Notorious SF: Pottery Barn
The Pottery Barn store at Castro and Market came to epitomize the NIMBY Principle when the Williams-Sonoma owned retailer crossed a man living in a Castro Street Victorian behind the store. Lawrence Janssen complained of noise and alleged intimidation tactics by members of construction crews who built the store in 2001. His bitterness toward Pottery Barn continues to be expressed in the signs Janssen posted in his windows over the store's parking lot. The NIMBY Principle (not-in-my-backyard) pits neighborhood preservationists against corporations, chain stores, and developers. What neighbors found more depressing than Janssen's noise complaints was the fact that Williams-Sonoma raised the exterior height of the building, a former credit union. What they found particularly galling is the fact that the top of the structure was merely a facade to begin with. The neighbors say it is now a great wall that blocks the views that allowed them to be witnesses to history at the corner where parades, protests, memorials, and spontaneous convergences have been hallmarks for the better part of thirty years.

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