It’s a sign of progress for San Francisco’s Market Street that a half-dozen developers want to build housing and hotels on the long-troubled blocks between Fifth and Eighth streets.
Too bad that in terms of the architecture, what’s been proposed so far says more about the city’s current identity crisis than the unique potential of this stretch of the city’s most important thoroughfare.
Too many of the proposals try too hard to be everything at once — flashy but familiar, hip but neighborly, timeless and trendy. None of them comes close to measuring up alongside the best of the street’s assertive and self-assured architecture from the past. The good news is that there’s time to make things better, and add a sense of relaxed urbanity to the mix.