In the past week, I've heard of two friends, one casual acquaintance, and now several art galleries getting evicted because someone with more money wanted their spot. It's unfortunately an all too common narrative these days, but I was still particularly sad to hear from KQED that several art galleries at 77 Geary are losing their homes because a bigger company wants to move in. KQED's Dan Brekke reported that many of the second floor galleries in the downtown art hub received eviction notices last month to allow software and consulting firm Mulesoft to expand its office space. Brekke wrote that Trish Bransten, of the Rena Bransten Gallery, "says Mulesoft is offering more than double the rent for her space, which the gallery has occupied for 27 years." Many of the other galleries being asked to leave have also called the building home for decades.
It's crazy to me that a floor of a building that has long been a destination for art and art appreciation in this city is being shoved aside. Anyone who's ever been part of San Francisco's First Thursday mobs knows that 49 and 77 Geary are two prime locations for surveying the downtown gallery scene. I used to hit that thing monthly, in large part because it was a great way to appreciate everything from photography, painting, and sculpture to video and installation work all in one block. Those Geary addresses are like mini museums, only without the price of admission, and I really hope we don't lose more of them to something as bland as expanded office space.
The 77 Geary galleries that have been evicted are moving to temporary spaces, owner's homes, and other places unknown.
Image from Rena Bransten Gallery