A New Home for the Beat Museum, A New Vision in North Beach

We have an exciting new opportunity to make the Beat Museum better than ever. The former Citibank building, 580 Green Street, recently went up for sale, and we think this location would be the perfect new home for the Beat Museum

Our vision for 580 Green includes an additional two floors, an expanded Beat Museum, a cafe, and a Beat Hotel. (Concept drawing by Michael Palumbo)

Our vision for 580 Green includes an additional two floors, an expanded Beat Museum, an indoor/outdoor Beat Cafe, and a Beat Hotel. (Concept drawing by Michael Palumbo)

580 Green St. as it stands today

580 Green St. as it stands today

Why move?

We’ve been thinking about the future for a while now.
  • For years, visitors from around the world have been asking us when we’ll be able to expand, to offer an even more immersive experience.
  • We love our current home on Broadway, but the truth is, we’ve outgrown the space.
  • We have a wide variety of items in our collection that belong on public display, but due to space constraints, they remain behind the scenes.

Kim Greer, late director of the John Steinbeck Center in Salinas, pointed out in 2003:

The Beat Museum should be even bigger and better than the Steinbeck Center, especially if you take it to San Francisco.

“Look,” he said, “I’ve got one guy. Now, granted he won both the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize in literature, but you’ve got not only all the Beat writers and poets, but you’ve got the painters and the film makers, you’ve got jazz music, you’ve got rock & roll, you’ve got the hippies, you’ve got the entire counterculture of the second half of the twentieth century, and it still resonates today.”

Kim Greer
It’s a good thing for North Beach
  • Celebrate history where it happened
  • Put a cultural institution on historic Green Street
  • 580 Green is a commercial building, so there’s no risk of displacing tenants
  • Create a literary meeting place in the heart of the neighborhood
  • A bigger, better venue for events
  • A gathering spot for locals and visitors alike
  • A Beat Cafe
  • A Beat Hotel

Our Preliminary Master Plan for a new and permanent Beat Museum started years ago with the help of Michael Palumbo, a Beat Museum supporter with a background and education in Museum Design. We spoke to Michael about our vision for the future five years ago and these sketches are the ideas he presented to us. This week we reached out to Michael once again, asking him for a concept to turn the 2-story bank building at 580 Green Street in to a 4-story Beat complex complete with a Beat Hotel and a Beat Cafe with sheltered outdoor seating.

Coming next week:

The big pitch for soliciting funds. What exactly are we going to need to actually make this happen!

We invite your comments and ideas

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