Chris VerPlanck periodically volunteers his time to take part in various community preservation projects, ranging from assisting community activists formulate strategies to save treasured local landmarks to actual "bricks and mortar" restoration projects."
One of VerPlanck's first volunteer projects was the completion of the Dogpatch Neighborhood Survey for the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association in the early 2000s. »More on this project.
This was followed up by other projects, including working with members of the Western Neighborhoods Project to restore a 1906 Earthquake Shack in time for the 2006 Centennial of the 1906 Earthquake. This shack, which is now located at the San Francisco Zoo, was temporarily relocated to Market Street for the duration of the festivities.
In 2008, Mr. VerPlanck assisted the India Basin Neighborhood Association designate the Shipwright's Cottage as a local landmark in 2008. »More on this project.
Around the same time he helped residents of the Western Addition to head off a project that would have demolished the historic Harding Theater.
Most recently he led a successful effort to save the historic Tonga Room from demolition as part of a luxury condo conversion project at the Fairmont Hotel in 2010. While he was involved with the Tonga Room research he gave several lectures and slideshows on the history of Polynesian Pop/Tiki in San Francisco. »More about this project.
When he has time, he loves to delve into subjects of interest to him. Often he will present his findings to local preservation or historical groups.
In July 2010 he presented a paper commemorating the Centennial of the construction of the Mechanics' Institute Building. »More on this project.
Most recently, Mr. VerPlanck presented a lecture and slideshow on the history of the historic preservation movement in San Francisco from its earliest days to the present.