LOCATION: San Francisco, California
CLIENT: Save Our Sacred Heart
DATE COMPLETED: Ongoing
In 2009, a local neighborhood organization called Save Our Sacred Heart, hired Mr. VerPlanck's former firm of Kelley & VerPlanck Historical Resources Consulting to prepare a National Register nomination for a significant Romanesque Revival Catholic church in San Francisco called Sacred Heart. The church, which was constructed in several major phases from 1897 until 1923, is one of San Francisco's largest and most intact Catholic church buildings. Closed down by the Archdiocese of San Francisco after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, the church, which is prominently visible from much of the eastern half of the city, remains vacant.
Save Our Sacred Heart, a grassroots organization composed of former parishioners and Victorian architecture advocates, sought to get the church listed in the National Register to prevent Sacred Heart's demolition. Prepared with assistance from architectural historian Shannon Ferguson, Mr. VerPlanck's National Register nomination for Sacred Heart was ultimately successful in getting the church determined eligible for listing in the National Register at both the state and federal levels, although owner objection currently prevents it from being formally listed. It is hoped that the church, which is currently for sale, will be rehabilitated by a future owner using Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits made possible by the National Register designation.