PUBLIC SPACE DESIGN
CONCEPT

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.

Leavenworth Street

UN Plaza

Fulton Mall

Civic Center Plaza

CIVIC CENTER PUBLIC REALM PLAN (hover over elements to highlight pavilion concepts)
Historic Context View Green Infrastructure
CIVIC CENTER LANDMARK DISTRICT: Founded on the symmetry, axial relationships, and historic elements of the 1912 Beaux-Arts plan, the proposed public realm plan adds new places and uses within a Beaux-Arts frame.
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A landmark that celebrates
shared history and tradition

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CIVIC CENTER PLAZA (View Looking West)

Civic Center is a public space for all San Franciscans:
a ceremonial gathering place that welcomes everyday use
and inspires civic pride.

Return to Plan View
CIVIC CENTER PLAZA: The Gardens of Delight expand the presence of the Playgrounds and bring beauty and seasonal character to Civic Center. Ample seating on playful running benches also helps protect new planting areas around the existing Playgrounds.

A source of beauty, delight,
and wellness

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CIVIC CENTER PLAZA: Smaller-scale spaces in the Plaza work together to create a vibrant place. For example, the pavilion at McAllister Street provides bathrooms, water fountains, food, and Garage access, uses that activate the street and plaza and serve visitors to the Playgrounds and Gardens.

A source of beauty, delight,
and wellness

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CIVIC CENTER PLAZA - MCALLISTER PAVILION: A new pavilion at the Civic Center Garage entrance frames views across the Plaza to Bil Graham Civic Auditorium. The pavilion centralizes pedestrian access to the garage and adds new bathrooms and food/beverage uses that bring activity to McAllister Street and support the Playgrounds.

A landmark that celebrates
shared history and tradition

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GROVE STREET AT BILL GRAHAM CIVIC AUDITORIUM: Conceptual rendering showing one potential configuration of Grove Street at Civic Center Plaza as a flexible space that maintains essential vehicle loading but can be turned into public space for special events.

The City’s cultural hub
and political heart

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FULTON MALL: The Fulton- facing entrances to the Library and Asian Art Museum will be made accessible and the porches active, with new pavilions and services, an outdoor reading room, a new sculpture garden, and ample seating that enable these important institutions to spill out and activate the public realm.

A flexible, accessible, inviting place
for all to gather

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FULTON MALL: 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.

A source of beauty, delight,
and wellness

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FULTON MALL: Gracious lawns combined with an open, flexible plaza connecting the Library and the Asian Art Museum transform the street to a vibrant, inviting park setting day and night.

The City’s cultural hub
and political heart

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UN PLAZA PAVILION: A new pavilion at the BART station protects and encloses the existing entrance at UN Plaza and provides new uses, such as a market hall and community space, that enliven UN Plaza.

A generous space that meets the
needs of diverse publics

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UN PLAZA: 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.

A generous space that meets the
needs of diverse publics

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LEAVENWORTH STREET: 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.

The safest place in San Francisco

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UN PLAZA: 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.

The safest place in San Francisco

Public Space Framework

Concept Design Plan

27 Existing Community Garden
26 Parking Garage Ramp
26 Parking Garage Ramp
25 Bike Facility
25 Bike Facility
25 Bike Facility
25 Bike Facility
25 Bike Facility
25 Bike Facility
25 Bike Facility
24 Civic Promenade Crosswalk
24 Civic Promenade Crosswalk
24 Civic Promenade Crosswalk
23 Transit Stop
23 Transit Stop
23 Transit Stop
23 Transit Stop
23 Transit Stop

22 Pioneer Monument

Pioneer Monument in San Francsico

Photo by Loren Javier.

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.

