770 Woolsey presents a unique opportunity to connect the past, present and future of the Portola District through one of the defining challenges of this century—how to make our cities more sustainable.
Inspired by the site, the history, and Portola residents, The Greenhouse Project (TGP) endeavors to preserve 770 Woolsey as a productive agricultural hub and establish it as a community asset. TGP supports sustainable, innovative, and community-oriented growth that will strengthen the Portola community and connect it to greater San Francisco. We believe a successful demonstration of thriving urban agriculture in the 2nd densest U.S. city will help develop important best practices and motivate other cities to initiate similar neighborhood-based projects.
We envision The site as:
- A thriving farm modeling financially and environmentally sustainable food production in urban San Francisco.
- A permanent community asset for the Portola that strengthens connections between its diverse residents and builds upon its identity as the Garden District.
- A hub for education where locals and visitors learn about the complex food systems they engage with and discover the beauty and quality inherent to the way we grow our products.
- A triple bottom line enterprise increasing access to healthy produce, providing land security for sustainable urban farms, and generating new jobs and training opportunities locally.
- A testament to the long history of urban agriculture and family nurseries in the Garden District and San Francisco.
Originally built in 1922, the historical greenhouses are located at 770 Woolsey Street in the heart of the Portola District. Approximately 2.2 acres, the property takes up an entire city block and has 18 wooden and glass greenhouses (several of which are partially or completely collapsed), one steam room, and one office/garage. In July 2017, a developer purchased the site from its longtime owner, the Garibaldi Family. Future plans for the land's development remain unconfirmed by the City, and Portola residents are currently engaged in a grassroots campaign advocating for the activation of the site as a community serving urban farm.
Photography by Christopher Michel