In need of assistance with his growing volume of work in increasingly far-flung reaches of the Bay Area, Chris VerPlanck contacted Stacy Farr, a noted freelance architectural historian, to provide him with periodic consulting services. In September 2015, Stacy will begin assisting VerPlanck with research, survey, and writing on specific projects, concentrating on the East Bay. This is the first step in the evolution of VerPlanck Historic Preservation Consulting from a one-man shop into something bigger.
Over the last five years as an architectural historian and cultural resources planner, Stacy has completed multiple historic resource evaluations and California Department of Parks and Recreation Primary Record forms for sites in San Francisco, Oakland, the Peninsula, the East Bay, and Seattle, Washington. She has contributed to historic context statements and interpretive cultural history displays, and assisted in the evaluation of potential cultural landscapes. As an architectural historian, Stacy is adept at a broad range of research methods, from combing archives for elusive data to getting out in the field to do building investigations and conduct oral histories. She brings 20 years of Bay Area residency to her professional evaluative skills.
As a cultural resources planner, Stacy is particularly interested in the interplay between cultural practice and the built environment. Stacy contributed significantly to the Bayview-Hunters Point Historic Context and Survey in San Francisco, and was the primary author of the successful local landmark nominations for Sam Jordan's Bar and for Marcus Books/Jimbo's Bop City, two cultural resources with a focus on African American history and culture. As an independent consultant, Stacy has contributed to the San Francisco city-wide African American Historic Context Statement, and has assisted multiple residential clients in Mills Act applications to the City of Oakland.
Stacy is an active member of the Society of Architectural Historians, San Francisco Architectural Heritage, Oakland Heritage Alliance, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Chris VerPlanck was asked by San Francisco Opera to write a history of the Opera House to commemorate its 80th birthday. The article, which was published in the San Francisco Opera's 2012-13 Encore program, provides a brief history of the San Francisco Opera and its long search for a home.
The Opera House, one of the World's finest, is a tour de force of Renaissance Revival and Art Deco architecture designed jointly by Arthur Brown, Jr. and G. Albert Lansburgh. It opened on October 15, 1932 with Giacomo Puccini's Tosca.
The City of Sausalito has recently hired VerPlanck Historic Preservation Consulting to prepare a National Register nomination for Building 11, the former Marinship Machine Shop, in the former Marinship shipyard complex, in North Sausalito. The Machine Shop was constructed in 1942 as part of Marinship's outfitting zone, where Liberty ships and tankers would be "outfitted" with furnishings, machinery, masts, booms, and decking after being launched. The Machine Shop, which now stands vacant, is the best-preserved of all the remaining former Marinship buildings. It belongs to the Veterans' Administration, which plans to rehabilitate the building for office and clinic uses.
Chris VerPlanck, in partnership with Tim Kelley, of Tim Kelley Consulting, and Al Williams of the African American Historical Society, will soon begin working on a Citywide Historic Context Statement for San Francisco's African American community. This project, which is funded by the Preservation Fund Committee and administered by the San Francisco Planning Department, will explore the evolution of the city's African American population from Spanish settlement to the present day, and it will identify properties that commemorate aspects of this important history. The project involves extensive community outreach, and our work will be reviewed by a panel of experts in African American history, including Albert Broussard (author of Black San Francisco) and Carson Anderson, as well as Mike Buhler, Bob Cherny, Courtney Damkroger, Donna Graves, and Rick Moss.