21 Interactive Fountain and Garden

20 Mirror Fountain

Civic Center Plaza
19 Sculpture Garden
18 Gardens of Delight
18 Gardens of Delight
17 Gardens of Memory
17 Gardens of Memory
16 City of Flags Gateway
15 Local Heroes Walk
14 Community Message Board
13 Civic Activism Timeline Paving
13 Civic Activism Timeline Paving
13 Civic Activism Timeline Paving
12 Potential Public Art Location
12 Potential Public Art Location
12 Potential Public Art Location
12 Potential Public Art Location
11 Monument / Memorial Location
11 Monument / Memorial Location
11 Monument / Memorial Location
11 Monument / Memorial Location
11 Monument / Memorial Location
11 Monument / Memorial Location
11 Monument / Memorial Location
11 Monument / Memorial Location
11 Monument / Memorial Location
10 Reading Terrace
9 Game Tables
8 Fit Park
7 Dog Park
5 Potential 'Best of SF' Kiosks

Kiosks (Civic Center Plaza)

Kiosks at Civic Center Plaza

2 Underground Access

4 Retail Kiosk

Kiosks (Civic Center Plaza)

Kiosks at Civic Center Plaza

2 Underground Access

4 Retail Kiosk

3 Stone Terraced Steps
3 Stone Terraced Steps
3 Stone Terraced Steps
3 Stone Terraced Steps

2 Underground Access

Information Kiosk

2 Underground Access

Public Bathroom

Water Fountain

Food Service

BART Market Pavilion at United Nations Plaza

BART Market Pavilion at UN Plaza

2 Underground Access

23 Transit Stop

Public Bathroom

Water Fountain

Food Service

Library Pavilions at Fulton Mall

Library Pavilions at Fulton Mall

6 Ambassadors' Station

Information Kiosk

Public Bathroom

Water Fountain

Library Pavilions at Fulton Mall

Library Pavilions at Fulton Mall

Food Service

Grove Street Pavilion (Civic Center Plaza)

Grove Street Pavilion at Civic Center Plaza

2 Underground Access

Public Bathroom

Water Fountain

Food Service

McAllister Street Pavilion (Civic Center Plaza)

McAllister Street Pavilion at Civic Center Plaza

2 Underground Access

Public Bathroom

McAllister Street Pavilion (Civic Center Plaza)

McAllister Street Pavilion at Civic Center Plaza

Public Bathroom

Water Fountain

Food Service

1 Helen Diller Playgrounds
Helen Diller Playgrounds
1 Helen Diller Playgrounds
Helen Diller Playgrounds

Pavilion Concepts

Pavilions Map

Kiosks at Civic Center Plaza

1
KIOSKS at Civic Center Plaza

McAllister Street Pavilion at Civic Center Plaza

2
MCALLISTER STREET PAVILION at Civic Center Plaza

Grove Street Pavilion at Civic Center Plaza

3
GROVE STREET PAVILION at Civic Center Plaza

Library Pavilions at Fulton Mall

4
LIBRARY PAVILIONS at Fulton Mall

Bill Graham Pavilions at Civic Center Plaza

5
BILL GRAHAM PAVILIONS at Civic Center Plaza

BART Market Pavilion at UN Plaza

6
BART MARKET PAVILION at United Nations Plaza

Large Events in Civic Center

Civic Center’s public realm will be designed to welcome civic events of all types and sizes. The following are types of large events and their considerations are shown below.

City Sanctuary - Public Life Activity Day

A flexible, accessible, inviting place
for all to gather

DISTRICT: Civic Center’s public realm will support large and small public gatherings, celebrations, and demonstrations with clear sight lines between City Hall and Market St, clear access points, and consideration of services and infrastructure.
City Sanctuary - Public Life Activity Night
LARGE CIVIC EVENT (e.g. Pride Celebration)
City Sanctuary - Public Life Activity Night
LARGE TICKETED EVENT (e.g. Clusterfest)
City Sanctuary - Public Life Activity Night
LARGE SPONTANEOUS EVENT (e.g. Women’s March)

Events Diagram Legend

Daily Life at Civic Center

Civic Center’s public realm will be designed as a flexible place that welcomes daily life, with diverse activities over the course of the day and evening, weekdays and weekends.

City Sanctuary - Public Life Activity Night
WEEKDAY - Daily Life and Activity
City Sanctuary - Public Life Activity Night
NIGHTTIME - Daily Life and Activity

Daily Life and Activity Diagram Legend

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.

Civic Center PlazaCivic Center Plaza Today

Fulton Mall

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.

Fulton Mall LawnFulton Mall Today

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 Street

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.

Leavenworth PlazaLeavenworth Plaza Today

UN Plaza

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.

UN PlazaUN Plaza Today

Share Your Feedback: All designs are conceptual, and we welcome your feedback. Tell us what you think.