PUBLIC SPACE DESIGN
Unless otherwise noted, all images on this page prepared by CMG Landscape Architecture with Kennerly Architecture + Planning and Gehl Studio. All designs are conceptual and pending further refinement.
Civic Center is a public space for all San Franciscans: a ceremonial gathering place that welcomes everyday use and inspires civic pride.
The design vision for Civic Center illustrated on this page represents eighteen months of community and City stakeholder input. This vision seeks to enhance Civic Center as both a ceremonial gathering place that inspires civic pride as well as improving it as a space for daily neighborhood use. The concept plan fulfills the ambitions of the original 1912 Beaux-Arts plan: cohesion across the Civic Center Landmark District with ceremonial spaces that commemorate civic history with capacity for large demonstrations and celebrations. At the same time, it adds intimate spaces that create daily destinations and offer diverse experiences and amenities for local residents. Public space principles were developed with stakeholders throughout the plan and will serve as touchstones for the further development of the design, implementation, and management of the project as it evolves.
Civic Center Plaza
Garden rooms framing new lawns and the Playgrounds create a lively, verdant frame for a large gathering space centered on City Hall. A mirror fountain provides an informal place to play during the day, but can be turned off during civic events.
Lawn terraces between the Library and the Asian Art Museum provide a place to play and hang out, and are framed by benches and places to sit in sun or shade. New pavilions and seating on the Library terrace create a quiet place to people-watch.
Note on Pioneer Monument: This concept design studies the potential relocation of the Pioneer Monument elsewhere within the Civic Center Historic District. A decision has not been made whether to relocate the Monument, and if so, where to relocate it to. No such decision will be made prior to full analysis of the Civic Center Public Realm Plan through a public review process, including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). At the end of that process, the City may decide to keep the Pioneer Monument in its current location or to move it to another location within the district.
Leavenworth is transformed from forlorn alley to neighborhood park with a dog park, fitness park, community message board, and game tables. Dramatic lighting marks the gateway day and night, and special paving reinvigorates the space as a welcome mat that connects the Tenderloin to Civic Center's public spaces.
Adaptation of the existing fountain provides visibility, planting, accessible and usable space, and productive stormwater function, transforming a barrier into an amenity to the neighborhood and a welcoming gateway. A civic promenade from Market St to City Hall is a space for commemoration of the UN Charter, the history of Civic Center, and of local/neighborhood heroes. New places to eat and recreate on Leavenworth St and at BART add vitality at the plaza’s edges.