September 20, 2021
SF arts panel backs latest Harvey Milk Plaza design
COMMENTS ON HOWARD GRANT’S FACEBOOK PAGE
IN RESPONSE TO PROPOSALS TO DEMOLISH HARVEY MILK PLAZA
Bill Maltsberger This is a stupid waste of money! We do not need a 'protest space' Take to the streets! That is where protests are held. Argentinos, this is a subway station, NOT A NEW BALCONY ON THE CASA ROSADA.
Jeffrey Obser What a fabulous specimen of a vanity project. March, public! Walk extra steps to contemplate the sacrifice of comrade Milk! I'm sorry but things like this are what gives the mad right all the ammunition they need to ridicule progressive America into oblivion.
Steve Savage It's all part of the Disneyfication of the Castro.
Peter David Gilbert Seems like a mistake to me.... Just like the Gay and Lesbian Center down the street. It's a "what were they thinking moment!!"
Ken Wagovich Yikes!
Jim Hirschinger What A Waste of Money!
Arjuna And-Fred Ick.
Jeffrey Obser There seems to be more and more glitzy effort to memorialize the gay rights movement at the very same time as that neighborhood is steadily losing its gay character. The rainbow crosswalks, for example.
David Scott Marley But we have to have something fabulous to draw the tourists!
Jeffrey Obser What is it with transit stations - always being expected to make a statement, and then in the end they make nothing more than a gigantic bank statement! Think of that Calatrava monstrosity at the World Trade Center. What does a CAD brontosaurus have to say about a nation moving forward from its wounds? Some of us would just like to have decent rail options that work.
Paul Turner Letter to the editor, Bay Area Reporter
I'm writing in support of the opinions expressed by Howard Grant regarding the redesign of the Muni Metro entry and surrounding area ("Plaza architect weighs in on update," BAR, November 16 - 22). The proposed new design is unnecessary and would cause considerable inconvenience to the public.
I've lived in the Castro for forty-four years (when I moved in, the first neighborhood resident I met was when I took a roll of film to the camera store on Castro Street that Harvey Milk had just opened), and I walk through the Castro-Market intersection every day, so I know the area well and have observed transportation patterns and pedestrian circulation over many years. In my opinion, the existing subway entrance and plaza area are well designed and attractive. Since esthetics is a subjective matter, other people may disagree, or may feel that the proposed redesign is more appealing...
Another inconvenience of the redesign, of course, would be the long period of disruption while the existing subway entrance and surrounding area were torn up and the new construction was undertaken. And in a different way, the general public would be inconvenienced by the spending of millions of dollars for an unnecessary project. Although I'm trained as an architect, I have no personal investment in this issue, for I never made a design of my own for this project, and I don't know Mr. Grant or any of the other professionals involved in the matter. I simply feel the need to state that the proposed redesign is a bad idea from just about every point of view.
Paul V. Turner
Professor of Architectural History, Emeritus
Resident of 16th Street, San Francisco
Although community planners anticipate city zoning requirements and engineering limitations to force some revisions to the proposed design, Aiello says that the design will remain true to the overall intent to create a space that encourages public assembly. (A Castro Nextdoor poll showed that only 33% wanted a new place of assembly!)
There’s already a history of civic assembly in Harvey Milk plaza. In the 1970s, Harvey Milk used his nearby camera store and the plaza as a campaign headquarters for his neighborhood activism to promote civil rights.
(FALSE! The plaza was under construction in 1978!)
Aiello said Milk and Moscone’s legacy of LGBTQ activism lives on in modern-day community leaders who have stepped up. She says the public square redesign will help these leaders spread Milk’s message across the city by providing them a place and a platform to organize.
(HMP is not the Roman forum!)
“We’re hoping with the reimagined Harvey Milk Plaza, it will inspire people to continue to work toward justice, inclusion, and equality as they remember Harvey’s messages that hope is really important,” she said.
(Significantly improving the present memorial would accomplish the same thing!)
May 17, 2018
In their never-ending march toward honoring HM, they never considered just spending some money to fix the ADA stuff and then hiring police or private guards to keep the plaza law-abiding. Plus a few bucks for hosing the place down each night. That would have made everybody in SF happy, except for the friends of HMP.
"we think Jane Warner Plaza (aka 'Freak Plaza') is a major success", paraphrasing. No further comment needed, really. that's why I stopped going to their meetings. They are open to input as long as it fits their agenda. The main point of which is the gaysneyfication of the former gay ghetto.
I gave them plenty of feedback that we don't care what the plaza looks like, but we want it cleaned up. They didn't want to hear that. Wiener, Alioto, et al are just looking for something shiny, ignoring the fact that the new plaza will be a mess just like it is now. Let's check back with them one week after the plaza is finished and is filled with junkies sleeping on those low walls and spitting on tourists from the elevated platform.
The 'Friends' have been hell bent to demolish our cultural institution. Renovation was Never even discussed. Shame on the cultural appropriators! #SaveHarveyMilkPlaza #HonorOurElders #RespectOurPast
John King, SF Chronicle 10/15/18
“Leave well enough alone” seems to be the rallying cry of protesters—and architecture critics—in three U.S. cities. A museum in Los Angeles, a plaza in San Francisco, and a postmodern office tower in New York don’t deserve to be disfigured, even if each of them is flawed.
But a community group decided that the small plaza, which contains an entrance to the underground Muni line, deserved an upgrade and organized an architecture competition... Critics were underwhelmed. “For me Harvey Milk represents courage, openness, and spontaneity. When thousands gather at Castro and Market to celebrate or protest they take over the intersection and the street. They don't need a fixed narrow soapbox,” says Kenneth Caldwell, a San Francisco–based architecture writer.