San Francisco reverses order to rebuild historic home

File - This Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, file photo, shows a demolished house, right, on a property in San Francisco. San Francisco officials reversed an order that would have forced a man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra to rebuild the house exactly as it was. The city Planning Commission in December ordered Ross Johnston to rebuild the home and add a sidewalk plaque describing the home's origins, demolition and replication. The board reversed itself Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, after a lawsuit by Johnson, instead approving a larger two-unit structure. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)
File - This Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, file photo, shows an aerial view of a demolished house, right, on a property in San Francisco. San Francisco officials reversed an order that would have forced a man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra to rebuild the house exactly as it was. The city Planning Commission in December ordered Ross Johnston to rebuild the home and add a sidewalk plaque describing the home's origins, demolition and replication. The board reversed itself Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, after a lawsuit by Johnson, instead approving a larger two-unit structure. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco officials have reversed an order that would have forced a man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra to rebuild the house exactly as it was.

The city Planning Commission in December ordered Ross Johnston to rebuild the home and add a sidewalk plaque describing the home's origins, demolition and replication.

The board reversed itself Thursday after a lawsuit by Johnson, instead approving a larger two-unit structure.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports commissioners abandoned the directive after the city attorney's office said they were unlikely to win the $10 million lawsuit.

SF Heritage Executive Director Mike Buhler urged against the reversal, saying it would send the wrong message to "bad actors" who seek to replace historic homes with "larger, more lucrative projects."

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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