, accessible, and inviting home for history has long been our dream. But our monthly expenses will increase and we need new carpeting, lighting, signage, chairs…a screen? So while it is exciting to take this step, it is also a little scary. We take it with the confidence that our WNP community of friends is with us. When we first brought up this possibility at our gala two weeks ago, dozens of guests gave and pledged donations to help.

In your year-end giving plans, I ask you to please consider a tax-deductible contribution beyond your membership donation. Help us make this new home for history a reality.

Woody LaBounty
Executive Director

Help with our new home!

P.S. Please contact us with your ideas, schemes, or brilliant proposals for how we can make 1617 Balboa Street a magical place to preserve and share local history.