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.