• Taking a trip through San Francisco's Jewish story

    September 6, 2016

    A well-preserved three-story Victorian mansion, Haas-Lilienthal House is a gem of San Francisco and the city's only intact private home of the period that is open regularly as a museum. The 130-year-old house preserves the stories of Jewish immigrants in the development of the American West.

    It's all there, awaiting discovery for the curious, whether out-of-town visitors interested in learning about the city's Jewish past or locals who want to get in touch with the Jewish city that was.

    J. Weekly recently caught up with John Rothmann, whose forbearers built the house and lived there, to discuss the significance of Haas-Lilienthal House in the history of San Francisco. "This is a national treasure," says Rothmann, "This is the only home you can go to [in order] to understand the Jewish roots of San Francisco."

    The next time you're in San Francisco, make sure to stop by and take a tour of this historic home.

    You can read the whole story, Time-tripping through San Francisco's Jewish story, on J. Weekly's website.

  • Planning for Success: Achieving a Vision for the Future of Haas-Lilienthal House

    March 7, 2013

    Over the course of the last year, the National Trust has ensured the long-term sustainability of the Haas Lilienthal House through targeted assistance to House owner, San Francisco Architectural Heritage. Increased visibility to the local community was a key first step. In addition to it being compared to Betty White, and pitting its history up against Downton Abbey, we made a House visit a key part of any itinerary to San Francisco in a National Trust travel blog. Last fall’s Community Free Day was a tremendous success with legendary San Francisco reporter Carl Nolte urging on the community to re-discover the Site.

    But most of the Trust’s work was behind the scenes. We convened experts on heritage tourism, real property law, historic sites, and financial planning, and provided the framework for a five-year business plan that will make the House a strong net revenue generator for the organization within five years.

    Specific tasks National Trust staff were responsible for included:

    • Providing Heritage with data and information about the operation of other house museums across the country, including business plan templates, to inform their planning process;
    • Funding and participating in a “visioning” process for the House, in which NTHP staff presented data comparing the operations at Haas-Lilienthal with the Trust’s historic sites, as well as house museums overall; and,
    • Creating a visitor survey and providing an analysis of survey results to shape a vision for House operations.

    The vision for the future of the Haas-Lilienthal House synthesizes a wide variety of information from professional studies and reports, as well as a collaborate visioning process held last fall with key House stakeholders. The outcome will assist Heritage in its upcoming capital campaign to raise money for several much-needed upgrades. Further, this process will serve as an important model for other house museums throughout the country seeking creative ways to attract new visitors and make historic sites financially sustainable.

  • Reviving San Francisco's Victorian Icon: Holiday Happenings at the Haas-Lilienthal House

    November 21, 2012

    News of its designation this fall as a “National Treasure” has sparked renewed interest in the Haas-Lilienthal House where support is needed most – its home town.

    In his weekly column, legendary San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carl Nolte spoke of its beauty and cultural history in a primer for Free Community Day on October 21, which drew nearly 600 visitors, the majority of whom were local residents who had never been inside.

    The Treasures designation and event was also promoted by SF Weekly, J Weekly, and FunCheapSF, which, with over 45,000 subscribers, has serious sway in determining the cultural itineraries of the many Bay Area locals. Many thanks to Jeremy Blakeslee and Ian Boyle for donating their outstanding photography.

    Drawing on the success of Free Community Day, SF Heritage will be hosting a Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 2, 2012 from 12:00PM-3:00PM at 2007 Franklin Street. Though always proudly loyal to their Jewish origins, the Haas-Lilienthal family traditionally celebrated Christmas in the House as away of adapting to American customs and rituals. Santa will make an appearance at 2:00PM, and the historic toy trains will be on the rails. Come by and show your support!

  • Introducing the Haas-Lilienthal House

    August 14, 2012

    Greetings from San Francisco. My name is Brian Turner, and I am the National Trust's project manager for the campaign to protect the Haas-Lilienthal House.

    In its 1887 feature on the new residence of Mr. William Haas, the San Francisco News Letter declared that “beautiful residences have been erected along Franklin Street, but none finer than this one.” As a San Francisco resident and an aficionado for the city’s great Victorian-era architecture, I am thrilled to represent the National Trust on this project to ensure the survival of this remarkable property.

    This week, a group of 15 will be assembling for a two-day vision and strategy retreat in San Francisco. Representatives will include staff and volunteers at San Francisco Architectural Heritage, the City of San Francisco Arts Commission, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Haas-Lilienthal family descendants, as well as the National Trust. Funded by a National Trust preservation field services grant, the group will develop a plan to guide a capital campaign to address deferred maintenance needs, build a much-needed endowment, and create a sustainable future for this one-of-a-kind historic place.

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