Image: Neighborland/Groundworks Office

Harvey Milk Plaza is seriously due for a redesign. As a focal point for the Castro neighborhood, located at the intersection of Castro and Market and adjacent to the underground MUNI hub, it’s been a long-time coming, especially considering that it’s named in honor of the first openly gay elected official in the state of California, Harvey Milk.

Back in March, Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza launched a design competition to reimagine the public space, which currently consists of a sunken garden and a lot of concrete. Last week, the organization announced they’ve narrowed their choices down to three local design teams.

“Harvey understood that the LGBT community was part of something larger, and creating something special there will inspire others to carry on the global movement for peace and social justice,” author and activist Cleve Jones is cited as saying on the competition’s website.

The design teams had to work under certain constraints, including a $10 million budget and no visible logos, and they were also required to come up with a creative way to recognize donors.

The three shortlisted teams have each been awarded $3,000. Aside from the recognition, the winning team can look forward to an additional $7,000, for a grand total of $10,000 in prize money. Check out the submissions by the top three design finalists below.

Groundworks Office

Image: Neighborland/Groundworks Office

An animated and sculptural staircase will wind along Market Street, projecting a few of Harvey’s most powerful quotes for all to read. The Candlelight Vigil will light up like the night sky, and the Memorial Wall will be a place to reflect on those we have lost.

Kuth Ranieri Architects

Image: Neighborland/Kuth Raniere Architects

Image: Neighborland/Kuth Raniere Architects

Kuth Ranieri Architects proposal includes a metal ribbon with “filmic content” that stretches beyond the plaza, serving as a gateway to the Castro. In the underground pathway to the train, there will be a pink triangular glass skylight that projects a notable quote by Harvey Milk. Within the plaza itself, a coordinating pink glass soapbox will give political activists a literal platform for expression.

Perkins Eastman

Image: Neighborland/Perkins Eastman

Image: Neighborland/Perkins Eastman

“A soapbox for many” was the inspiration behind the design by Perkins Eastman. A ramping amphitheatre will encourage neighbors to gather, and a memorial timeline will trace Harvey Milk’s unfinished journey and important moments in LGBTQ history. Candle-like light fixtures inscribed with donor names will illuminate the plaza, and the MUNI entrance will feature a vibrant, rainbow LED light display overhead.

Developments featured in this article

More Like This

Facebook Chatter