The Emergence of a New San Francisco Neighborhood: The East Cut

The creation of a new identity for our neighborhood is underway and it’s quickly gaining

momentum, and accolades, along the way.

If you haven’t heard – The East Cut is a local effort to unite the Rincon Hill, Folsom Street and

Transbay areas under this new moniker. 181 Fremont, Salesforce Tower, Facebook and the

soon-to-open Salesforce Transit Center are among the most high-profile inhabitants.

What was once lumped in with SoMa, South Park or the Financial District, today The East Cut is

San Francisco’s fastest growing new neighborhood with the highest concentration of new-home

construction in the Bay Area, according to a recent story by CBS 5. The East Cut is already

home to 80,00 employees and one of the defining landmarks will be a bus bridge extending

from Salesforce Transbay Park. When it opens in August, the bridge will bring an estimated

15,000 passengers in and out of the neighborhood daily, the CBS story notes.

“The East Cut Community Benefit District (The East Cut CBD) works to advance the district’s

quality of life for residents, workers and visitors by providing a safer and more secure

community, enhancing environmental quality and beauty and reinforcing the viability of the

neighborhood’s economic base,” said Andrew Robinson, executive director of The East Cut

CBD. “Our staff and 23-person volunteer board are committed to ensuring this neighborhood

delivers on its promise to be a walkable, transit-rich neighborhood that people can be proud of.

This has helped achieve positive acceptance in our neighborhood.”

Many don’t know the rich history of our neighborhood. As outlined on The East Cut’s website,

after the Gold Rush, Rincon Hill became one of the city’s most elegant and fashionable

neighborhoods. In 1869, city planners decided to flatten the center of Rincon Hill along 2 nd

Street, creating the 2 nd Street Cut. While the cut facilitated commerce between downtown and

the docks at South Beach, the change scarred the neighborhood and it lost its cachet. The 1906

earthquake added insult to injury and leveled much of the sector. When the neighborhood was

rebuilt, it was characterized by warehouses and large business operations. Then, the

community’s character dramatically changed again when the Bay Bridge opened in 1936.

Today, The East Cut is approximately 20 blocks roughly bounded by Interstate 80 and Second,

Mission and Spear streets.

“In a city known for neighborhoods, we strive to be part of that fabric. The geographic reach of

SoMa is such that it encompasses many, many neighborhoods. SoMa is not at a human scale,

including Yerba Buena, Mission Bay, South Beach, etc.,” said Robinson. “The people that make

up the East Cut district are what make this place special. By unifying the areas of this district

under the East Cut banner we aim to create a sense of place for an area long overlooked or

misinterpreted by others. We want to provide a point of unity and an identity that people will look

to and say, ‘Yeah, I know where that is.'”

Robinson added, “Residents of 181 Fremont should know that we are not only a resource for

neighborhood cleaning and safety, but also their advocate for district at the city level. We are

co-leading a neighborhood planning process with SF Planning, we’re regularly activating vacant

retail with cultural programming and we are guiding the development of future park space in the


Beyond the sleek glass towers, bustling streets, Bay Bridge views and construction cranes

signaling a building boom, one of the biggest things you’ll notice in the East Cut is the

unmistakable energy. Our neighborhood is a place where longtime locals and family-run

businesses sit side-by-side with the most innovative companies in the world. 181 Fremont is

proud to be a cornerstone within this emerging neighborhood.

Keep up with happenings, events and news by following @TheEastCut on Instagram and

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Explore An Exceptional Collection of Artwork From Gagosian at 181 Fremont

The name “Gagosian” is synonymous with the highest echelons of contemporary art, and the eponymous gallery (with its 16 spaces spread across the continents) has been an anchor of the international art scene for many decades. To help mark the official opening of 181 Fremont, the Gagosian Gallery has partnered with Jay Paul Company to bring the best of the art world to San Francisco’s most visionary tower and underscore 181 Fremont’s position as a world-class property featuring masterful design, architecture, and art.

The long-term exhibition was curated by Holly Baxter in the tower’s residential lobby and Sky Lounge, and it includes acquisitions by international artists whose works are in museums all over the world, including Joel Shapiro, Candida Höfer, Tara Donovan, Trevor Paglen, Shahzia Sikander, and Eva Rothschild.

Of her curatorial vision, Baxter says, “Our intention in curating the extraordinary contemporary collection at 181 Fremont was to acquire works that enhance the building’s stunning architecture and aesthetic by Heller Manus Architects and Orlando Diaz-Azcuy. We thoughtfully selected sophisticated works from across the globe that are intellectually and conceptually bold, as well as technically accomplished, to reflect the beautiful interiors and state-of-the-art engineering that define 181 Fremont and to further contribute to residents’ unparalleled fine living experience.”

That experience begins in the lobby, where Eva Rothschild’s Bright Eyes (2017) sits beneath a gold dome. The nine-foot sculpture, composed of a vertical column of patented bronze ovals, is complemented by Shahzia Sikander’s The Six Singing Spheres #6, which resonates with the room’s shape and form and the poetic nature of its design.

Up in the Sky Lounge, the various lounge areas, as well as the conservatory and conference room, showcase works like Edificio Basurto Ciudad de México I (2015)—a large-scale photograph by the renowned German photographer Candida Höfer—Joel Shapiro’s Untitled (2009), and Tara Donovan’s Composition (Cards) (2017).

Twenty intriguing and varied works from Gagosian by artists such as Richard Wright, Sally Mann, and Vera Lutter also decorate the newly debuted model residences by Orlando Diaz-Azcuy’s design firm, ODADA, and Charles de Lisle, the award-winning Bay Area designer known for his custom residential, retail, and hospitality interiors. Man Ray’s The Tortoise (1944), completed after the artist fled war-torn Europe for California, and Edmund de Waal’s the ten thousand things, for John Cage, VI (2015), which speaks to the artist’s enduring fascination with the nature of objects and the narratives of their collection and display, are standouts within the residences.

In addition to works on loan by Gagosian, 181 Fremont’s Sales Gallery features a dozen contemporary pieces on loan from Jessica Silverman Gallery. Other galleries loaning artworks curated by Baxter are the Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, Altman Siegel Gallery, Ever Gold Projects, and the Eleanor Harwood Gallery.

Of this unprecedented partnership, Gagosian’s Graham Dalik says, “Gagosian is thrilled to partner with Jay Paul Company to present a selection of artworks in 181 Fremont. We are pleased to contribute to San Francisco’s established history of collecting and arts appreciation by displaying exceptional art in this iconic new building.” It’s a collaboration that highlights the ways in which 181 Fremont is already changing the landscape of San Francisco, both culturally and via its striking sculptural presence.